“Bull Thistles Forever” has been chosen as the theme for this year’s Bull Thistle Festival. The first of the day’s events is the Parade, which begins at the South end of town at 11:00am ad follows the traditional route heading North on State Rt 66. Parade participants are asked to arrive at the parade route line-up area beginning at 10:00am. Parade entries are accepted up to the day before the festival. If you ar3e interested in placing an entry in the parade to advertise your business, organization, or would like more information, please call 419-237-2830 or 419-237-3061.
Immediately following the parade, the day’s festivities continue at the park. Those who attended the festival last year may recall that there were some changes to the layout at the park. The committee received a lot of positive feedback after last year’s changes and has decided to keep the new format for this year. The stage has been moved to more central location, with tables nearby for those who would like to listen to the music while they dine. Straw bales are also available for additional seating. Please feel free to bring along a lawn chair or blanket, if you prefer.
As in years past, the Arts and Crafts are the centerpiece of the festival and the crafters will be setting up in the Normal Grove Park as early as 9am. We are fortunate to feature a wide variety of arts and crafts including paintings, hand-carved wood items, jewelry, quilts, and more. Once again, the local artisans that make up the Bean Creek Valley Artists will be showcasing an assortment of homemade and handcrafted items. Each participating member brings a small sampling of items for sale, allowing each of them to participate in the festival both as crafts people and patrons.
The festival also offers a variety of food booths where you can partake of good food. The Chicken Barbecue starts at 12 noon and as usual features Port-A-Pit Barbecue. Area organizations will also be offering Burgers, Hot Dogs, Corn on the Cob, Thistle Burgers, French Fries, Fried Pickles, Milk Shakes, and Pizza. Drop in for some good food and help these organizations raise money at the same time.
We are pleased to have Steve Snider returning as out emcee for this year’s event and are excited to announce this year’s entertainment schedule. Mustard’s Retreat will kick off the entertainment at 1:00pm. This fold music duo is joining up from Ann Arbor and they have been working together since 1974. They present a very food show that should delight the audience. At 2:00 pm, magician Jeff Wowrzaszekis will take the stage with an act that is sure to be a lot of fun for the children in the crowd. The day’s entertainment also includes some hometown talent in Riley Martin (Who will be joined on the stage by some friends) and Noelle Goodson. Both of these young and talented individuals will be playing guitar and singing for the crowd.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Bull Thistle Judging, which will commence at 1:00pm. Bull Thistles are judged on height, girth, number of blossoms, and the fibrous content of the stalk. There is also a booby prize for the thistle that just doesn’t quite meet the standard. The Best of Show winner gets the coveted Golden Hoe Award and The Frank Wilson Memorial Award will be given to the Thistle that is the People’s Choice as the best entry. There are bound to be some stellar entries in this year’s competition, so keep your eye out for a contender, grab a shovel and a bucket, and a serious pair of gloves, and enter your best Thistle on Saturday morning.
Each year, the Bull Thistle Festival Committee makes special arrangements for the fireworks display that is held at Harrison Lake State Park. Our thanks once again to the Zoldan Family and Phantom Fireworks for sponsoring this event for our festival. The fireworks will begin at dusk. People from all over enjoy watching this great fireworks show and find it a getting ending to a great day.
On Sunday, everyone is invited to come to the Community Church Service in the Grove, which will feature the Community Band. There will also be a potluck picnic after the service. This service is a lovely way to end the weekend’s festivities and a nice opportunity to share worship with friends and family who attend other churches.
This year marks the 37 Annual Bull Thistle Arts Festival. It is a truly unique small-town event with something for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you all there!