FAYETTE – It’s time once again to grab your bull thistles and join in a day of fun, food and fireworks.
The 38th Annual Fayette Bull Thistle Arts Festival is open to guests near and far on Saturday There will be food and entertainment galore, arts and crafts, and, of course, the judging of the bull thistles.
This year’s theme is “You can Bank on a Bull Thistle,” in celebration of the future opening of a Sherwood State Bank branch in the village. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. on the village’s south side with a parade featuring the bank’s employees as grand marshals on a special float. The parade will follow its traditional route north on State Route 66.
Parade entries are accepted until Friday, and participants should arrive beginning at 10 a.m.
An opening ceremony for the festival will be held 12:30 p.m. in Fayette Park. At 1 p.m., the heralded Bull Thistle Judging begins. The thistles, which carry purple flowers, will be judged on height, girth, the number of blossoms, and the fibrous content of the stalk. A highlight of the festival, the event will give the Golden Hoe Award for Best of Show, and the Frank Wilson Memorial Award for the people’s choice.
The centerpiece of the festival, the Arts and Crafts event in the Bean Creek Community Arts Tent, will feature paintings, hand-carved wood items, jewelry, quilts, and soaps, among other items.
Emcee Steve Snider will introduce such entertainment as the Nite Express Band from Morenci, Mich., juggler, ventriloquist and magician Mike Hemmelgarn, and local musicians Riley Martin and Noelle Goodson.
The festival also features children’s activities, ball games, arm wrestling contests, and a variety of foods offered by area organizations, including a chicken barbecue starting at noon.
A fireworks show by Phantom Fireworks will be held at dusk at Harrison Lake State Park.
A community church service will be held Sunday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m. in Normal Grove.
“This service is a lovely way to end the weekend’s festivities, and a nice opportunity to share worship with family and friends who attend other churches,” said Fayette Mayor Ruth Marlatt, a festival committee member.
Those interested in a parade entry in order to advertise a business or organization can call 419-237-2830 or 419-237-3061.
Straw bales will be available for additional seating, and bringing lawn chairs and blankets is encouraged.