Over the past few years, the Summerfest Committee has heard folks’ ideas and suggestions on how to make Garrettsville Summerfest even better. This year they have acted on some of those suggestions, to enhance the festival-goers experience. Many have suggested having the rides moved back downtown. Your wish is their command. The rides will be downtown in the grassy area of the Buckeye Block and on the municipal parking lot behind it. This will allow parents to breathe a little easier as their children will be closer to the festival hub.

It also has been suggested that they have more things geared for children, so the committee has acted on that by adding more children’s events. Friday night is family movie night.  Bring the kids, chairs or blankets and come watch a family-friendly movie on a big inflatable screen under the stars at the west end of the festival.  The movie is slated to start at approximately 9 pm or as soon as it is dark enough to start the show.

Another event that is new for the kids this year is the Princess and Pirate Show.  This will take place on the West Stage, Saturday, following the ice cream eating contest. Come out and see Cinderella, Ariel, along with other princesses and of course, a pirate or two as they perform. Bring pencil and paper as they will also be signing autographs after the show.

If princesses are not your thing, what about frogs?  New this year is a frog jumping contest.  One will not want to miss this new event and you will not even have to bring your own frog.  Locally caught frogs will be provided, however, if one chooses, one may bring their own frog. Pre-registration isn’t required. Just be at the bridge at 4pm on Sunday and have your frog ready to jump by 4:30. Rules will be posted on the web site at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com.   In a nutshell, here is how it works: one will have three minutes to get a frog to jump three times; the frog that jumps the furthest in three jumps will be declared the winner. The contest particpants will have three age categories: 5 years and under, 6- 12 years old and 12 and older. Medals will be presented to the top 3 finishers of each category.

Another suggestion that was made was to have some kind of place where one could get out of the sun, sit down and partake of the many festival treats, rather than trying to juggle them while walking. There will be a tent with table and chairs at the corner of High Street and Main Street for folks to rest while enjoying a variety of tasty festival foods.

The committee has added different types of entertainment as well. Country music is back! All the country music lovers will want to put on their boots and come out and boogie the night away Saturday as Northern Whiskey takes the main stage.  Also new, will be a square dancing performance and a hula hoop show. The hula hoop show will be right before Northern Whiskey and before Garrettsville Idol. The Garrettsville YMCA will do a showcase following the parade that includes a spinning class — a demonstration one will not want to miss.

Although the committee has added some new events, there are some traditions that are still the same.  The tractor parade, Grand Parade, Steeplechase Canoe Race, and after a brief hiatus, the family canoe races are back on Sunday.  The pie baking contest, fireworks and the Lion’s Club Rubber Duck Race are still on, along with the Friends of Melana 5K race to benefit kid’s cancer research.

For the kids, there are Jungle Terry, The Lion’s Club Punt, Pass, Kick Contest, and Ice Cream Eating Contest. For more specific events, including times and locations for each event visit the web site at www.garrettsvillesummerfest for more information.