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WHARTON — The 41st annual Wharton Festival will be held Saturday at the village park with a wide variety of events for children and adults.
A 3-on-3 basketball tournament is being sponsored by The First Citizens National Bank, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. The tournament begins at 9 a.m.
The annual village parade will begin at 4 p.m. with WKXA’s “Big Dave” Cross as grand marshal.
A food line opens at 5 p.m. Saturday with the menu consisting of chicken and ham sandwiches, hot dogs, homemade chicken and noodles, baked beans, cole slaw, applesauce, potato salad, pies and cakes. The short-order line will include grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, Arlington’s Terry’s Drive homemade ice cream and Toft’s ice cream. Iced tea, lemonade, soda and water also will be available.
The cost is dependent on what items each person chooses, said Naneen Kotterman, treasurer of the Wharton Park Board.
For the second year, a cornhole tournament will be held at the festival. It begins at 6 p.m.
“(Cornhole) seems to be an interesting thing a lot of people are doing now,” Kotterman said.
Free pony rides at the park are being sponsored by Wharton volunteer firefighters. Hickle Pony Ride LLC, of Mount Blanchard, will provide the ponies.
New this year is “Talent Time,” a karaoke-like event open to anyone who attends the festival. It will be held from 6-10 p.m.
Kotterman said “Talent Time” is not a contest. Participants can be individuals, couples or groups with talents such as vocal, instrumental, comedy, lip-synching and more. All skits must be family-oriented, Kotterman said. A sound system for tapes or CDs will be provided.
“Our church (Wharton Church of God) is loaded with talented people,” Kotterman said. “A lot of people are involved in working, but I’m hoping it goes well.”
“Living Water,” a Christian group from Wharton Church of God, will perform between 6 and 10 p.m.
Kotterman said Northern Kentucky Truck Pulling Association has been the official truck-pulling event at the festival in the past, but this year’s festival will feature the Buckeye State Pedal Pullers. The event is sanctioned and is being sponsored by Koehler’s Garage, with registration beginning at 7 p.m. and the pull beginning at 8 p.m.
Children ages 3-11 pull for free and each child participant will receive a ribbon, Kotterman said. Trophies also will be given for first through third places in each age category for boys and girls ages 4-11. The nationals for the event are held at Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., in September. Winners will be given information about further tournaments, Kotterman said.
Another new feature of this year’s festival is an adult truck pull for ages 12 and older. The registration fee for adults is $5 each and $2.50 goes back to the Wharton Festival, Kotterman said.
She said she hopes many adults and children ages 12 and older will participate.
Air Extreme Events again will provide inflatible equipment for the festival. New this year is a Euro Bungy with trampolines and straps for participants to do flips and jumps.
“(The bungy) was at the (Wyandot) County fair last year,” Kotterman said. “A lot of the park board members saw it and said it had a constant line.”
Nancy Grubbs, who works at the Wharton Post Office, said she has seen small children, bigger children and adults on the bungy. Grubbs said she thought each participant would be given five minutes of fun on the Euro Bungy.
In addition to all of the events being offered, the second annual Wharton Dragons reunion will take place during the festival, Kotterman said. She said 1962 had the last graduating class at Wharton School. All graduates of Wharton School are invited to meet up with class members during the festival.