CENTERBURG — The 2009 Heart of Ohio USA Days Festival kicked off Wednesday evening, drawing crowds of festivalgoers seeking good times, delicious food and a fun way to spend a summer evening.
The festival is being held through Saturday at the Centerburg Memorial Park. The annual event brings live music, carnival rides, crafts, fireworks, contests and food to central Ohio.
Over 20 volunteers work hard to organize the festival each year.
“We’ve been working night and day for a long time getting ready,” said Don McCracken, who serves as festival committee president.
McCracken’s wife, Candy, highlighted the assortment of events scheduled for the festival, including higher and better fireworks from years past, in a new location this year on the hill.
Candy said television coverage of the event by a local channel should help spread the word about the festival beyond the county lines.
“They are going to broadcast from here live from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday morning,” she said.
No parking problems arose during the evening due to the availability of an overflow lot along with the usual parking area across from the festival area.
Musical acts are scheduled for each night, including the popular group The Reflections, which will perform Friday evening.
Jeanetta Hines of Mount Vernon was attending the festival for the first time Wednesday night. She complimented the food, including the giant onion rings she enjoyed while watching kids enjoy the carnival rides.
Logan Ullom, 6, at the festival with his mom and dad, waited patiently through dinner, watching a puppy eat ice cream near his table. As soon as his parents were done eating, he said he was ready to ride the rides throughout the festival.
Both McCrackens said the committee is hoping the crowds this weekend will come out to enjoy all the festival has to offer, as the weather is forecast to be pleasant.