New events to highlight Andrews festival

Teagan Hall (left) waits for Glenn Fisher to scoop out some ice cream during a free ice cream social put on by Bethesda Freewill Baptist Church at the Andrews Summer Festival last year. This year’s festival will take place Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10. T
Teagan Hall (left) waits for Glenn Fisher to scoop out some ice cream during a free ice cream social put on by Bethesda Freewill Baptist Church at the Andrews Summer Festival last year. This year’s festival will take place Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10. T TAB file photo.

The Andrews Summer Festival returns Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10, with a slate of events aimed at entertaining children and adults alike.

Julie Newsome chairs the festival’s planning committee and says introducing new events was a point of emphasis for her and the other committee members.

“We’re constantly trying to change things up,” she says. “We, as a committee, think it’s important to continuously offer different entertainment.”

To that end, the committee booked fire performers, as well as a magician, for this year’s festival. The fire-breathers, Bales Fox Fire, will perform on Friday at 10 p.m. on Main Street. The magician, Rusty Ammerman, will put on a show called “The Dimension of Illusion” on Saturday at 5 p.m., also on Main Street. Ammerman’s show will be a blend of magic and comedy.

Another new offering this year will be a fireworks show that caps the festival on Saturday night. The fireworks will be set off on Main Street, with the show starting at 11 p.m.

Newsome and the planning committee were also mindful to bring back the festival’s mainstay events, like the parade and cutie king and queen crowning. The annual parade will kick off the festival on Saturday. Starting at 10 a.m., the parade will depart from Andrews Elementary School and proceed down McKeever Street, then Main Street, followed by California Street, where it will conclude. The parade’s grand marshal is Sharon Ruppert and master of ceremonies is Mike Okuly.

The cutie king and queen crowning, which sees a boy and girl from the community recognized for their photogenic qualities, will occur on Friday at 6 p.m. on Main Street.

Speaking of children, Newsome says the festival’s offerings for younger attendees will be different than in years past.

“We’re going back to old-school games this year,” she shares.

Newsome relates that an impromptu game of Simon Says was held at the 2018 festival and that it was a big hit with kids.

“They were all so excited,” she says. “They didn’t want to quit playing.”

Newsome notes that the success of that game inspired her to take a new approach with the children’s activities at this year’s festival. Rather than provide kids with diversions such as bounce houses, as the festival has done in the past, a series of games, like sack races and water relay races, will be offered instead. Those games will be held outside the Andrews Municipal Building, on Main Street, on Friday at 6:15 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Children can also look forward to competing in a cake walk, set for Saturday at 11 a.m. on Main Street. Later on, at 9:30 p.m., they can participate in the Light Up the City Parade. Departing from Andrews United Methodist Church, the parade will be comprised of children carrying lights. The Andrews Lions Club will have lights available for purchase.

Additional children’s activities, which include an island photo booth and a caricature artist, will be available on Saturday at 11 a.m. through the afternoon.

Adults attending the festival will have a series of musical acts to look forward to on the Main Street stage. Elvis tribute artist Mark Stephan will kick things off on Friday with a performance at 4 p.m. An hour later, festival attendees will be able to get in on the singing fun, as Karaoke with Chase takes over the stage until 7 p.m. Backwater Band will conclude the day’s musical entertainment with a set from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Specializing in country and rock music, the band features Gene Fugate, Rich Schwarts and Adam Kiel.

The music will continue on Saturday with a performance by Roy Carter from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Main Street. Carter is a country musician in the vein of Alan Jackson. The Mountain Dewe Boys will occupy the spotlight from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., entertaining audience members with songs from a variety of genres, ranging from bluegrass to honky-tonk. The band is comprised of members Mike Huffman, Brian Huffman, Doug Huffman and Jim Randolph. The Steele Rail Band will round out the festival’s musical entertainment with a set featuring classic rock from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Band members are Randy Blankenship, Mike Fisher, Chuck Easterday, Jeff Whitmer, Sean Naish, Amber Blevins, Brent Klutz and Bryan Brager.

Newsome is happy with the musical lineup and thinks festival attendees will be entertained.

“It seems like the music is what brings the people and keeps the people,” she says. “So, we kind of really have tried to fill most of our day with some form of musical entertainment.”

Other events for the festival’s older crowd include a cornhole tournament on Saturday at 11 a.m. and a car show later that day from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is a fee to enter the cornhole tourney.

Adults may also be interested in purchasing tickets to participate in the festival’s 50/50 and raffle drawings. Items up for grabs in the raffle include a kayak, Blackstone grill, hoverboard and children’s Mercedes. Drawings for the 50/50 will be held Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.; the raffle drawing will take place Saturday at 9:30 p.m. While raffle winners do not need to be present to claim their prize, 50/50 participants will need to be at the Main Street stage during the drawings to be eligible to win.

Festival-goers will be able to do some shopping at garage sales, which will be occurring townwide both days of the festival, as well as at craft booths located on Jefferson Street. Additionally, the Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library will be hosting a book and bake sale on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Food will be available at a variety of locations. Food vendors will be set up on Jefferson Street for the duration of the festival. On Saturday, Bethesda Freewill Baptist Church will host a free hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a free ice cream social from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Kermit’s Food Shop, on Main Street, will offer food and drink specials on Friday and Saturday, plus outdoor food and spirits on Saturday night from 5 p.m. to midnight. Bud’s Sports Bar, also on Main Street, will also offer outdoor food and spirits on Saturday, from 6 p.m. to midnight.

No pets or bicycles will be allowed in the Main Street festival area for the duration of the event.