LIMA — Hundreds of people came out Thursday night to celebrate Lima and to help raise money to help bring back Square Fair.
Several food vendors came out and there was music from Swingmania, a big band group out of Toledo.
Several local dance studios also showed off their talented students.
Lima Mayor David Berger offered this year’s toast.
“To a city and people both smile on my fate. May our pains make us stronger and may our strengths make us great. To our parents and others who came on before, who paved from a swamp this great place we adore, then brought the world oil, locomotives and tanks, neon and engines, restaurants and banks. To the soldiers who fight in wars far from here may they know we continue to hold them all dear. May God guard their actions wherever they roam and see them return to the safety of home. To our children, who venture too far away. And to those, best of all who would venture to stay. May we leave them a city of which to be proud. May their happiness flourish and their riches abound. May their leaders be wise and their troubles be few and more than all else, may their motives be true. And until such a time as we toil for today, may the Lord bless our efforts and keep trouble at bay. May she smile on this city, this county, this state, and most of all, on you people who help make them all great. To Lima. To Allen County. To Ohio and to the USA and to all who love her, here and away. Cheers,” said Berger.
Square Fair has been dormant for a few years and Toast to the City is a way to recoup losses of previous Square Fairs.
“We’ve worked really hard, it takes a lot of money and a lot of volunteers and we need that festival back because it’s a great festival for kids and families,” said Mechell Broadwater, chairwoman of Toast to the City.
Broadwater has some ambitious goals in trying to resurrect Square Fair.
“Our goal is to try to start the end of this year to bring it back in ‘19,” she said.
But that could change depending on how long it takes for the Rhodes State College downtown campus to be constructed.
“That’s the thing. We have to be real careful with communications to make sure because power and water and everything goes on, but they start construction there goes our power and things like that,” she said.
The problem with bringing back Square Fair has been the lack of volunteers and money to fund the free festival.
“I have a team of eight people. We pulled (Toast to the City) off. We get neighbors that care and Michael Birchfield and his team, they came down and set up tables, helping with the linens. We’re just giving back to our community. That’s what we’re doing,” she said.
At $700 a table, organizers are hoping to bring in around $30,000.
“Last year we did a Toast as well, so we’re doing everything but the festival so we’ve got money in the bank from being bankrupt from ‘13 and ‘14 when the storms (hit). So we’re back in the black so what we’re doing is banking this. We have that money banked so that when it’s time for the festival, when Rhodes gets up and out of our way, then we have enough money to get our entertainment and to get the festival where it should be,” said Tami Trenkamp, treasurer of the Square Fair board.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.