JACKSON CENTER — The 2018 Jackson Center Community Days are scheduled for May 31 to June 3 and organizers say this year’s lineup of activities and entertainment is going to be better than ever. The annual event has something for everyone and local residents are gearing up for a weekend of fun. This year’s theme is “Growth, Progress and Pride” and will coincide with “Alumapalooza 9” the ninth annual Airstream Inc. jamboree.
The event is open to the public and kicks off Thursday, May 31, at 5 p.m. and runs through Sunday evening, June 3, 6 p.m. Those promoting this annual community event point out it’s a great chance get together and socialize, see old friends and make new ones. This year’s activities will include a big car-bike-and truck show, a street carnival with lots of rides, live bands Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights; 50/50 drawings, a dodgeball tournament, a beer tent, and lots of food, drinks, games, and of course a parade on Sunday afternoon followed by a variety show.
The carnival rides will be will be in operation Friday 5 p.m. until close, Saturday noon to close, and Sunday afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m. Ride wrist-band passes for the entire weekend will be available for $30 at the Village Office during regular business hours and at the Jackson Center Pharmacy until 6 p.m. One-day passes are $15 or individual tickets will be available as well.
Thursday evening features a Queen and Little Miss Jackson Center contest at the school and Jenna Drees will be playing 80’s and 90’s hits, country and pop music on the piano and guitar at the entertainment tent from 7:30-10:30 p.m.
On Friday, beginning at 5 p.m., there will be games of chance in the entertainment tent (wheel of fortune, showdown-cards, and bingo: Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and at 8 p.m. the band “Thick and Thin” will be playing rock, country and blues favorites.
Saturday promises to be a very busy day and starts off with a pancake and omelet breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. followed by a student 1 mile race and 5K race for adults. Other activities include; children’s tractor races, dodge ball tournament, and from 12-2 p.m. a canine demonstration by the Southwest Regional K9 Training Group. The police department will be holding a fundraiser for the department’s police dog “Hero” to raise money for the K9 unit and will have Hero t-shirts for sale. From 5-8 p.m. attendees can enjoy the big 20th Annual Community Car-Bike-and Truck Show with over 200 participants expected to attend. Todd Beckett, AKA “Ohio’s own Barney” a Barney Fife impersonator complete with vintage squad car will be patrolling the area talking to visitors and doing his best to make everyone feel right at home, just like in Mayberry.
At 8 p.m. Saturday night, The Avalons a “Rock and Roll Oldies Sensation” (formerly Sh-Boom) will provide music, comedy and other crazy antics for the whole family; the audience will be swept away by a memorable journey through the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.
There will be a community worship service Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. followed by the parade at 2 p.m. There will also be carnival rides, food, and raffle drawings all afternoon. At 3:30 p.m. the public is invited to attend what many feel is the best part of the Community Days Celebration. Local residents put on a variety-show in the entertainment tent featuring local talent doing an assortment of skits, musical performances and other activities that are always a crowd pleaser; it is suggested those wishing to attend this portion of the entertainment to come early as seats fill up quickly.
Jackson Center Village Administrator Bruce Metz said he is very excited about this year’s event and said it is the great community spirit that makes it such a wonderful time.
“Community Days is something we look forward to every year and has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Metz. “I remember going as a kid and I don’t think I’ve ever missed a single year.”
Metz has worked alongside the members of the Jackson Center Growth Association (Greg Woolley, president; JC Village Police Chief Chuck Wirick, treasurer; Gina Ludwig, secretary; Sarah Kipker, and Wendy Yinger) who make up the steering committee for the annual event.
“I guess you can call me the “unelected chairman” said Metz, chuckling, although he stressed planning for the event is always a group effort. “We all pitch in and work together to get the job done and our efforts reflect the strong community spirit in our town, that’s what makes this such a special fun-filled time of year. There is a lot of community participation with several organizations working hard to provide the best in food, games and entertainment. One of my favorite stops is the Fireman’s bratwurst stand and I love the variety show on Sunday afternoon, it’s usually standing room only if you get there late so I suggest coming early for a good seat.”
For more info on Community Days call the JC Village Office at 937-596-6314 or visit https://www.jacksoncenter.com/community-days and click on “Calendar of Events”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.