Ann Charles to lead Bull Thistle parage 2013.07.31

Books, Boots and Bull Thistles?

Of course there’s an explanation about the theme chosen for this year’s Bull Thistle Festival.

Think Wendy Kunkle, or more appropriately, Ann Charles.

Fayette native Wendy Kunkle, now a Seattle resident, has published several romance mystery novels (there’s the word “books” in the festival theme) and her stories take place in Deadwood where boots are the footwear of choice.

Kunkle, writing under the pseudonym Ann Charles, has agreed to return home this week to serve as the Grand Marshal of the Bull Thistle parade.

The award-winning writer will lead the parade through town at 11 a.m. to kick off the annual summer festival.

Kunkle may be the only published author in the crowd Saturday, but she won’t be the only person with a creative bent. The festival will include an array of art work created by the members of the Bean Creek Community Arts group, along with works produced by local crafters.

Steve Snider will serve as emcee on the festival stage, introducing Fayette graduate Noelle Goodson who will sing at 12:30 p.m., the band Signature—scheduled for performances at 1 and 3 p.m.—Fayette graduate Riley Martin at 2 p.m., and local singer Genevieve (Randall) Rose at 2:15.

Bull thistle judging is set for 1 p.m., arm wrestling will take place, and free kids rides will be offered on the Thistle and Wobble train.

Other events include a petting zoo, a farmers market, a softball tournament and a large array of food, from Thistle Burgers to fresh milkshakes.

The very first event of the weekend begins at  4:30 p.m. Friday with the Methodist church ice cream social and dinner. That’s followed by a 5K run and fun walk at Harrison Lake State Park.

Saturday ends with a fireworks show at Harrison Lake and the final festival event is the outdoor church service in the Grove at 11 a.m. Sunday, followed by a potluck meal.

A schedule of events appears on page 9 of this week’s Observer.