People generally think of Fayette’s Royal Bull Thistle Festival as starting at 11 a.m. Saturday with the parade through town. True, that’s when things really get going, but back up a few hours.
The weekend starts with the United Methodist Church ice cream social from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Fayette Opera House. Guests are welcome to purchase ice cream or go with a full dinner, followed by dessert.
Next on the agenda is the Fayette American Legion pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday.
Runners might want to hold off on the pancakes until after the Athletic Boosters’ 5K run/walk that starts at 8 a.m. on the track on Eagle Street, across from the library.
Race day registration costs $20 and $10 for those six and under. Proceeds go to a fund for the construction of athletic facilities at the school.
Arts and crafts vendors will begin setting up in Normal Grove park at 9 a.m. Several new crafters will participate this year. In addition, members of the Black Swamp Artists Guild will have a variety of works displayed for sale. Several members will give demonstrations.
The annual chicken barbecue follows the parade, and several other food options will be available in the park, from Thistle Burgers to milk shakes.
Popular Northwest Ohio performer Bob Wurst will sing on the stage at 1 and 3 p.m. Wurst is a solo act now, but he still delivers the same country music standards that he’s performed for decades.
Just before the classic rock band Signature takes the stage at 2 p.m., a Bull Thistle Look-Alike contest is planned in front of the stage. Audience applause will determine the winner of $50.
When Wurst begins his first song, John Marlatt will lead a team of judges to determine the best bull thistles entered in the annual competition. Prizes include the Golden Hoe and the Frank Wilson Memorial Trophy.
Softball and three-on-three basketball tournaments are scheduled throughout the day, and children will have some fun in a variety of giant inflatable toys.
Down the hill from the park, the annual classic car show will be set up on the track. The day will end with a fireworks show by Phantom Fireworks at Harrison Lake State Park.
For one final event, a community church service is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the Grove.