Downtown fest taking shape

Last Saturday, Cheryl Radin-Norman spent a few hours with a booth at the Downtown Tiffin Farmers’ Market and Melody Snyder took up a similar post at the Flag City Balloon Fest. The two women were getting out the word about the Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival, set for Sept. 20-22.

“We’ve also been doing the flea market, and we’ve been getting a really good response,” Radin-Norman said. “We’re still raffling off our balloon ride, so what better place to sell tickets than the balloon festival?”

The drawing for a hot air balloon ride was a popular feature at the 2012 event, so the committee has brought it back for this year. Raffle tickets for the ride can be purchased in advance for $10 each at the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce. The balloon is to be set up on Courthouse Square Saturday prior to the raffle. Weather permitting, the winner will lift off from there at 5 p.m. for an air tour of Tiffin. When the balloon returns to the square, it is to be lighted for an evening “glow.”


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“We’re also having our lantern launch again on Friday, so if anybody wants to do that, they have to contact the United Way,” Snyder said.

As previously reported, the festival has added a new event, “The Amazing Race.” It is to run 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 21, with the top two teams facing off for a prize. The entry fee is $10 per team. While contestants are driving around the county, other people can participate in a different kind of race with GoTeamRacing, a micro stock car race track that is to be set up Saturday and Sunday in The Ritz Theatre block.

“Our most exciting news is we have the Harlem Globetotters as the grand marshal of our parade. They are playing for a fundraiser for Kiwanis that night at Columbian High School,” Radin-Norman said.

“They’re going to do an hour meet and greet. We’re just not sure where it is yet,” Snyder added.

Antique tractors that appear in the parade are to be parked on Frost Parkway for viewing. In the same area, the Tiffin T-Squares are to give a square dancing demonstration. Churches, community groups and businesses are to set up tables with information and displays. Vendors are to be able to park their vehicles on Monroe Street and ride a shuttle back to their booths.

“We have people coming back who have been here for 30 years, and new people, as well,” Radin-Norman said. “We’re still open to any community group that may want to be part of it.”

Snyder has been making personal visits to invite groups and individuals to participate. The fees for booth space have been lowered this year to thank long-time participants. The smaller spaces cost $35 for two days. The craft area is to be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The vendors will have jewelry, needlework, framed art, home business merchandise, crafts, produce and other items. Community Hospice Care is to sell ducks at $10 each for the 12th annual Hospice Waddle at 5 p.m. Sunday. The prizes are $3,000, $300 and $30 cash, respectively. Some university groups also have signed up to conduct fundraisers.

Just around the corner, at 28 Clay Street, the Seneca County Museum is to be open 1-4 p.m. both days. The 1913 Flood exhibit remains on view, and the Tiffin Heritage Quilt Club is to have members’ handiwork on display. Outdoors, see antique fire equipment Saturday and antique automobiles Sunday.

Heidelberg University is providing the Frost Parkway stage for live entertainment.

“We have Hopewell-Loudon band playing from 1-2 p.m., and we have kids’ karaoke coming back this year. Along with that, we’re going to have the Girl Scouts doing their own mini-festival from 3-6 p.m.,” Snyder said.

“We are also bringing the royalty down to Frost Parkway. … We’re going to decorate the gazebo and have them there so people can see them,” Radin-Norman said. “They’re doing a luncheon for the visiting queens and princesses from other festivals and fairs that day.”

Children can play games and make their own art and crafts projects at the Kids’ Korner, sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank, try the Gottfried Pony Rides or check out the bicycle display at Bunky’s Bike Shop. Other activities Saturday include a cornhole tournament noon-6 p.m. and a kiddie tractor pull, conducted by Buckeye Pedal Pullers, in the Madison Block of South Washington Street.

Snyder has booked Rock & Roll Outlaws for Friday’s downtown entertainment at Lot 7. Saturday’s line-up includes Brazin’ Bull, MARS, the Mongrels and Electric Circus. Nashville Crush has the stage Sunday.

The festival’s independent car show is to take place Sunday in The Ritz block. Snyder has been stopping at local car shows to pass out fliers for the event. There are four categories for the judging and the People’s Choice award.

“You can have classics, you can have klunkers, anything you want that has four wheels,” Snyder said. “On Sunday, we’re also going to have our charity pie-eating contest again.”

Charities who want to participate will need to contact Snyder and find a volunteer “eater” for the competition, set for 2-3 p.m. Also, the pet parade is planned for 3-4 p.m. Sunday. The vendors will be asked to judge the pets as they march along Frost Parkway.

“We’re looking for volunteers for anything,” Snyder said. “If anybody who would like to sponsor anything, like Lot 7, they’ll get a banner for their business. Any business that makes a donation or sponsorship will be recognized with free advertising.”

To volunteer, donate, or sponsor part of the festival, email heritagefesti or contact Radin-Norman, (567) 220-6079 or Snyder at (419) 618-9950. For event updates, visit the Heritage Festival Facebook page or its website,