GALION — The annual Pickle Run Festival is scheduled for July 1-2 at Heise Park and offers something for everyone.
The catchy name originates from a tale about a local businessman who supposedly dumped bad pickles into a local creek in the 1890s.
Sarah Capretta is in her eighth year running the celebration that precedes the Fourth of July. More than 100 volunteers support her leadership efforts. Capretta is proud that every year, the festival grows, and new events come about.
“I love just being down here, with the atmosphere of all the kids, and people from the community,” she explained. “We want everyone to have an opportunity for affordable fun. The people you meet, the community coming together to support this, and the ways we make an impact on local teams by raising money, makes all the work worth it in the end.”
As in past years, a variety of fun, familial activities will be available, with a fireworks display Saturday after sunset.
Friday kicks off with a Rock Hunt, where participants will uncover hidden rocks around the park. Prizes are available on site, and other winners will be entered in a larger drawing set for the end of July.
A new game called GellyBall will debut Friday evening, with children ages 5-13 enjoying a free-play version with gel-filled balls similar to paint ball. Glow in the dark capture flag will take place from 9-11 p.m., for those ages 13 and up.
Games and inflatables will also be set up Friday from 5 p.m. to dusk, with a variety of food vendors — the most in memory, with returnees and new options, per Capretta — also operating. Weather permitting, the Heise Park pool, will be open from 1 to 7 p.m.
A popular family-friendly movie on a 20-foot screen is set to close out the festival’s first day.
Saturday’s activities include a craft show, car and cycle show, games, and live bands throughout. The Galion History Center will offer tours of their 200-year-old log cabin in the park in the early afternoon.
The cornhole tournament is returning this year, too. Saturday’s celebration will also include a parade at 1, a cake walk from 2 to 8 p.m., and eating contests.
The Galion High School alumni softball game, sand volleyball, and basketball are also on tap for Saturday.
The Crazy Gringos and Galion Community Band will entertain spectators throughout the evening.
The holiday weekend closes with frisbee golf Sunday at Amicks Reservoir, south of town.
For registration, additional information and any schedule updates, please visit the festival’s Facebook page.