Spencerville Summerfest celebrates 30th year

SPENCERVILLE — Since 1994, the Spencerville Summerfest has created cherished memories for families in and around Spencerville. Temperatures in the 90s Saturday did not stop Spencerville residents from celebrating the event’s 30th year.

Summerfest has brought a variety of fun events to Spencerville since Wednesday, culminating in Saturday’s day-long celebration. Along with a 5K run, a car and tractor cruise-in, a craft show, carnival rides and more, Summerfest featured an afternoon parade making its way up Fourth Street and Main Street and live music, all leading up to a 10 p.m. fireworks show to bring the event to a close.

“The crowd’s been pretty good,” said Ashley Wiechart, a member of the event’s organizing committee. “The afternoon rides today were not as big of a hit due to the temperatures, but we think when the sun goes down, things will kind of pick back up.”

Wiechart said that part of what makes this event so special for the Spencerville community is how it brings residents together for a relaxing time of fun and laughter.

“It does draw a lot back,” she said. “Either they’ve been here, or they grew up here and they’ve moved away. A lot of people come home for the weekend, and Saturdays, typically, you’ll see front-yard parties and a lot of family gatherings and cornhole tournaments. It’s just fun to see all the people gathering together.”

Spencerville residents Ginnie Riffle, Kristin Barga and Julie Herman took in the parade together Saturday afternoon, along with Riffle’s children, Leah, 10, and Lexi, 8, and Barga’s children, Sophie, 10, and Luka, 6.

“It was a good year,” Riffle said. “We always say we’re so lucky that we have a festival like this where we can just walk there. So it’s pretty cool.”

The celebration evokes memories of past Summerfests from their own childhood, Barga said.

“A lot of our classmates that moved away always come home for this weekend, so everyone gets together,” she said.

The Riffles and Bargas are related, so taking in the parade was truly a family affair, one that after 30 years has turned into a family tradition.

“We’re here with (the children’s) great-grandmother, Marie Herman,” Julie Herman said. Looking at the elder Herman, Julie called, “You haven’t missed one yet, have you?”

“No,” Marie, 88, said, smiling as she sported her hat featuring a Spencerville Bearcats logo front and center.