A major Christian music act will highlight this weekend’s Pettisville Friendship Days, a three-day festival featuring activities for the entire family.
“It’s an event that works to pull the community together,” said Pam Skates, co-chair of the festival.
The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday, with kids’ inflatables and barrel train rides, also available Saturday evening. A family barbecue dinner will be held 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Activities get underway in the evening, with a three-on-three basketball tournament at 5 p.m. and a youth dodgeball tournament at 5:30 p.m. A kids’ silent auction also begins at 5:30 p.m., and a traditional quilt raffle at 8:15 p.m.
Live music will be featured from 5-10 p.m., finishing with Sanctus Real, a national Christian act originating from Toledo. Over the past 20 years, the group has sold 850,000 albums and over one million singles, scored 16 Top 10 radio hits, and earned two Grammy nominations, and won a Gospel Music Association Dove Award.
Preceding the group will be 10 Talents, Pettisville worship band Fight the Good Fight, and the Kevin Bordine Band from Adrian, Mich. Show tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at pettisvillefriendshipdays.org, at Sunday’s Market in Pettisville, and at North Clinton Church in Wauseon.
A crowd of more than 700 concert-goers is anticipated.
Between 7-7:45 a.m. Saturday, participants of the traditional 5K Run and Kids’ 1-Mile Fun Run can register; walk-in entries are welcome. At 8 a.m., the 5K run, which welcomes runners, roller bladers, and walkers, will begin at Sunday’s Market on Main Street in the village, continue around the village, and end in Pettisville Park. The children’s route will be between Main Street and the park.
The day will also begin with a Blackbird Breakfast featuring breakfast sandwiches at from 8-10 a.m.
Activities throughout Saturday will include the Ninth Annual Marvin Wyse Memorial Fishing Derby, a six-man team volleyball tournament, a children’s Pedal Tractor Pull, a cornhole tournament, adult hole-in-one golf, a catered Dinner in the Park between 5-7 p.m., and a visit from Life Flight.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will host an archery trailer, and the department’s Wildlife Division an arcade shooting simulator, both from noon-3 p.m.
A reverse raffle limited to 300 participants will offer cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000, and $500.
Throughout the festival, food concessions and an ice cream sundae bar will be available.
The festivities will close Sunday, June 26, with an 11 a.m. worship service by Pettisville Missionary Church.
Skates said the event is anticipated to draw more than 2,000 people. All proceeds benefit Pettisville Park, which is maintained privately and tax-free.
Friendship Days, held every other year, was preceded by an event called Old-Fashioned Day, held Oct. 28, 1975, at the ball field at Pettisville schools. The purpose was to raise funds to purchase private land to build a community park. That land was purchased in 1978, and included a pond used long ago in the winter to retrieve ice to chill residents’ refrigerators.
Steve Lauber has been involved with the event for about 30 years. He said visitors will experience good food and simple summertime fun.
“It’s like an over-sized block party,” he said.
David Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.