The Made in Ada Football Festival is highlighted by a now-famous football drop at 10 p.m. The custom-made football is 10 feet long, made from electrical conduit covered with no-rip nylon. (Photo provided)

ADA — The Made in Ada Football Festival is moving from February to August. But don’t worry — there will still be a late-night drop of a giant football.

The festival will be held Saturday in downtown Ada. But “all the fun from the event continues,” organizers promise in an Ohio Northern University press release.

The event celebrates Ada’s remarkable contribution to the sport of football, as all footballs used in the National Football League are made in Ada’s Wilson Football Factory. It’s been rescheduled to August to help kick off the 2018 football season. The festival was held on Super Bowl Eve earlier this year and, before that, in February 2017.

The August date means Wilson Football Factory will be able to become more engaged with the festival, because the pre-Super Bowl event in February conflicted with Wilson’s obligations at the site of the championship game.

For example, as a major addition to the festival, people can watch footballs being made. The steps involve sewing, turning, lacing and inflating the balls.

A total of 60 commemorative footballs will be on sale for $75 each during the festival.

The festival is sponsored by the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Wilson.

The day begins with Ohio Northern University’s intra-squad football practice at 9 a.m. and concludes with the now-famous football drop at 10 p.m. The kickoff ceremony is slated for noon and will include a pep rally featuring a color guard and the ONU and Ada High School marching bands. In addition, ONU football coach Dean Paul and Ada High School football coach Shawn Christopher will speak.

All events will be at the Ada Railroad Depot Park, unless otherwise noted. The schedule includes:

  • 9-11 a.m.: ONU intra-squad practice at ONU Dial-Robertson Stadium
  • 11 a.m.: Ticket sales begin for 60 Wilson commemorative footballs; tailgating begins
  • Noon: Kickoff ceremony
  • 1 p.m.: Football U for You with ONU coaches
  • 1-6 p.m.: Watch Wilson footballs being made
  • 2 p.m.: Free screening of “The Blind Side” at Ada Theatre, 215 S. Main St.
  • 3 p.m.: Passing challenge for youth
  • 4-7 p.m.: Tailgating games; Dusty Donley, emcee; football piata for youth
  • 5 p.m.: Football design and technology program by Wilson engineers
  • 7-9:30 p.m.: Raffle prize drawings and entertainment by Chantel and the Thirsty Monkeys
  • 10 p.m.: Football drop

Grand prizes for the raffle will be announced at 9:30 p.m. Tickets will be drawn every 30 minutes starting at 7 p.m. for all other prizes. The top prize is a Big Green Egg grill/smoker donated by Jim Beam, a $25 gift card to Community Market of Ada and a Wilson football. Second prize is an overnight stay at The Inn of ONU and a gift basket from Hempy Water of Forest.

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