SPENCERVILLE — Carnival rides, a grand parade and fireworks. The Spencerville Summerfest is back!
After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual community celebration returns to downtown Spencerville this weekend with all the traditional favorites and a few new wrinkles.
Jessica Lammers, president of the Spencerville Chamber of Commerce, promises “something for everybody” at this year’s festival, which kicked off Thursday when carnival rides, food vendors and games are opened on Broadway Street, the village’s main drag.
For many, many years the annual village festival was organized by Spencerville native Ida Kay Keller, who “took care of everything,” Lammers said. Following Keller’s death in 2019 the chamber stepped in and took over the event.
Activites got underway Thursday evening. On Friday the games, rides and food vendors — including the popular Spencerville Fire Department food stand — will commence starting at 5 p.m.
In the entertainment and beverage tent, open to patrons age 21 and older, Derek Pignataro will perform from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Another Round will take the stage from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. There is a $3 cover charge.
On Saturday the Summerfest 1-mile run kicks off at 8:30 a.m., followed at 9 a.m. by the annual 5-K run. Registration for both events is at the Spencer Township Park on Wisher Drive.
Also at 9 a.m. will be a water ball competition next to the fire station. Lammers said several area fire departments will participate in the friendly competition.
The Summerfest Route 66 Car Show will be held on South Broadway Street from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m.
Carnival rides open at 11 a.m. Armbands for unlimited riding between the hours of 1-5 p.m. on Saturday will be $18.
New this year is a motorcycle Poker Run, with registration beginning at noon at Spencerville Veterans’ Memorial Park.
The annual Summerfest parade will begin at 4:30 p.m., traveling down state Route 117 from the school to Main Street and ending at the fire department. Serving as grand marshal of this year’s parade is the Bowersock Bros. Aux. Post 6772 of the VFW, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Post Commander Jessica Wegesin will ride in the parade representing all VFW members.
Lammers said the winners of the popular Lucky Duck drawing — which began as an actual rubber duck race down the Miami-Erie Canal behind the downtown business district but has since transformed into a raffle drawing —will be announced via Facebook Live during the parade. Tickets are $5 each for a chance to win cash prizes of $300, $150 or $50.
Performing in the entertainment and beverage tent will be Minor Blues from 5:30-6:45 p.m. and Nightfall from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. There is a $3 cover charge.
Culminating the festival will be a fireworks show starting at 10 p.m., which Lammers said is annually the most heavily-attended event of the festival.