GALION — Fresh off the heels of another successful Pickle Run Festival, organizer Sarah Capretta continues to fine tune the popular event she helped resurrect three years ago.
“We’ll have a wrap-up meeting soon and talk about what went right, what worked and what didn’t work,” she said. “And then we will make adjustments.”
The festival started Saturday, July 1, under dreary skies and light rain, but soon the weather cleared and hundreds of Galion area relatives and their families made their way to Heise Park for two days of family-oriented fun.”
“We always going to keep this as something for the families,” she said. “That was the idea, to give kids and families something to do during the summer, and to help different groups raise a little money along the way.”
From a triathlon, to a kids run on Saturday morning, to Sunday’s car show, disc-golf tournament and the fireworks finale, there were dozens of activities for Galionites to enjoy a little mid-summer fun.
“What’s gotten better is that more people and more groups are stepping in to help run this thing,” she said. “Bu now they’ve done it for a couple years. They know what to expect. They’re getting their own volunteers and they have a pretty good idea what the weekend is going to be like.”
Capretta, who joked that she was running on “caffeine and chaos” during the week leading up to the festival, said as the support and volunteerism increase, her jobs gets a little easier.
And she’s already thinking about next year.
“Do we add some things? Are there some events that weren’t as popular as we hoped that we can do different … or maybe not do at all? Is it too difficult for families to get down here two days in a row for events? Would it be easier if it were just a one-day event? Those are all things we will discuss as we go forward,” Capretta said.
Changes this year included more food vendors and more “bounce houses” in the midway. Also, the entertainment stage was moved to the west end of Heise Park.
“Hypersound Entertainment did a great job. They were very pleased. We had 11 food trailers this year. We already heard from a lot who can’t wait to come back next year,” Capretta said. “The PTO dunk tank did great. The basketball tournaments were popular, and even when they ended, there were people playing on the courts during the festival. There also are people using the sand volleyball courts. A lot of people had a really good time.”
No festival goes off without any hitches, and this one had a few hiccups, including a fireworks display that almost didn’t get off the ground because the truck used to transport the aerial display got stuck in the mud in the field behind the girls softball field. But some heavy equipment showed up to get the truck out of the muck and the fireworks — despite a late start because the Galion Graders’ game went long — were as popular as always.”
“The community support has gotten better each year and I’m very grateful for that,” Capretta said. “Each year there are more people and groups and organizations asking how they can be a part of Pickle Run. It has always been a ‘community event’ and more people are seeking to get involved each year.”