ANNA — Following a tradition which started in the 1960s, the Anna Civic Association is gearing up for their annual Homecoming to be held June 16-17.
Chair Kelly Billing, in her second year, is excited that the festivities start at Anna Elementary School at 4 p.m. on Friday with the Craft and Vendors’ Tents opening followed by a Cruise-in at 4:30. Food and beer stands open at 5 p.m. along with the carnival rides.
This year’s beer vendors include Moeller Brew Barn and Tailspin Brewing Company, and will be joined by The Winery at Versailles.
There’s something for all ages. Friday’s activities also include face painting, cake wheel, dunk tank, kid’s Hot Wheels Race, super bingo (sponsored by the Anna Band Parents), and from 8 p.m. to midnight, music by Karma’s Pawn, a high energy variety dance band covering hits from the 70’s 80’s 90’s 00’s and today.
The queen pageant starts at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Contestants in this year’s pageant are Savanna Manger, Sami Schulze, Emily Aufderehaar, Rachel Shoemaker, Ally Bertke, Emma Freytag and Carley King.
During the pageant, participants will go through an interview, modeling, and talent portion as part of the event. They are also part of the parade on Saturday.
The Rumbling Rocket 5K kicks off the Saturday festivities starting at the Anna High School Vo Ag building followed by a Fun Run. The adult whiffle ball tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. and the parade begins at 11:30 a.m.
Grand marshals for this year’s parade will be the State Champion Anna Girls Track Team. They will be followed by the Anna Fire Department.
Food and beer stands and the carnival rides open at noon along with a hog roast. The Hog Roasters of Rumley will be selling pulled pork sandwiches, chips and applesauce. A chicken dinner will be served by the Anna United Methodist Church from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, in the Anna Elementary School, 607 N. Pike St. The meal will include a half chicken, chips, applesauce and a roll for $7.50. Pie will be available for purchase.
The Kids Tractor Pull and qualifying for the Ohio State Fair starts at 1 p.m. for kids age 4-11. For those age 12 and over, there is a participation fee of $5.
A Dodgeball tournament begins at 3 pm. Teams are comprised of six people divided into age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, grades 9-12, and adults 18 and over.
From 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Mark Cantwil will perform. Continuing during the afternoon will be face painting, dunk tank, cake wheel, carnival rides, and super bingo.
The band Kevin & The Others from Fort Loramie, will play from 6 to 8:30 p.m. They perform classic rock and/or newer pop/rock and have opened for such groups as Quiet Riot and Bret Michaels.
Swagg, a band from Columbus, will perform from 9 pm to 1 am. The group plays Top 40 Dance Pop, Hip Hop, Classic Soul, 90s R&B, Stadium Rock, Reggae, or Country.
Raffle tickets will be sold during both days to help fund the Homecoming Festival. With over 85 prizes, the drawing will be held at 10 pm on Saturday night.
For additional information, check out their Facebook page, Anna Homecoming Festival, or website, www.annahomecoming.com.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.