Bull Thistle Festival in Fayette this weekend 7.30

Written by David Green.

First comes the comedy, then the music, then the dancers.

Those three acts should fill the bleachers Saturday at Fayette’s Royal Bull Thistle Festival. The entertainment events, along with food, arts and crafts sales, will all be located in the shade of the village’s Normal Memorial Grove park near the school.

Mike Hemmelgarn leads off the entertainment at 1 p.m. Hemmelgarn is an accomplished ventriloquist, but that’s just the start of his talents. With the help of his puppets and juggling skills, he’ll have children and adults alike in stitches with his humor that appeals to all ages.

The northwest Ohio bluegrass group Hand Hewn follows at 2 p.m. and they’ll give a repeat show at 4 p.m. Their visit to Fayette is a repeat, also, since they performed a few years ago at the Bull Thistle Festival.

Band leader Jerry Eicher of Delta is joined by fiddle player Brenda Holdridge, upright bass player Don Pawlicki, banjoist Dorn Wells and mandolin player Jimmy Thompson. Eicher plays guitar.

Hand Hewn goes beyond bluegrass to perform folk, gospel and old-timey tunes. They’ve performed together for eight years and have played in a variety of venues, including colonial days reënactments dressed in clothes of the period.

“You talk about fun,” Eicher said, “we have it.”

The Turkey Foot Trotters square dance group will take over the stage at  3 p.m., before the return of Hand Hewn.

OTHER EVENTS—The first festival-related event is scheduled from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday with the annual ice cream social sponsored by the United Methodist Church. A full dinner will also be served and a free-will donation will be charged.

On Saturday morning, the Fayette American Legion will sponsor a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. to raise funds for the Fulton County Red Cross.

Before filling up, runners and walkers can participate in the Fayette Athletic Boosters’ first “5K 4 the Fields,” an event designed to bring in money for athletic fields at the new school. The event is planned at the track, south of the high school.

Registration begins at 7 a.m., a one-mile fun run at 7:45 a.m. and the 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. For those not registered, T-shirts will be available on race day while supplies last.

The annual parade will head out from the Church of the Nazarene parking lot at 11 a.m. and the chicken barbecue begins in the Grove at noon.

Bull thistle judging is scheduled at 1 p.m. to determine the winner of the coveted Golden Hoe award, and the park will be filled with displays by artists, crafters and food vendors. Inflatable games will be set up for the kids and a pedal tractor pull is planned.

A softball tournament will be played throughout the weekend, the S.A.K. three-on-three basketball tournament begins at 1 p.m. and a classic car show is scheduled at the track.

The day ends with the annual fireworks show from Phantom Fireworks. The event begins around 10 p.m. at Harrison Lake.

The final event of the weekend takes place at  10:45 a.m. Sunday with the community church service in the Grove.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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