SIDNEY – After last year’s cancellation, the Holy Angels Parish Picnic and Family Festival is back and bigger than ever. Organizers have added a second day to the event, meaning there will be more entertainment and more hours to enjoy the fun.
The festival, which benefits Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sidney, is scheduled for Friday, June 25, from 5:30-11 p.m. and Saturday, June 26, from 4-11 p.m. It 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.
To kick off the day on Saturday, an outdoor Catholic Mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. on the football field behind the school. Those attending the Mass will need to bring lawn chairs.
“Our goal is always to make it a fun event for everyone,” said Festival Chairman Lee Nickol. “The Parish Picnic will be one of the first wide-open events of the summer and after the past year, we know that there is a built-up desire for people to get out and hear live music, play games, and enjoy great food and drinks.”
For this year’s Parish Picnic, the focus is on big time entertainment with four performing groups on tap. Friday night will showcase Jake Gabbard from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and SNAFU from 8-11 p.m. On Saturday, Kevin and the Others will be stage from 6:15-8:45 p.m. followed by headliner Clark Manson from 9:15-11 p.m. Manson performed at the 2019 Parish Picnic and drew quite a crowd.
“Expanding to two days is adding some extra work for us,” said Nickol. “But it is enabling us to bring in a variety of bands from around the area and we hope to draw from their fan bases.”
The entertainment has been made possible through generous sponsorships by Piqua Steel Company, Dickman Supply, Alvetro Orthodontics and Ruese Insurance. Other major sponsors of the Parish Picnic include Edward Jones, Westerheide Construction Company, Midmark Corporation and Park National Bank.
Sidney Electric, Sollmann Electric and Area Energy and Electric are combining forces to make sure there will be enough lighting and power for the entertainment and all the planned activities.
Beverage sponsors include Murphy’s Craftbar and Kitchen, D&S Construction, Tavolo – Modern Italian, and Goffena Furniture. A long list of additional sponsors can be found online on the Parish Picnic Facebook page.
Online is also where you can find a link to the annual Parish Picnic raffle. In addition to cash prizes of $5000 (1), $1000 (2), $500 (5) and $250 (5), there are a collection of auction baskets that include a Lucky Lotto basket, Boubon Bonanza basket, Furniture Fiesta sponsored by Francis Furniture and Furniture Express, and a Queen Luxury Mattress from Goffena Furniture. Kevin Schmiesing and the Parish Council have taken the lead in organizing this year’s raffle. Tickets can be purchased up until 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 26. Winners do not need to be present.
Those attending the festival are also urged to buy tickets online for the BBQ Rib dinner being served on Friday and the chicken dinner featured on Saturday so that organizers know how many dinners to prepare. These can be purchased on the raffle item page and as an incentive, those who purchase presale tickets will be entered into $100 drawings.
Besides the featured dinners, there will be lots of yummy food choices including smoked brats, hamburgers, Kona Ice, Cumberland Kettlecorn, and fair food from the Poeppleman Food Truck. Pizza and the traditional sandwich and desert stand inside the air-conditioned school building will be added to the menu for Saturday. As a new twist, there will be wine in addition to the usual selection of beers and soft drinks.
Although there are no carnival rides, kids will have plenty to do on Saturday with Romrick Railway Train Rides, face painting, and other activities being coordinated by Laura Cianciolo and Jon Holland. Games of chance including Showdown, Big Wheel, Blackjack, and Tip Books will provide fun for adults on both days. There will also be the always popular Bingo and the Cake Booth on Saturday.
In addition to a large contingent of volunteers, Nickol is assisted by Second Chair Matt Verhotz and Third Chair Tyler Steinke. “We have volunteers for every portion of the event who make it happen year after year,” said Nickol. “The chairmen may take credit for picking the days and ordering the tents, but the volunteers inside the tents as well as those setting up are the ones who should be taking a bow.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.