Pickle Run Festival starts Saturday; there’s still time to get involved

GALION — As the countdown to the Pickle Run Festival draws closer, Sarah Capretta says she’s living on caffeine and chaos.

She’s only partially kidding.

Three years ago, Capretta who also is the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator for the Galion/Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce, is the person most responsible for bringing the Pickle Run Festival back to life.

The third edition of the long-time Galion festival — dormant for more than a decade — is Saturday and Sunday.

The festival’s home is Heise Park, but there are Pickle Run events in other parts of the community, including Amick Reservoir, where a popular disc-golf tournament will take place Sunday, and Historic Uptowne Galion, where Galion Community Theatre will be open for some special events, including a free movie for kids Saturday at 3 p.m.

On Monday afternoon, Capretta was going through a long list of items that must be done before, during and after the festival.

“Just being sure everything is order, making sure everyone has all the help they need,” she said.

“The one thing we can’t control is the weather,” Capretta said as she checked out weather.com on her work computer and phone. “Right now, they’re saying a 50 percent chance of scattered showers on Saturday and a 20 percent chance Sunday. I hope they’re really scattered and just miss us all together.”

The festival begins Saturday morning with a triathlon that starts at the YMCA and ends in Heise Park. It culminates Sunday evening with the city’s annual fireworks show, also at Heise Park.

“There seems to be some confusion about the fireworks,” Capretta said. “They are at Heise Park, just as they’ve always been. They are not at the reservoir.”

There are however a few changes this year.

The festival band stand will be set up on the far west end of Heise Park, further away from the baseball field. The music will be funneled toward the remainder of the festivities. Local artisans selling crafts and other items will be set up near the log cabin across Heise Park Lane. On the main drag will be more food vendors than last year and more inflatable “bounce houses” and most of the “game” events.

There also has been a change in sponsors for Sunday morning’s Pickle Run Festival Car Show. After the original sponsor bailed out a couple weeks ago, Capretta put out a call for volunteers and the response was more than she anticipated. She’s especially proud of the dashboard plaques that will be given out this year. The design hearkens back to the original days of the Pickle Run Festival.

Although dozens of volunteers are already signed up to help run certain events, there is always a need for more. For example, more volunteers are needed for the dunk tank being operated by the Galion PTO.

“They don’t only need volunteers to help them run the dunk tank,” Capretta joked. “They need volunteers to get dunked.”

For a more detailed list of events, schedules, contests and games, visit the Pickle Run Festival Facebook page or visit www.PickleRunFestival.com on the internet. Also included on those sites are links to every game, contest and competition planned this weekend.

And there is till time to register and get in on the fun and games.

Events include Cornhole; punt, pass and kick competition; a home-run derby; a fun run for kids Saturday morning that coincides with the triathlon and a 5k run. There also are volleyball tournaments for kids and adults, basketball tournaments and more. As of Monday afternoon, there was a need for more teams for both tournaments. Check the website or Facebook page for information.

“I’m very excited,” Capretta said. “I just hope the weather cooperates.”

Annual festival includes two days of family fun


By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer



Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at [email protected] with comments or story ideas.