Special Events & Festivals

Southbend 65 entertains at Wildcat Festival


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Members of the band Southbound 65 perform under the tent at the Markle Park on Saturday evening, Aug. 22, during the Markle Wildcat Festival.

Jump, Froggie!


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Ben Lawlor places his frog in the competition area at the Markle Park for the Markle Wildcat Festival Frog Jumping Contest on Saturday, Aug. 22. The event was sponsored by Myers Funeral Home.

Checking their cards


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Molly Schindler (left) and Kayda Newman check their bingo cards during the Bingo event held Saturday, Aug. 22, at Markle Park as part of the Markle Wildcat Festival. The event was hosted by Markle Health and Rehabilitation.

Petting zoo


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Emma Alford pets a rabbit at the Animal Gams petting zoo on Sataurday, Aug. 22, at Markle Park during the Markle Wildcat Festival.

Bouncing boy


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Gage Crawford bounces down an inflatable slide on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Markle Park during the Markle Wildcat Festival.

Leading the way


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Chloe Amick (left) leads her heat during the pedal co-cart races on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Markle Park as part of the Markle Wildcat Festival.

Big mountain to climb


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Savanah Johnson attempts to scale an inflatable mountain on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Markle Park during the Markle Wildcat Festival.

Wildcat Festival Parade


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The Wells County 4-H Mounted Color Guard heads down the Markle Wildcat Festival Parade route on Saturday morning, Aug. 22.

Grouches wave to the crowd


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Markle's official grouches for 2015 wave to the crowd from atop a fire turck during the Markle Wildcat Festival Parade on Saturday, Aug. 22. The grouches, who were announced Friday night, Aug. 21, are (from left) Hal Mason, Carol Hohe, Duane Brumbaugh and Max Murchland. Each year, the town's residents select four grouches -- a nod to the community's claim that it's the "Home of 1,102 Happy People and 4 Grouches" -- in recognition of their service to the community.

Wildcat Festival kicks off Friday eve in Markle

Southbound 65 will play country music under the Markle Wildcat Festival tent on Saturday, Aug. 22, starting at 7 p.m. It’s the second free concert of the three-day festival.
Photo provided.

An action-packed Wildcat Festival kicks off Friday evening, Aug. 21, in Markle.

The three days of festivities will be held mainly at Markle Park and will debut some new thrills, including tethered hot air balloon rides and pedal go cart races.

There are all sizes of go carts, festival chair Tiffany Grant says, giving anyone age 7 through adult the chance to compete for cash prizes.

“I think my grandma’s going to do it, and she’s 88,” Grant says.

Extracation demo


Photo by Steve Clark.

The Markle Fire Department performs at extrication demonstration on a junk car during the Markle Wildcat Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23, in downtown Markle.

Taking a shot


Photo by Steve Clark.

Liz Daniels (right) flings a beanbag during the Markle Wildcat Festival Cornhole Tournament, held Saturday, Aug. 23, in downtown Markle.

C'mon, froggie!


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Ben Lawlor, of Markle, urges his frog to jump during the Wildcat Festival Frog Jumping Contest at Markle Park on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Wildcat waterball


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Markle Volunteer Fire Department members (from left) Phoebe Harmon, Justine Eberle and Bob Rzasa concentrate on the target during the Wildcat Festival Waterball Contest against a team from Ossian. Children also had a chance to participate in the fun.

Weiner dog races


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Megan Karst (left) and Justin Stanley release their "weiner" dogs in one of Wildcat Festival Weiner Dog Races at Markle Park on Saturday, Aug. 23. The inaugural event drew three contestants.

Sand castle construction


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Zach Robbins, of Huntington, works carefully on building sandcastles during the Wildcat Festival Sandcastle Building Contest at the Markle Pool at Markle Park.

Tough task


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Conner Mason, of Markle, works on lining up a Rubik's Cube during the Wildcat Festival Rubik's Cube Contest on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Markle Park.

Balloon fun


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Bubblicious the clown puts together a balloon animal at the Markle Park during the Wildcat Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Taking aim


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Kierra Ormsby, of Bluffton, takes aim at a Disk Ball target in the kids' games section at the Markle Park during the Wildcat Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Cooling off at the parade


Photo by Scott Trauner.

Young Mason Spradlin looks intense as he  works on a flavored ice treat during the Markle Wildcat Festival Parade on Saturday morning, Aug. 23. Holding the child is Matt Klug.

Grouches help judge the parade

The newest Markle Grouches join Markle Town Council President Jeff Humbarger (center) on the judges stand to judge the Wildcat Festival Parade on Saturday morning, Aug. 23. Looking over the entries are (from left) Molly Brown, Jennifer Bailey with help from Emma Bailey, Pastor Steve McPeek and Tracie Wolf.

Heading down the parade route


Photo by Scott Trauner.

The Wells County Color Guard heads down the parade route during the Markle Widlcat Festival Parade on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Several new events to freshen up Markle Wildcat Festival this year

Sidney Palmer gives her frog a nudge during the 2013 Markle Wildcat Festival frog jumping contest. Frog jumping returns to this year’s festival lineup, taking place Saturday, Aug. 23, at Markle Park.
TAB file photo.

The Markle Wildcat Festival will have some new events to make this year's festival fresh, while keeping the events that are the hallmarks of the annual celebration.

The festival, which takes place Aug. 22, 23 and 24, is named for "Princess Wildcat," the moniker given to a local Native American woman, explains festival chairwoman Diane Wedler.

"Now we have a Princess Wildcat contest," she says, adding the festival has been held in Markle for about 40 years. This year's theme is "Back to the '80s."

Princess Wildcat


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Lily Clanin (left) the 2013 Young Miss Wildcat, receives her crown from Lacy Curry, a former Princess Wildcat, during the Princess Wildcat contest Saturday evening, Aug. 24, at Markle Park.

Little Miss Wildcat


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Janell Lemler (left) the 2013 Little Miss Widcat, receives her crown from Lacy Curry, a former Princess Wildcat, during the Princess Wildcat contest on Saturday evening, Aug. 24.

Princess Wildcat


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Abigail Reichard (left) receives her crown after being named 2013 Princess Wildcat from former title holder Lacy Curry during the Princess Wildcat contest on Saturday, evening, Aug. 24.

C'mon, jump!


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Kylie Nevius tries to get her frog to jump far during the Wildcat Festival frog jumping contest at Markle Park on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Waterball


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Teams from the Markle (left) and Uniondale fire departments battle it out during he Markle Wildcat Festival waterball fights on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Markle Park.

Yuck!


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Mark Kohlhorst lets a tarantula crawl on his hand during his Mark's Ark animal show on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Markle Wildcat Festival at the Markle Park.

Pages