JACKSON CENTER — A sure indication that summer is just around the corner are the large white signs located at the village limits in Jackson Center noting the upcoming Community Days festival scheduled to take place June 1-4, 2017, in Jackson Center, Ohio.
This year’s theme is “Stronger Together” and those promoting the event point out it’s a great chance get together and socialize, raise support, and to give back to the community in a number of ways.
A name synonymous with Community Days is Gina Ludwig, secretary of The Jackson Center Growth Association. Ludwig is a member of a steering committee for the community festival working with Village Administrator Bruce Metz, Jordan Knepper, Sarah Kipker and Wendy Yinger.
Wanting to give credit where credit is due Ludwig pointed out that teamwork is an essential part of the recipe for planning.
“We all pitch in, each person has their own function or area of expertise but we all work together to get the job done” Ludwig said.
Though modest in her appraisal, Ludwig is considered the go-to person when questions arise about the festival or someone needs help making plans. When asked why she is so zealous about the task at hand there is a noticeable tone of sincerity in her voice noting.
“I do what I do to give back what was given to me as a child, to help my town and local community, I grew up here and have many fond memories of Community Days, I want to keep that tradition going for the generations to come. It would not be a success year after year without so many great people and organizations helping to make it a fun-filled event, and it contributes to Jackson Center being a great place to live all year round.”
Ludwig observed how the festival benefits the community as a whole by bringing folks together while creating an opportunity to help others. “Community Days is a good prospect for all the village’s non-profit organizations to generate funding for a variety of good causes, money that is funneled back into the community, back to the people who visit, work, live, or go to school here. Some of the revenue from the festival is used to help our senior citizens and veterans, and some goes to help support our fire and rescue departments and it also helps us help our kids” Ludwig said noting “This year’s activities will include a car-bike-and truck show, a street carnival with lots of rides, live bands all weekend, 50/50 drawings, a dodgeball tournament, and lots of food, drinks, games, free pony rides and of course, a parade … and … there’s a whole lot of other things to do and see for those of all ages, don’t miss out on the non-stop fun!”
Ludwig also wants to remind people time is running out to take a walk down memory lane by visiting the old High School which will soon be torn down.
“Those coming to community days may want to bring their cameras and take a few photos, it will be a chance to get that “one last picture” before the old building is gone forever; it will also be a good time to see the new school building and the progress being made on the school grounds.”
Community Days would not be a success without the support of the local community and others who plan to attend each year. The event is also coupled with the Airstream “Alumapalooza,” an annual event that brings 250-300 visitors to the Airstream grounds for a six day camp-out celebration. This gives those owning Airstream Trailers an opportunity to tour the manufacturing facility where their travel units were built and mingle with the locals during Community Days activities and get a taste of the down-home hospitality offered.
Long-time Jackson Center resident Mayor Scott Klopfenstein is looking forward to Community Days and the fellowship it creates.
“I love Community Days, for many folks it’s a once-a-year get together, a chance to meet up with friends you don’t see very often and catch up on how everyone is doing and what’s been going on in their lives,” Klopfenstein said noting that high school class reunions are often held on the same weekend so as to make the most of an opportunity to reunite.
Complementing the efforts of all who help plan and execute the festivities Klopfenstein said, “It’s a lot of hard work to put it all together and I’m very proud of how our folks rally together to raise money for a lot of great causes, it reflects the spirit of our town and local community. It also gives the visitors attending the Airstream Alumapalooza a chance to socialize with our residents and those who built their trailers on a personal level, a chance to really get to know the people behind the product. Airstream is an important piece of the puzzle in our village, and the community atmosphere echoes how much we appreciate the positive influence Airstream has on the community over the years.”
This year’s Community Days festival begins Thursday evening with the crowning of the Community Days queen and continues through Sunday afternoon and includes a community worship service at 10:30 a.m. at the entertainment tent.
For calendar of events, visit the Jackson Center website, http://www.jacksoncenter.com/community-days or call 937-596-6314.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.