SIDNEY – Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sidney will host its annual Parish Picnic and Family Festival from 4-11 p.m. June 22.
For the third year, the event will be held on the campus of Lehman Catholic High School, located at the intersection of State Route 29 and Interstate 75. Admission to the Parish Picnic is free, and the public is welcome.
For Festival Chairman Todd Ratermann, the Parish Picnic always has been a family affair.
“My dad ran the picnic years ago, and my mom headed up the soup and sandwich booth for 20 years,” Ratermann said. “It seems like my brothers and I have been going to the picnic as long as I can remember, setting up, lending a hand with things and just having fun.”
The Parish Picnic has changed a lot since his dad was in charge, especially in recent years, but the philosophy behind the event has never changed.
“It is an enjoyable family day for the community,” Ratermann said. “We have always promoted the picnic as clean, wholesome fun for everyone.”
For this year’s Parish Picnic, the focus is on big time entertainment. The headliner is up-and-coming country singer Clark Manson.
Born and raised in Covington, Manson became an overnight sensation at age 23 when he relocated to Nashville to record his first album. Manson will take the stage at 9 p.m.
The opening act at 7:15 will be Reflektion, a local acoustic country duo made up of twin brothers Jared and Justin Younce of Piqua.
Ratermann is hopeful that the entertainment will draw more people in their 20s and 30s to this year’s festival.
“We have taken a leap out of our comfort zone, but both groups have big followings so their fans should come out,” he said.
The entertainment has been made possible through sponsorships by Piqua Steel Company, Right On Excavation, Electro Green Energy Solutions and Alvetro Orthodontics. Many additional sponsors are supporting the festival and are listed on the Parish Picnic website.
Another new wrinkle for 2019 is the re-structuring of the annual raffle. Instead of the booklets of tickets usually distributed to all Holy Angels parishioners, the raffle has moved online.
Now in the hands of the Parish Council and led by Dan and Melissa Jock, the raffle format is easy to navigate at www.holyangelsparishpicnic.org. Ticket purchasers can designate their tickets for the cash prizes or any of 12 gift baskets. Each ticket is $5.
The grand prize is $5,000, but there also will be two cash prizes of $1,000, seven $500 and $250 prizes and three $100 prizes. Gift baskets include Golf Lover, Wine Lover, Craft Beer Lover, Lottery, Spa/Beauty, and Pet Lover. Options also include a queen mattress from Goffena Furniture and a $500 gift certificate for Francis Furniture.
All the baskets are pictured on the website and will be on display at the Parish Picnic. Tickets can be purchased up until the live drawing at 10 p.m. the night of the event. Winners do not need to be present.
Kicking off the celebration will be two special sporting events. The third annual Tennis Challenge will start June 21 with doubles play on the Lehman courts at 6 p.m. Singles competition will take place beginning at 9 a.m. June 22.
The inaugural Ultimate Frisbee Tournament will start with round-robin play from noon-3 p.m. June 22 and end with a championship game at 5:30 p.m. Interested participants can check the Parish Picnic website to register.
Catholic Mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. in the Schlater Family Gym at Lehman before the official start of the festival at 4 p.m.
Instead of using several smaller tents as in the past, this year’s festival will be held in one big 60 foot by 130 foot tent. John Frantz of Sidney Electric, Jeramie and Denny Sollmann of Sollmann Electric, and Area Energy and Electric all have been instrumental in making sure there will be enough power for the entertainment and all the planned activities. There will be some seating, but Ratermann stressed that there will be plenty of room for dancing to the music inside the tent.
No festival is complete without food, and there will be lots of yummy choices including Coach Dick Roll’s famous chicken dinners, smoked brats, hamburgers, Kona Ice, Cumberland Kettlecorn, fair food from the Poeppleman Food Truck and the traditional soup and sandwich stand inside the air-conditioned school building. The Shelby County Bicentennial Beer brewed by Moeller Brew Barn also will be featured at the event.
Although there are no carnival rides, kids will have plenty to do with Romrick Railway Train Rides, face painting and other activities being coordinated by Gerianne Hemmert and Laura Cianciolo. Games of chance including showdown, big wheel, blackjack and tip books will provide fun for adults. There also will be the always popular bingo and the cake booth.
Before the main entertainment begins, there will be a performance by the Vacation Bible School students at 4:30 p.m. followed by Crazy Craig Mullenkamp the juggler.
In addition to a large contingent of volunteers, Ratermann is assisted by Second Chair Jeremy Miller and Third Chair Lee Nickol.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.