WAPAKONETA — Wapakoneta’s annual Summer Moon Festival will be held July 13 through 18, celebrating the 52nd Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
This year is made extra special with Moonfest VIP guests of honor, the Navy Frogmen from the Apollo 11 recovery mission, Mike Mallory, Wes Chesser, Clancy Hatleberg and John Wolfram. These four special ops carried out the safe recovery of the three Apollo 11 astronauts and spacecraft upon the splashdown back to Earth in 1969. This gathering represents their first reunion since that incredible mission. They will be on hand during the festival to share their remarkable stories.
The full Summer Moon Festival format returns with six days of events offered throughout Wapakoneta. The celebration begins on July 13 with Wapakoneta By Moonlight, an evening sip and shop event featuring late night strolling, tours, shopping, dining and DORA beverages to 11 p.m.
The Summer Moon Scholarship Pageant is the highlight of July 14 providing an entertaining evening inside the Wapakoneta High School Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.
July 15 through 17, Wapakoneta’s historic downtown area fills with live music, food trucks, beer gardens, family games, a 60-vendor Moon Market shopping extravaganza, plus car and antique tractor shows. The Kids Fishing Derby, Kiddie Tractor Pull, Bed Races, Corn Hole Tournament, RC Fun Run and Wiener Dog Races are fan favorites every year. The four VIP Frogmen and two retired NASA Astronauts, Greg Johnson and Mike Foreman are featured for meet and greet opportunities each day as well.
On July 14, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum will debut a brand new exhibition featuring one-of-a-kind historic artifacts related to Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong plus special photo opportunities and presentations with museum admission the rest of the week.
On July 17, the museum hosts the ever-popular Run to the Moon 5k/10k Race and opens a large outdoor event space that extends through July 18 with Frogmen and NASA Astronaut meet and greets, Lunar Rover demonstrations, the Wright Stuff Rocketeers and kite demos on the lawn.
The Wapakoneta Family YMCA Moonfest Bike Tour is on July 18. In its 17th year, this tour is fun for families and cycling enthusiasts from far and wide.
More details and a full schedule of events is available at www.summermoonfestival.com.