Roanoke set to 'Believe in Magic' at Fall Festival

Magician Don Miller will entertain Friday, Sept. 11, during the Roanoke Fall Festival.
Magician Don Miller will entertain Friday, Sept. 11, during the Roanoke Fall Festival. Photo provided.

Huntington County's oldest community festival gets underway Thursday, Sept. 10, as the Roanoke Fall Festival's carnival rides, crafters and street vendors open up shop in Roanoke Park.

The official opening ceremony, a flag raising on Main Street by the American Legion Post 160 color guard, is set for Friday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. Festivities continue through Sunday, Sept. 13.

This year's theme is "Believe in Magic." Most of the activities take place at the Roanoke Park, just a block west of the downtown area.

Free entertainment is offered both Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 11 and 12. Friday's show features Shade ‘N' Shannon, a Johnny Cash-era tribute band, followed by The Remnants, a classic rock band. On Saturday, The Don Miller Magic and Comedy Show will begin the entertainment right after the afternoon parade, with the country music group BackWater playing later in the evening.

Two parades will make their way down Main Street during the festival. The Ageless Iron Tractor Parade is set for Friday at 6:10 p.m., while the traditional Fall Festival Parade steps off Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Roanoke Pullers Association will host two events that always draw huge crowds. Pullers will gather Friday at 7 p.m. for the NTPA Tractor Pull. The association's Demolition Derby, which typically draws the largest single crowd at the festival, is set to begin on Saturday at 7 p.m. Both draw competitors from near and far. Also set for Friday evening is the Corn Bag Toss Tournament.

Main Street gets busy early Saturday with a Five Mile and a One Mile Fun Run, along with the Roanoke Farmers Market which wraps up for the year after a nine-week stint. In the park, kids' games of all types will be scattered about for most of the morning. Other activities that day include a car show, raffle, pancake and sausage breakfast, plenty of food vendors, an antique tractor display, cake auction and more.
Sunday's events include a Community Worship Service at 10:30 a.m., and a performance by the Wray Brothers at 4 p.m..

The Wray Brothers' concert is one of five shows set during the festival.

Shade N' Shannon will get the Friday night crowd going with their "Strictly Cash Show: The Songs and Times of Johnny Cash." Plenty of Cash tunes will be mixed in with songs by contemporaries such as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams Sr., and recent artists including Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson. The duo performs at festivals and markets in northeastern Indiana and the Midwest. They have appeared at the Neon Armadillo, Indiana State Fair, Three Rivers Festival and other venues.

The Remnants, a Fort Wayne-area precision classic rock band, includes musicians from varied backgrounds. Each member previously played with several different bands, hence the name - the group was formed from the remnants of several other projects. Long-time band member Ralph Tourkow is the founder of the group, bringing several people from the former Answer Band when it dissolved in 1998.

BackWater, made up of several Fort Wayne-area musicians, has experience on the Nashville music scene and has performed at Friday Nite Lights at Jefferson Pointe, opened for Billy Currington at the Three Rivers Festival and for Aaron Tippin at the Neon Armadillo. The group plays regularly at local festivals and regional clubs.
Don Miller has entertained audiences across the country for more than 30 years. He began doing shows in 1974 at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. He was the resident magician at the Indianapolis Zoo and later the Louisville Zoo. He has performed at the New York Central Park Zoo, Chattanooga Aquarium, Zoo Montana and Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

The Wray Brothers have been at the forefront of southern gospel music for more than 45 years. The contemporary Christian music group has performed at fairs, festivals, churches, community celebrations, concert halls and corporate events.

For more information along with a schedule of activities, visit www.discoverroanoke.org.