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Parades, games and rides highlight Tree Town Festival

FOREST — Forest will host its annual Tree Town Festival this weekend in Gormley Park on Main Street in Forest.
The festival is sponsored by the Forest Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service. Proceeds this year will go toward Gormley Park improvements.
Events will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and will begin with the main food pavilion and other food booths opening at 5 p.m. Friday. Food will be prepared and served by local volunteers and will include homemade chicken and noodles. The “Greasy Spoon” will serve freshly cut curly fries and sandwiches.
Rides will also open at 5 p.m. with a $15 wristband special until 11 p.m. Friday.
A golf cart mini parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the big parade at 6:30 p.m., led by grand marshal Anna McGairk and the Community Spirit Award winners, Jim and Jackie Taylor. Line-up for the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Zimmerman and Martin streets. Judging will be held at 6 p.m.
The Forest Police Department will sponsor an electric mini car parade for youth ages 3-8, who should dress in costume to match their entry. Entrants must be accompanied by an adult. There is no registration fee.
Opening ceremonies will be held immediately after the parade at the Gormley Park front entrance where the winners of the festival king, queen, princess, and baby contests will be announced.
The 10th annual classic car and truck show will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday. For information, call Dick Price at 419-273-3247.
New features this year are Air Extreme Euro Bungie and Crash Combat Games Laser Tag on Friday night and Saturday. The Hardin County Museum will host the Little Chicago Cafe for children at the log cabin in the center of the park.
Kenton Elks 157 bingo and the casino will open after the parade. Other events for the evening will include the Tree Town Trot 5K run, the Tree Town Idol karaoke contest for ages 18 and over and a demonstration by the Riverdale band and drumline.
Living in the Grey will provide musical entertainment on the small stage in the center of the park.
On Saturday, the festival will open at 8 a.m. with several sporting events, including three-on-three basketball, four-on-four volleyball and corn hole tournaments.
A fishing derby for children ages 3-16 will be sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1182 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A new kickball tournament will start at 10 a.m. Call Shannon Barnes at 419-674-7420 for entry details.
Kids Got Talent, for children ages 6-17, will be held at 11 a.m. To enter, call Jolene Kearns at 419-273-1471. The Little Chicago Cafe will reopen at 10:30 a.m. Minute to Win It, a game for children 12 and under, will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Rides will open at noon Saturday with a $15 wristband fee until 6 p.m.
Also featured on Saturday will be a Hardin County Sheriff’s Office K-9 demonstration and juggler and ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn. Barbecued chicken and pork dinners, cooked on site by local volunteers, will be available at 4:30 p.m.
Cow patty bingo will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 each and are available from all Forest firefighters and emergency medical service members, at Forest businesses or by calling the department at 419-273-2520.
Sean Williams and the Acoustic Jam will provide live musical entertainment at the stage in the center of the park from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Festival Feud game will begin at 6 p.m. and Let’s Make a Deal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. All tickets purchased for these games will go into the festival drawing for the on-ground prizes and big money draw on Saturday evening.
Food, bingo, rides, entertainment, prize drawings and games will be available throughout the festival on Friday and Saturday. There will be a fireworks display at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and a money drawing afterward.
On Sunday, the ninth annual Community Church in the Park service will be held at 10:30 a.m. and will feature speaker Brock Mealer, who overcame paralysis after an automobile accident and learned to walk again. Seating is available, but attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs. In the event of rain, the service will be held in the all-weather pavilion. Lunch will be available from noon to 1 p.m.
Dogs or bicycles will not be allowed in the park during the festival.
For more information about the festival, call the fire department at 419-273-2520, search “Tree Town Festival” on Facebook or visit www.villageofforest.com.

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