The Biggest Game in Town came up aces for virtually the entire SummerFest weekend. The brief, scattered showers didn’t seem to have deterred any of the fun-seekers who turned out morning, noon and night to enjoy all of the available activities.The opening of the Windham St. bridge provided a venue that was not available in 2010 and the Lions, the Boosters, all kinds of folks stepped up to make their presentations. It was also a great spot to watch the duck races on Sunday and to pick up a ride on the ChooChoo which chugged here all the way from Indiana.Anyone who went home hungry just wasn’t looking very hard. Maple dogs made their appearance once again–tasty! The usual lemonade shake-ups, hot dogs, deep-fried cheese–gooey– and French fries–desperately greasy, hot and deelish–funnel cakes in an explosion of powdered sugar, slushies in jewel tones of syrup competed with and were complemented by the stromboli (veggie ones, even) the Louisiana pulled pork, the jerky ,the ice cream made on the spot in giant, motor-churned freezers, the Fudgie-Wudgie table, the fine dining at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company, the pizza, the DQ Blizzards, McDonald’s old stand-bys, hot or cold. Miller’s early riser specials probably got a spike, maybe even the B.A. breakfast and Cal’s saw more than the usual crowd. The place was jumpin’!…and eatin’. And there were still –mostly younger, emptier–people in the eating contests? You betcha!Contest, yes, there were contests. Besides the aforementioned duck races, the more active among us could participate in the canoe races for all ages and abilities (I drove the Press Canoe in one of those–Long Ago and Far Away). Runners and walkers (present company excepted; I was in church reporting on the recent Big Meeting) were out on the course, picking ‘em up and putting ‘em down to support the Friends of Melana (who were also on the main concourse in town) in their drive to support research into brain cancer in children. The James A. Garfield Marching Pride ran a local permutation of the TV game show “Deal or No Deal”…lot of audience-participation in that one. And that’s not even counting the Big Deal contest for Garrettsville Idol or the drawing for the Chevy Cruze on Sunday night.Parades, there were parades. Saturday’s Tractor Parade, sponsored by Century 21 Goldfire Realty, was a hoot…or a toot or a braqaaakkkk in tractor-speak. Big ones, little ones…red ones, blue ones, gray ones, green ones, orange ones, some with virtually no paint left…shiny, new ones, a couple who fought the cow and the cow won…a couple of the really enormous ones could have been lived in by the entire population of Quattar…there were little guys sitting on their dads’ laps and waving–tickled to death, ladies who knew a thing or two about the business end of a drawbar or power take-off, Jim Turos on a high-rise…it was amazing! Upwards of one hundred and seventy, maybe as many as two hundred tractors wheeled down the road from the high school, all the way to the light and around town to the cheers of the assembled multitudes, many with drivers or riders sporting fluorescent yellow shirts– most of these had big grins on their faces.Sunday’s Grand Parade, organized by the super-competent staff over at the Middlefield Banking Company was no slouch either (Colleen knows her stuff). We had the Mayor and Mrs. Mayor and a passel of grandchildren riding in a carriage/wagon driven by Sam Bixler, the Younger (with Karen and Sam Bixler the Elder), displaying his offspring as well–great families, great horses. What’s not to like?Irv and Hallie Higgins, the Grand Marshals, rode in the Chevy Cruze which was this year’s raffle prize, receiving recognition from the community they’ve done so much for…and with. Village council members were there in all kinds of vehicles–Steve Hadzinsky was touting JAG Appreciation from the driver’s seat in a truck. We had the newly-married couple who had just tied the knot on Saturday (They were probably still humming “Goin’ to the chapel, and we’re gonna get mar-a-a-ried….”). Garrettsville Idol contestants were there, as was our Ohio State Representative, Kathleen Clyde, waving like a trouper to all constituents and supporters. Our guardians of public health and safety, the police, fire and emergency medical forces were in the thick of it and so was public education, when the James A. Garfield transportation department, Marching Pride Band and really loud cheerleaders got into the act. There were churches, there were businesses, there were the Masons (since1854!), ball teams, antique fire trucks, antique Roger Angel of the DQ, dancers, jeeps, an excellent excavator, F&S Automotive with some machines that could have hauled away the north side of town on a roller skate, horses…and the indispensable clean-up crew, Tim & Roger Farris, three party buses and the party organizers, Gretchen Cram’s crew of merry maids of the Middlefield Banking Company. Whoooeee! That’s-a some parade!The only untoward event that I heard was of an Amish buggy horse who was not a real big fan of the amazing fireworks display on Saturday night. Whoa, Nellie! The first boom went off, the first multicolored shower of lights illumined the sky and it was…”I’m Outta here!” Head for the roundhouse, Nellie, they can’t corner you there! Well, eventually they did corner her, after only minor damages and the show had gone on anyway.
Aaron King and committee, ya done good! What’s for next year?