Toledo Summer Festival is back

The Toledo Summer Festival returns this week, and one of the highlights of this annual event is the fireworks display, which will begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. (Courtesy photo)

Annual event takes place this week

For many people, it’s one of the highlights of summer in Lincoln County. Each July, the City of Toledo hosts a multi-day celebration called the Toledo Summer Festival, and this year’s version will be held this Thursday, July 18, through Sunday, July 21.

The annual Queen’s Coronation will once again open the festival events. It begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Field.

Events on Friday begin at 6 p.m. with a Kids Parade along Main Street. This event is for children from ages 1 through 12 (those 6 and under need to be accompanied by an adult). Young people are encouraged to ride bikes or some other wheeled toy, or walk with their friends or a favorite pet while wearing brightly colored clothing. There will be treats for participants at the end of Main Street.

Also at 6 p.m., the festival opens at Memorial Field, featuring a carnival, food and craft vendors and a beer garden. There will also be pro wrestling at 8 p.m., and a DJ will provide entertainment for people’s listening pleasure from 9 p.m. to midnight, when the carnival closes.

One of the highlights of each year’s festival is the Grand Parade, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday on Business Highway 20 near Ace Hardware. The parade travels to and then runs along Main Street.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Chuck Ritz, a long-time Toledo resident. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1964, and right after his enlistment was over, he and his new wife, Terry, moved back to Lincoln County, where he went to work for Georgia-Pacific, a job he continued at until his retirement in 1999. Ritz was a founding member of Lincoln County Search & Rescue in the early 1970s and was also very involved with the Boy Scouts. In addition, he has been an active member of VFW Post 4227 for many years, even serving for a time as post commander.

Following the Grand Parade, activities resume at noon on Saturday at Memorial Field. At 1 p.m., there will be a Jr. Firefighters Challenge. At 2 p.m., the fire department rope team will give a demonstration.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday is another popular event, the Logging Show, held in front of the grandstands at Memorial Field. This event, open to amateur competitors only, features the Axe Throw, Obstacle Pole, Choker Setting, Hook Tender Race, Double Buck, Modified Stock, Saw Steeple Chase, Four-Man Relay, Wrapper Throw, Block Toss, Jack & Jill. Cash prizes will be awarded.

At 9 p.m. on Saturday, Americana Mayhem will take the stage. Specializing in Wild West, circus and sideshow arts, they will tickle the funny bone, tantalize the senses and bring out the thrill seekers in everyone.

Another highlight of each year’s Toledo Summer Festival is its huge aerial fireworks display, which beings at 10 p.m. on Saturday. Fireworks will be launched over Tokyo Slough from Georgia-Pacific property, and the display can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Toledo. People can even enjoy the fireworks while going on carnival rides — it stays open until midnight Saturday.

The festival opens at 11 a.m. on Sunday, again featuring the carnival, food and craft vendors, bingo, beer garden.

Sunday is also Kids Day, and another Jr. Firefighters Challenge kicks off at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., Americana Mayhem will put on another show, and at 3 p.m., the Kids Logging Show begins, with a variety of different events for young competitors

The festival events and activities wrap up at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission to the Toledo Summer Festival is $7 for one day, or $8 for three days — children 6 and under are free. People can get a three-day pass by purchasing an entry button, which includes discounts good at many area businesses. These buttons are available at most businesses throughout Toledo.

For admission and additional information about the Toledo Summer Festival, go online at www.toledosummerfestival.com.

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