The 46th Annual Bull Thistle Festival will delight Fayette residents and others on Saturday as they celebrate a prickly, flowering weed. The fun will be concentrated at Normal Grove Park on N. Eagle Street, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Our festival has something for everyone,” said Brittany Theis, Bull Thistle Festival Committee President. “We have parade, bull thistle judging, food, crafts, kids games, bounce houses, pedal tractors pulls, music by Heidi Paxton & Renegade Lemonade, sand volleyball, Co-Ed softball, fireworks at dusk.”
The day actually starts off before 11 a.m. with a breakfast at Our Lady of Mercy Church from 8-10 a.m.
The parade will begin at 11 a.m., traveling from south to north on Fayette Street. Citizens of the Year Rodney and Robyn Bingman, and Genna Biddix will be in the parade and then recognized at the 1 p.m. announcements in the park.
Everleigh Miller is this year’s princess, while Dalton Martin is the prince. Mike and Charity Slyker have been named 2022 king and queen.
The festival will feature music most of the day, starting with Renegade Lemonade from 12-4 p.m. Heidi Paxton will then perform from 1-1:30 p.m. and 2:30-3 p.m.
As part of the new Party in the Park from 6-10 p.m., there will be a beer tent and Back At It will perform.
Among the activities at the park will be bull thistle judging, kids carnival games, merchant and craft vendors, pedal tractor pulls, a bounce house, and train ride. The bull thistle judging will begin at noon with results announced at 1 p.m., along with float judging results.
Several food options will also be available for attendees to fill their stomachs. Options will include Port-A-Pit chicken, Pence’s, B&E Lemonade, Garry’s Kettle Corn, FUMY Milkshakes, Aqua Ice, and burgers and pulled pork.
The day will end with a bang with a fireworks show from the Fayette Local School grounds shot off at dusk.
Expositor articles from year’s past said that the Bull Thistle Arts Festival arose from a challenge given in 1977 to James Marlatt and Herb Woodard, editor of the former Fayette Review, to create a community festival. She said because the two shared a decidedly quirky sense of humor, they devised a festival celebrating a weed that area farmers detest. Since then, the event has grown enough to welcome guests from as far as Michigan and Indiana.