Despite grey skies, Madison County’s first Independence Day festival started without a hitch.
Mount Sterling is kicking off this year’s Fourth of July celebration with it’s Community Days Festival which began on Friday.
Activities at Veterans Park, 24 N. High St., near the Mt. Sterling Community Center, started at noon with rides and games opening at noon. Other events started around 2 p.m. such as children’s games and painting activities.
A chili cook off started at 4 p.m. The event was sponsored by Mount Sterling-based Jay Car Construction along with Buckeye Ready Mix and HD Supply White Cap. Four contestants entered this year’s contest and were judged by Lisa Schwartz of Jay Car, Vern Flowers of Buckeye Ready Mix and David Leake of HD Supply. Tara Harrington, contestant number one, won the champion award for her classic style chili. Best presentation went to contestant number two, Tom May with his Louisiana style no bean and beef brisket chili. Jessica Noe, contestant three with her spicy chili and corn muffins won the people’s choice award.
Meanwhile, Saturday is full events as well.
The festival Saturday, starts at 10 a.m. with the same rides and games. Concurrently, the James Cotton Football camp for grade school-aged children will begin, featuring former pro-NFL and OSU players helping over 100 kids improve their play.
The camp was funded entirely by an anonymous donor and local business such as Keihin Thermal, the Sunoco Gas station on Columbus Street and the American Legion Post 417, an act praised by the village’s government.
The Dairy Freeze will be holding a car show and raffle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m and a street market will run nearby the business running down London Street until 7 p.m.
The Timmons brothers, Council member Dave and his brother John, a South Carolina based college professor, will be holding a rock ‘n’ roll trivia show at the community center at 2 p.m. which they put on every year with help from their friends Steve Chambers and Angela McFarland. The group were getting ready for on Friday for Saturday’s show.
“We take these just as seriously as we have fun with them,” said Dave. “So we like to get everything ready early.”
The trivia shows started in 2008 at the Community Days Festival after Dave did a Star Wars trivia show. Both have a passion for ’60s rock, especially the Beatles, which John teaches a class on.
“I always told John we should do a rock ‘n’ roll trivia show, that was finally the catalyst,” said Dave.
“You know, when he did the Star Wars show, there was big crowd,” added John. “I figured, ‘oh why not, if this gets a crowd something a bit more mainstream would get a lot more people.’”
Since then it’s been a hit and the brothers have traveled across the country with their non-competitive jeopardy-style show, which features some prizes.
“Our main thing is to make it both educational and fun,” said John. “We don’t ask the sort of questions like ‘oh what kind of car did John Lennon drive’ or other obscure things. That makes people leave.”
Towards the evening, a parade will run through the village, starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by a laser light show at 9:45 p.m.
Other festivals include West Jefferson’s Streetfest, which starts on Sunday, July 2 near the village’s downtown, on South Center and Pearl streets at 1 p.m. and ends after the fireworks on Tuesday, July 4 at 10 p.m. London will be holding celebrations at London High School on 336 Elm St. Monday, starting at 6:30 p.m. with a parade Monday morning at 11 a.m. running through downtown’s Main Street.
Plain City’s celebrations will occur Tuesday at Pastime Park on 334-350 N. Chillicothe St. at 3 p.m. featuring a parade and evening fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.