Morenci Town and Country Festival starts this week 2012.06.27

Written by David Green.

Entertainment gets underway at 5 p.m. Thursday at Wakefield Park to kick off the 2012 Town and Country Festival.

Thursday

The Mini-Bulldog Cheerleaders will perform at 5 p.m. and that also marks the opening of the carnival rides and the Eagles beer tent. Carnival rides and the beer tent continue Friday and Saturday.

Another festival-long event is a series of Bingo games at the back shelter house.  Jody Pummell will call the numbers again this year, and parking is available by taking the drive off Salisbury Street by the city garage.

In addition to a variety of musical acts (see related story), the stage will be home to the Festival Royalty Contest at 6 p.m. Thursday. Organizer Jodi Kruse is pleased to have 17 contestants signed up among four divisions—prince, princess, sweetheart and queen. Three candidates will compete for the title of festival queen.

Also at 6 p.m., the Morenci cheerleaders will open their dunk tank. Cheerleaders will appear in the tank on Thursday and Friday, with guests scheduled on Saturday.

What began as a impromptu contest  a couple of years ago is now a festival mainstay: the old guys vs. young guys softball game scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Friday

At 7 p.m. Friday, the Morenci Fire Department will present a demonstration of what can happen when drivers are distracted by sending text messages.

A corn hole tournament also gets underway at 7 p.m., along with the festival men’s softball tournament. Sign up for corn hole at the festival information booth. The cost is $30 per team and the winners will receive $200.

Saturday

The annual car show organizes at 9 a.m. Saturday on city property across from the park. A 5K run and fun walk is also scheduled at 9 a.m., leaving and finishing at the park.

The festival parade leaves the high school at 11 a.m. Bring your bag to collect candy and the free items given away by politicians in this election year parade.

Morenci’s Athletic Booster will begin their chicken barbecue after the parade, serving from the park concession stand.  

Registration for the festival poker run is scheduled to start at noon at the west end of the park. The cost is $10 for a single rider and $15 for a pair.

Guests begin entering the dunk tank at noon with mayor Keith Pennington. Kerry Nieman takes over at 1 p.m., followed by Bronson DiCenso at 2 p.m., Brandon DiCenso at 3 p.m., Matt Bostick at 4 p.m., Joe Farquhar at 6 p.m. and Jim Bauer at 7 p.m.

A pedal tractor pull is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. and a dodgeball tournament begins at 3 p.m. Four teams have said they will participate, but organizer Jodi Kruse will take registrations up until the event begins.

The Lost Nations Rodeo returns to the back of Wakefield Park at 7 p.m. and the annual fireworks display begins around 10:30. As of Monday, the fireworks fund was still short about $900. Donations should be taken to Rural Urban Insurance. 

That leaves a return to the entertainment stage with the final act of the festival, rapper HiZe.

 

Entertainment

There’s no battle of the bands at this year’s Town and Country Festival, but don’t fret. That doesn’t indicate a lack of live music.

Music organizer Kent Deatrick is convinced this year’s festival provides a great lineup of entertainment that will appeal to a range of listeners.

He was working on a seventh act, but funds and stage time left him with six performances—one on Thursday, two on Friday and three on Saturday.

State Line Jazz Band

The State Line Jazz Band takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday to open the festival entertainment schedule. The group performed at the park last September and return with mostly the same line-up of musicians.

Brothers Mark, Terry and Dean Pennington will be joined by Jamie Clark and Mark Gibbs of Morenci, plus Paul Maybe of Brooklyn. In addition, Shaye Pennington will provide vocals on several numbers.

The group plays a variety of songs, mostly instrumental, covering a wide range of well-known artists—all with a jazz flavor.

Border Town Band

Two groups are on the docket for Friday, starting off with Scott Thompson’s Border Town Band at 5 p.m. 

Look for a range of classic rock from the band, along with country, blues and gospel tunes.

Thompson, the vocalist and bass player, is joined by instrumentalist Dusty Lead, keyboardist John Garrow and drummer and trumpet player Josh Steinmetz.

Sour Slam

At 8 p.m. Friday, Fayette’s Sour Slam brings their high-energy show to the stage. The group proved popular at the Fayette Music Fest last year.

Rick Bailey and Randy Sentle started playing together as teenagers, and they got together a couple of years ago to form Sour Slam. They’re joined by Matt Carnicom of Fayette and Dave Perez of Stryker.

The band will perform two hours of classic rock.

Genevieve Rose

Genevieve Randall has often shared the stage with her sister, Madeline, (the Randall Sisters), but she’ll be on the stage alone at 5 p.m. Saturday to present her range of country music tunes.

With and without her sister, she has performed at a variety of locations, and Sunday she will be off to sing at the Lenawee County Heritage Festival.

Mojo Doyle Band

Saturday’s 8 p.m. show marks a homecoming for Stryker resident Rob Rosebrook who serves as guitarist and keyboardist for the Mojo Doyle Band.

Mojo Doyle is a Los Angeles native who now lives in Adrian. Her vocal range allows the band to present a wide variety of tunes, but expect plenty of classic rock and country at the festival performance.

Other band members are Gary St. John of Stryker, Bob Weber of Wauseon, Jason Southwell of Hudson and Bowen Schultz of Defiance. There’s also Tré Doyle, the 10-year-old son of the lead singer who adds fiddle music to the mix. 

HiZe

Morenci rapper Cody Long, who goes by HiZe, won’t be alone on the stage this year when it’s his turn to perform Saturday after the fireworks show.

He has drummer Trevor Lawson of Bryan joining him along with bass player Eric Waldron of Morenci. He also has a lot of new material to present, including some songs that should appeal to a wider audience.

HiZe is expecting C-Fifth of Kiss FM to host the show, along with members of NBC 24 Game Savvy Late Night.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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