With unusually harsh rains being the norm for the last several weekends, it appears London’s getting a reprieve just in time for the Rib and Jazz Festival.
Andrea Litchfield, a spokesperson for the festival, said the set up was a bit rough on Thursday, due to high winds and heavy rains, but that didn’t deter anyone, especially the food vendors.
“I will say last night was a challenge, but the great thing about this festival is how passionate everyone who is here,” she said. “Our Rib Burners picked up their signs, brushed off their tents and went right back to smoking up barbecue. We really weathered the weather.”
Despite some early rains, Friday eventually had sunny skies and a decent turnout as the afternoon continued on.
London resident Johnie Crawford didn’t mind riding his bicycle from his home near Walmart to downtown London Friday afternoon to take in the music and food of the annual London Rib and Jazz Festival, despite the weather at the time and the traffic.
“I just came down here to see what all is going on; to get in the mood,” he said under one of the tents while waiting for the rain to subside.
“It’s less crowded now to get some food,” he added. Crawford, who works at Madison Health, has been to the Rib and Jazz Festival in past years and says he loves the food and the music.
“Today’s my birthday so I thought I’d bike down here and get some food, probably from Wilson’s,” he said. “I like the festival because it seems to liven up the town.”
Mayor Pat Closser said the afternoon’s weather wasn’t going to change for day two.
“It’s going to be beautiful, sunny and a great time,” he said.
Litchfield added that she heard it was going to stay at a comfortable 75 degrees all day.
“Saturday is our busiest day here,” she said. “There will be a lot of events for kids and families I think people will really enjoy.”
Events on Saturday kick off at 11 a.m. with live music running from noon until close at 11 p.m.
A bit before that a bike ride and a 5k run will start at around 9 and 10:30 a.m. respectively.
The kids activities Litchfield mentioned start up at noon.
• Touch-A-Truck, located in the public parking lot near the corner of Main and Second streets, where young children can see all sort of local emergency vehicles up close. Cars and trucks from the London Police Department, London Division of Fire, Madison County Emergency Medical District and Madison County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand.
• Dr. Insecta, who will be traveling all around the festival with giant spiders on his lab coat.
• The Ohio Wildlife Center will be presenting a live animal showcase at the Revive Baptist Church, 61 S. Main St. Free cotton candy and face painting will also be available.
Later on at night, relieve your stress on local politicians, community leaders as they fall into a dunk tank for the festival’s Dunk-A-Dignitary, which will be open from 4:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday in front of the church.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, or on Twitter @msfkwiat. Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.