Garrettsville – Although the calendar claims that summer starts June 21, we all know that the season of summer fun kicks off with Memorial Day on May 25. In Garrettsville, that’s just the beginning!

Memorial Day held its traditional public display of patriotic flags, ceremonial wreaths, the big parade and rousing speeches on Monday morning. Afterward, the grills heated up in nearly every back yard, neighbors and families finally gathering together again on decks and patios for eats, drinks and games. Finally.

But wait. There’s more!

Saturday, May 30 will be a huge day of festivities throughout Garrettsville from morning to night. The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club is hosting a three-day Fit & Fun Festival from Wednesday, May 27 through Saturday, May 30, which will encourage students and their families to make this summer active, outdoors and healthy. There will also be a parade and open house sponsored by Community EMS, the first Car Cruise of the summer with merchants’ extended summer hours, and Automotive Rehab’s Grand Opening. The village will be bursting with a fresh exuberance to welcome summer…

The fun begins for JAG Elementary School students on May 27, 28 and 29, 9:15am-3pm. More than 800 students were put through a set of stations that involve the importance of staying active, eating healthy, and getting outside during their summer break and away from televisions and video games, says Caitlin Lawless of Ellerhorst Russell Insurance.

Students also experienced how to cast a fishing line, go sliding down an inflatable slide, play a football tossing game, and how to pack for a day hike (in promotion of the nearby Portage Parks Headwaters Trail). Each student was given a cinch sack to take home with them for summer hikes on the trail with a snack, water, and information on Saturday’s event, sponsored by Charles Chevrolet.

Each student also received a small book to log their summer activities, sponsored by Ellerhorst Russell Insurance and Sky Lanes Bowling Alley. When students return to school in the fall, those who filled in their logs will be entered into a drawing to win prizes (Frisbees, FitBits, bikes, jump ropes.)

Rotary’s Fit and Fun Festival for the entire community will be Saturday, May 30, 9am-12 noon at Village Park. Local organizations, businesses and community representatives will be gathered at the park to offer information on free or inexpensive activities to keep families busy over the summer.

Those attending include:

• Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts (do a craft with the Girl Scouts)

• Hiram Bio Station


• Camp Hi Canoe Livery

• Eagle Creek Preserve

• Portage County Park District

• Sierra Club

• Hiram Police (teaching bike safety)

• The Garrettsville Police Dog will meet and greet, from 10-11am

• Ronald McDonald will do a fun presentation on staying active and eating healthy,11am- Noon.

While there, you can take a hike on the Headwaters Trail!

Saturday, May 30 is also Community EMS Day, when the Community EMS District hosts its Annual Open House and Parade, 12noon-3pm. Chief Chris Sanchez promises lots of thrills and chills and even a helicopter landing.  The parade goes from JAG High School on State Route 88 to the EMS station on Forest Street. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be served (at no cost) at the station following the parade.

A Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle will be sponsored by the Community EMS Association for the community. Prizes will include an autographed Cleveland Browns football, tickets to see the Cincinnati Reds, Lake Erie Monsters, the Akron Rubber Ducks, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and Cleveland Gladiators, and many more prizes. If the weather cooperates, the festivities will include the landing of a medical helicopter!

Chamber Car Cruise on Main StRESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY JUNE 6 DUE TO RAIN starting at 5 pm. This will be the first car cruise of the season, with all shops open late for customers. Mayor Rick Patrick says save the dates for a total of five car cruises this summer, including June 27 at Garrettsville Dairy Queen, July 18 back on Main Street, the August 8 Peach Social at the fire station, and September 19 at Sky Plaza/Sky Lanes.

During the Main Street Car Cruise on Saturday, stop by Automotive Rehab’s Grand Opening, 4-8pm, at 8147 Windham Street. Meet owners Jon and Loren Martin, enjoy a cookout, check out the antique NAPA car and historic features of the building, and bring packaged food donations for the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC), which is returning soon to downtown Garrettsville.

Summer is here. It’s time to celebrate in the village!