WAPAKONETA — It’s 44 years on Sunday since Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. In Armstrong’s hometown, that large step for mankind will be celebrated in a big way at the annual Summer Moon Festival, which continues through Sunday.
“This is a lot of fun, and brings up to 15,000 people to town for all of the festivities,” said Dan Graff, executive director of the Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce.
It’s a party in Heritage Park downtown, as well as at the Armstrong Museum. And while the pageant royalty and bed races have already been held, there’s still a car show, weiner dog races, a 5K, art auction, volleyball tournament, fishing tournament, rides, and food.
“This year we’re toasting Old Vienna which used to be brewed by the City Brewing Co. that operated in town until Prohibition. We researched the recipe for the beer, and found it with a family in Texas. It’s a great beer, and Thirsty Dog out of Akron brews it for us,” Graff said. During the festival, it will sell for $3 for a 16-ounce glass. Naturally, other types of beer will also be available.
And, the always popular car show will be returning on Auglaize Street. “Last year, I think we drew about 200 (cars) for that. The downtown is just packed. We close down Auglaize Street and people can just enjoy walking around and looking. It’s really nostalgic looking at those old cars, like taking a walk back in time,” Graff said. This year’s show is also a fundraiser for Shriners Hospital.
But no party would be complete without entertainment. “We host a Party in the Parkway during the summer, and we watch which groups draw the crowd. This year, we’re fortunate to get some great bands, including Nashville Crush and Staples,” Graff said. Also on the docket will be a visit from the Lost in Space robot following Saturday’s 5K race.