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FOREST — The 2012 Tree Town Festival is slated July 6, 7 and 8 in Gormley Park located on Mary Street in Forest.
The main food pavilion and other food booths will open at 5 p.m. Friday, July 6 in Gormley Park. The favorite homemade chicken and noodles will be available at the main food pavilion, operated by all local volunteers, as well as curly fries and sandwiches at the “Greasy Spoon.” Many other food booths with a variety of festival fare will also be available. Festivities will continue to kick off with a parade at 6:30 p.m. led by parade grand marshals, Henry “Hank” and Audrey Hemmerly and the Community Spirit Award winner, Forest Christian Preschool. Opening ceremonies will be held immediately after the parade at the Gormley Park front entrance where the winners of the festival king, queen, princess, and baby contests will be announced. In addition, the memory of Tammy Latham will be honored at the opening ceremonies.
Kenton Elks 157 bingo, casino, and Durant rides will all open after the parade.
Other events for the evening will include the Eighth Annual Classic Car and Truck Cruise-In Rally Tree Town Trot 5K run, a U.S.S.S.A. Softball “E” Qualifier men’s softball tournament, Wilson Football Museum demonstrations, a Shotokan Demonstration by the Hitotsu Karate School and “The Tree Town Idol” karaoke contest for ages 18 and over. Contestants interested in entering the “Idol” contest should contact Rhonda Melroy to register and contest rules. The first prize is $250, second $100 and third is $50. From 8 to 11 p.m., “After the Fall” will perform on the small stage-center park.
On Saturday, July 7 the festival will open at 8 a.m. with several sporting events. The softball tournament will continue along with 3 on 3 basketball, 4 on 4 volleyball, horseshoes, and corn hole tournaments. In addition, for children ages three through 16, there will be a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1182 fishing derby 9 to 10:30 a.m.. From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Hardin County Museum will host kids games at the log cabin. The Forest Farmer’s Market, located at the Jackson-Forest Library, will hold a poster contest for children and the winning posters will be displayed at the festival the rest of the event. Participants in the poster contest should create their poster ahead of time and submit it by 10 a.m July 7 at the Farmers Market location behind the library. Other morning activities include a demonstration by the Hardin County YMCA cheerleading and gymnastics on the main stage at 11 a.m.
A new contest Tree Town Festival presents “Kids Got Talent” for children ages four through 17 will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 25 contestants will perform in round one with the top three from that round performing for a second time for the top three prizes. Single contestants or groups of no more than four will be accepted. Each contestant or group will have four minutes to perform any talent like singing, dancing, comedy, etc. All contestants must have a parent or guardians sign a consent/rules and regulations prior to the contest. First place is a $100 Wal-Mart gift card, second place – $50 card, and third place -$ 25 card. Please provide us with any music needed to perform as soon as possible. Call Jolene Kearns at 419-273-1471 to pre-register for the contest. Registration will also be available prior to contest from 10 to 10:30 a.m. if slots are available.
Another new demonstration this year will be by PT Reptiles of Columbus from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the small stage center park. This is a hands-on, up close and personal education on reptiles and other animals for all ages
Durant Amusements Rides also open at noon with a “Ride All the Rides for One Fee of $12” special until 5 p.m. Saturday. The usual favorites will be back including the National Kiddies Tractor Pull ages 3-8, the Hardin County Sheriff Office K-9 demonstration, and the Whitaker Brothers. Additionally the barbeque chicken and rib dinners will be available beginning at 4:30 p.m. and they are cooked on-site.
Cow Patty Bingo will be held again at 2 p.m. Saturday with two cows roaming the grid. Each cow will “deposit” a patty worth $500, therefore each ticket is good for two chances to win the $500. Tickets are $5 apiece and are available from all Forest firefighters and emergency medical service members. You may also find them for sale at Forest business or by calling Monica Farthing at 419-458-1300.
“Festival Feud” and “Tree Town Festival Let’s Make a Deal” will also return. The “Festival Feud” entry is at least one festival drawing ticket purchased at registration time of the game. Each ticket purchased for the game enrollment is put into a hamper and contestants are chosen by the festival royalty drawing out tickets. Contestants may purchase as many entry tickets as desired, thus increasing the chances of being drawn to participate in the game. The Feud will be giving away many gift cards total value of almost $1500. This year “Let’s Make a Deal” will award over $5,000 in cash and prizes. The contestant fee for Let’s Make a Deal” is a purchase of 10 festival tickets. Contestants are encouraged to dress the part and bring all their “goodies” to trade with the host. The host will be asking for many Forest items to trade. Contestants are also reminded that when they purchase their 10 tickets at the ticket booth, they need to ask for their entry party hat at the time of purchase. The committee cannot give out the hat later if the purchaser leaves the ticket stand without the hat. All the tickets purchased for the “Festival Feud” and “Let’s Make a Deal” will go into the festival drawing for the on-ground prizes and Big Money Draw on Saturday evening.
Food, bingo, rides, entertainment, on-ground prize drawings and games will be available throughout the festival on Friday and Saturday. At 10:30 p.m. Saturday, there will be a fireworks display and after the fireworks, a Big Money Draw for $200, $400 and $600 will be held.
On Sunday, July 8, the “7th Annual Community Church in the Park” will feature special guest speaker Kevin Malarkey, author of “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.” Seating is available, but people are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs. In the event of rain, church service will be held in the all weather pavilion. From noon to 1 p.m., lunch will be available. Music will be provided by the community choir.
For the general safety concerns, the festival committee asked that attendees follow all event rules including no dogs or bicycles allowed in Gormley Park. In addition, please follow all parking and street closed signs posted for the public’s well being. Law enforcement officers will be present during the festival to provide security.
The festival is sponsored by the Forest Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service. Proceeds will be used to offset the cost to replace out-dated cardiac monitors/defibrillators. $60,000 is needed for the upgrades and the fund currently has $9,000.
For more information about the festival, call the department at 419-273-2520. Additionally, search “Tree Town Festival” at www.facebook.com for a complete agenda and specific times.