Garrettsville – SummerFest went off without a hitch, in spite of the threatening weather all weekend. Folks came prepared for the rain and kept their eyes on the sky and their hands on an umbrella. Even though the skies were threatening all weekend, it seemed like there was an invisible dome over the village, as it saw very little of the rain that the surrounding areas received.
Friday night showers slowed the set-up of the festival, but the opening ceremonies went off without a hitch and the rest of the evening remained dry. “The Boys Are Back” and “1988” were the bands to see as folks grabbed a chair, and relaxed as they kicked off their weekend in style.
Saturday, under threatening skies, the Steeplechase Canoe Race kicked off with 12 teams looking to capture the $100 prize. In the end, the team of Alex Macek, & Greg Macek captured the $100 by finishing with the best time. 1:03:59. Kids showed off their football skills in the Lion’s Club Pass, Punt and Kick Contest and tried to beat the heat and humidity by entering the ice cream eating contest.
Folks lined the streets to watch Ohio’s Largest Tractor Parade rumble through town. The 8th Count Dance Studio gave a mini recital giving festival-goers a taste of what the studio offers. Magic Mike and Aaron Bonk entertained the young and young at heart while folks dodged rain drops to see if Devin Dressler would retain his hamburger eating title. The clouds soon parted and folks were back out on the streets celebrating their families with “Disco Inferno” and “Bringing Benatar” as they rocked it out; right up until the fireworks began. The partying continued after the fireworks until about midnight.
Sunday started early, as a record number of folks came out to kick cancer in the Friends of Melana Memorial 5K/1mile walk/fun run to benefit glioma cancer research. Olympian Bridget Franek was on hand for a meet-n-greet and she also ran the race. Regional recording artist and cancer survivor, Amanda Joy Hall inspired the runners with her cancer survivor story and her song “Believe” before the race. She also joined in the fun and ran the race.
Just as the Grand Parade began to line-up at the school, the temperamental sky opened up and once again and “watered” the parade route and the festival grounds. The clouds parted just as the Grand Parade stepped-off with Grand Marshal Barb Bejger leading the way. After the parade, some folks headed to the bridge to watch the kiddie tractor pulls; others took in the clogging, the family canoe races or played Deal or No Deal with the Band. Chardon Polka Band and “All Fired-Up” kept the village rocking all afternoon. Jungle Terry brought his animals and Aaron Bonk juggled knives, swords, and a chainsaw to the awe of everyone.
A group of high school band students formed a drum corps called “Street Beats” and were seen performing all weekend. They had a huge audience as they entertained the crowd right before Garrettsville Idol.
This year’s Garrettsville Idol was emceed by Big Chuck and Lil John and had 22 folks vying to become the next Garrettsville Idol. When the dust settled, Lexi Smith was named Youth Idol winner, Jasmine Nevarez won the teen title while Kristen Zappola took home the adult title. The festivities concluded when the truck raffle winner was revealed. Congratulations to Mark Ellerhorst who won the grand prize of the truck or cash, the iPad winner was Yevette Sommer and the grill went to Colleen Shukys.
The SummerFest Committee would like to thank all of its sponsors and all the folks who supported the festival. We look forward to seeing you next year and have plans to make our 10th festival, bigger and better. Contest winners are listed at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com and folks can see pictures from the event at the Garrettsville SummerFest Facebook page.
This year’s SummerFest was held on June 28th-30th. The primary sponsors wereGarrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Kepich Ford/ Main Street Grille and Brewing Company, University Hospital Geauga Medical Center, Charles Auto Family and the Weekly Villager. SummerFest is traditionally held the fourth full weekend in June at the intersections of State Route 82 and State Route 88 in downtown Garrettsville www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com