The 2012 five days of fun kicks off on Wednesday, July 4, with Family Day, starting with the 8 a.m. Fishing Derby. Old-fashioned fun for everyone continues throughout the day with frog jumping and turtle racing contests, parent and child sack races and hoop shoot, then a Big Wheel race for the youngest set. A wiffleball tournament at 3 is the tail end of the actual festival opening, with the plate auction at 4, and the ever popular Dominic Greco Band and The Half Fast Band rounding out the evening. And that’s just day one. Of course, the midway will be open all week long, too.
Thursday is Senior Citizen Day, although there is plenty to do for any age. A Bocce tournament, bingo, and Senior Citizens Talent Show as well as ‘oldies but goodies’ at noon from the F-Troup band are sure to keep things humming throughout the day, with The Urban Dance Factory giving a 5 p.m. performance and the wildly entertaining Phil-N-The-Blanks from 7-10.
Royalty rules on Friday, as the Queens Luncheon brings in dazzling young women who represent festivals from all over the state of Ohio. First Town Days reigning Queen Amanda Guzik will step down and hand over her reign to her successor.
“The Queen’s pageant itself will be held on Friday, June 29, at 7 p.m. in the Welty Middle School auditorium,” stated Debbie Henry, who is coordinating the pageant for the first time this year, as long-time pageant coordinator “Miss Judy” Miller steps down from that role after years of faithful service. Miller will continue to work with the queens in other capacities, however.
July 6 activities really ramp up as the traditional First Town Days Parade rolls through town at 6:30 p.m., with all of the pageantry of marching bands, twirling batons, dogs, horses, clowns, queens’ cars, floats, and, of course, lots and lots of candy for kids of every age. After the parade, the Stockdale Family Band will take to the stage, from 8-11, with their bluegrass/humor style, which will have their audience tapping their toes and feeling the urge to jump to their feet and do the two-step.
Saturday sees plenty of sporting activities with a 5K Run and Junior Superstars contests. Of course, there is also the classic City vs. County softball game, with the first batter stepping up to the plate at 9 a.m.
“I think it’s going to be a tie. It’s an election year,” predicted Tuscarawas County Commissioner Chris Abbuhl. “There are very talented athletes on both sides and I’m looking forward to seeing who comes out the winner.” Abbuhl noted that he is already obligated to the Great River Race on the Tuscarawas River that day, so he won’t be able to add his skills to the team’s efforts.
The cuteness factor takes center stage at the 10:30 a.m. Baby Contest for little ones from birth to age 4.
“It’s such a popular contest that we can only take preregistrations,” advised Henry.
Entry forms and fees for this and all other contests, as well as the festival schedule, can be found on the festival website at www.firsttowndays.com.
Men’s Legs and Pie Eating contests are later Saturday, with a performance by Mr. Speed and a gigantic fireworks display in the evening. Sunday starts with church services, and rolls along with a cruise in and a talent show, plus Scott Miller and Friends and band LaFlavour to close out yet another great First Town Days Festival.
Published: June 26, 2012