Pickle Run 2016 is just two weeks away and family-friendly events are planned for the Fourth of July Weekend festivities.
The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, in Heise Park. Before the Galion Graders baseball game, Sarah Hider of Wooster, who was crowned Miss Ohio 2015, will sing the National Anthem. The winner of the Pickle Run essay contest will be announced and throw the first pitch. Also, teens can head to the Heise Park pool from 7- to 9 p.m. for swimming and a live DJ.
Pickle Run continues on Saturday with the Galion YMCA’s triathlon. Participants will be divided into several age categories. The YMCA will hold separately its 34th annual 5K run, with the $5 registration benefitting local church programs. A kids’ fun run will follow.
Punt, Pass and Kick returns at 11 a.m. and is open to boys and girls ages 6-15. Owen Mullins was last year’s winner, and he went on to compete at First Energy Stadium (home of the Cleveland Browns) and won in his age division.
Another returning event is Anything Goes, which is being organized by Jeanie Rinehart and members of Galion Gracepoint. More teams are being sought for the event.
“I am excited to see Pickle Run making a comeback as an annual event in Galion,” Rinehart said. “I remember watching teams compete in the Anything Goes competition as a child and being surprised and amazed at seeing adults being silly and having so much fun!”
Other Saturday events include a sand volleyball tournament, 3-on-3 basketball, corn hole tournament, family movie night, and a Galion Graders game.
On Sunday, don’t forget the Pancake Breakfast from 9-11 a.m., presented by HomeCare Matters. The Galion Senior Center will host its Car and Cycle Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Last year we had over 100 entries for our show. We are hoping to increase that amount this year,” Center Director Danita Holbrook said. “This is an important fund raiser for the Galion Senior Center as we receive no federal, state, county or city funding. All proceeds benefit the Center to help provide a place for older adults to enjoy activities and socialization.”
Registration for the 2nd Annual Pickle Run Disc Golf Tournament is already full. The course is located at Amann Reservoir and will have 96 golfers competing in the all-day event.
There will also be a parade open to all groups and businesses; applications are due by June 27. The parade begins at 2 p.m. and will proceed down Church Street to Gill Avenue to Heise Park Lane. Kids are welcome to decorate their bicycles and ride them in the parade! Prizes will be awarded for best decorations.
On both Saturday and Sunday from 12-8 p.m., local organizations are invited to set up fund raising or informational booths at the festival. Several new and returning food vendors have committed to participating in this year’s festival as well.
A special addition to the weekend is “The Eyes of Freedom.” Galion Community Theatre, 127 Harding Way West, will display this memorial of The Lima Company with help from the Galion Historical Society and the American Legion. The life-size portraits created by artist Anita Miller depict the 23 fallen soldiers of Lima Company 3/25, one of the hardest hit units in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The display will be open on July 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and July 3 from 1-6 p.m.
The weekend will conclude Sunday evening with Galion’s annual fireworks display. Rain date is set for Sept. 4.
“We are excited about this year with all the added activities. We hope this is a successful year for all groups,” Festival Organizer Sarah Capretta said.
Tax deductible donations toward festival expenses may be made to: Galion Community Foundation, 135 Harding Way West, Galion. Please write “Pickle Run” in the memo line of the check. For more information or to get registration forms, visit the Pickle Run website at www.picklerunfestival.com.