BOTKINS -—As summer draws ever closer, residents of Shelby County celebrate at area festivals such as the Botkins Carousel. The Carousel was first held in 1965 and has grown ever larger as the years have passed. The festival will be held June 10-12.
The Carousel welcomes back last year’s ride vendor, Otterbach Amusements. All-day ride bracelets will be available for $15 ea., every day. Rides open at 6p.m on Friday.
The Carousel Queen Pageant takes place at Botkins High School on Friday at 7p.m. Competing to be this year’s queen are Alexis Jones, daughter of Dave and Denise Jones; Holly Landreth, daughter of Joe and Joann Landreth; Kayla Kohler, daughter of William and Kathy Kohler; Maddy Wagner, daughter of Wendy Kelly; Madeline Okuley, daughter of David and Karen Okuley; Madi Steinke, daughter of Jeff and Vicki Steinke; Madison Haught, daughter of Matt and Kelly Haught; and Rachel Creps, daughter of Ty and Kelley Creps. All contestants will be seniors at Botkins High School in the fall.
“They are judged on their poise, talent and answers to two questions, one serious and one light,” said Patty Mack, head of the pageant committee.
A new offering at the Carousel is an artisan and craft vendor tent from noon to 7 on Saturday. It will boast items by local artists and crafters.
The kids’ tent is also offering several new activities, this year.
“We’re going to have a water balloon battle, kids’ croquet, a light saber tournament, and a whole lot of other things,” said Keith Bueler, president of the Botkins Community Club. There will be free pony rides on Sunday.
Another new activity for the children is a National Kiddie Tractor Pull. Children aged three to ten are able to participate. The pull is sanctioned and can qualify the children to participate at the next level. These tractor pulls are done statewide.
Each night the Carousel will host a different band. Crowd favorites, Tricky Dick and the Cover-ups on Friday night and Thick and Thin on Sunday night, will be returning.
“We have a new band Saturday night, The Earthquakers. We talked to people at other venues, and they said they were a good band. A few of us went to the Lima Fair on the Square and listened to them there,” said Buehler.
The parade will be held Sunday, June 12 at 1:30. The two grand marshals will be Botkins school retirees, Connie Schneider and Marylou Pitts.
Following the parade will be the community club grand raffle and the pork loin dinner. Shelby County Pork Producers will be providing meat for the Pork loin dinner on Sunday. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Botkins Area Community Club and is one of the ways they raise money to put on next year’s Carousel.
For complete information on activities and times, visit www.botkinscarousel.com.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.