Botkins Carousel kicks off Friday

By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]

BOTKINS — Botkins Carousel Chairman Chris Burmeister has his fingers crossed for this weekend’s festival. He’s hoping for dry weather for local festival-goers to enjoy themselves after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.

“I’n happy this year’s festival is going on,” said Burmeister. “There were some people who were still concerned about COVID and didn’t want the festival to go on. Others did want us to move forward.”

Burmeister said the organization has two bands lined up for entertainment Friday and Saturday.

Karma’s Pawn will be playing Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. Tricky Dick and the Cover Ups will provide the entertainment Saturday beginning at 9 p.m.

Burmeister added seltzer drinks have been added to the adult beverages available at the event.

Sunday’s big event will be the annual parade. This year’s theme is “Masquerade.” The co-grand marshals are the 2020 Carousel pageant contestants and their escorts and the 2021 boys basketball team which won the state title.

The organization, he said, has faced the normal challenges of getting enough volunteers for the three-day event.

“Even without COVID we have problems getting people to volunteer,” he said.

While most events will be happening at the festival, one will not. Organizers of the 5K were unable to get everything ready for the event and plan to have the 5K later in the year, said Burmeister.

“Everyone has been real positive with us,” said Burmeister. “We just need nice dry weather and for the festival to be a success. We want our vendors to see a profit. Many of them are church groups and 4-H clubs.”

Since the event was canceled last year, the organization was able to give the nonprofits a donation to help offset the money they couldn’t raise.

“We tried t help them as best we could,” said Burmeister/

“This should be a good year,” he said. “I think we’ll see more people than normal come out.”

Friday evening kicks off with the queen pageant at 7 p.m. at Botkins School. Food vendors and rides open at 6 p.m. Karma’s Pawn will then play at 9 p.m.

Saturday’s events include food vendors opening at 11 a.m. and mechanical rides starting at noon. The kiddie tractor pull will start at 1 p.m. The ring presentation for the 2021 boys basketball state champion team will be held at 3 p.m. At 9 p.m., Tricky Dick and the Cover Ups will begin playing.

Sunday’s events include the parade at 1 p.m. and food vendors opening at noon and mechanical rides at 1 p.m. Weather permitting, a rolling car show will be held after the parade. chicken barbecue dinners by the Botkins Community Club will be served at 2:30 p.m. the grand raffle drawing will be held at 6 p.m.

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.