Markle Wildcat Festival ready to roll Aug. 23-25

Candidates for the title of Young Miss Wildcat at the Princess Wildcat Contest as part of the 2013 Markle Wildcat Festival pose for this promotional photo. Photo provided.

The 2013 Markle Wildcat Festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 23, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 25.

"We just have a lot of stuff planned and a lot of events going on and there's going to be something for pretty much everybody," says Diane Wedler, festival chair.

The festival commences Friday with a pork chop dinner at the Markle Fire Station at 4 p.m., and running to 8 p.m.
A dance with DJ Watt, which will include a swing dance group demonstration, will also be held at the fire station and runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A fireworks display at Markle Park at 10:15 p.m. concludes the festival's opening day.

On Saturday and Sunday, food vendors will be open at the park all day long.

Saturday starts off with food with the Markle United Methodist Church hosting a pancake breakfast at the church from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

First pitch in a mushball tournament will be at Markle Park at 8 a.m., with the Wildcat Festival Parade, through downtown Markle, to follow from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Following the parade, Ken Powell from Deep Blue Divers will conduct a scuba demonstration at Markle Pool at 11 a.m.

Markle Park will host a variety of activities for children from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The activities will consist of games, clowns, the Jake's Take Aim Gallery and the Church of Christ inflatables.

Starting at 11:30 a.m., craft vendors will be open along State Road 116 in downtown Markle to 7 p.m.

The first of two animal-centered events starts at noon, with Mark's Ark taking the Markle Health and Rehabilitation stage in Markle Park.

Drop off for the dessert bakeoff will be at Expectations! from noon until 1 p.m.

A water ball fight between fire stations commences at the back diamond in Markle Park at 1 p.m. and lasts until 3 p.m.

"One of your best events that everybody should see once in their life is the water ball fight," says Wedler. "That is just fantastic to watch."

A performance by the Norwell High School Drum Line in downtown Markle at 1 p.m. will be followed by the second animal-centered event, as Jungle Larry swings on to the Markle Health and Rehabilitation stage in Markle Park at 2 p.m.

The frog jumping contest will also be going on at the park at 2 p.m.

Bingo, with prizes up for grabs, starts at Expectations! at 2 p.m. and concludes at 4 p.m.

During that time, the sidewalk chalk contest will begin in downtown Markle at 2 p.m., a Frisbee contest in Markle Park will start at 3 p.m. and Jim Houser will be sculpting ice in downtown Markle, also at 3 p.m.

A cornhole tournament starts in downtown Markle at 4 p.m. Wedler says they are still looking for more teams. To sign up, call Phil Wedler at 358-1372. There is a fee per person.

The day concludes with two big events. The first is the Princess Wildcat Contest, which will take place at the Markle Park Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. The second is a concert featuring singer and former Markle resident Jessie Brown, who will perform on the Markle Health and Rehabilitation Center stage in Markle Park from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Brown will be singing songs from her album "Take Me Home," which is a fusion of Americana and country music.

The festival draws to a close on Sunday with the car show. Registration for the show will be at Markle Park from 8 a.m. to noon, with the show running from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park. Awards for the show, as well as a drawing for the Novae trailer, will be at 2 p.m.

Complete caption: Running for the title of Young Miss Wildcat at the Princess Wildcat Contest as part of the 2013 Markle Wildcat Festival are (from left) Grace Barlow, Lily Clanin, Madison Hersta, Savanah Johnson, Megan Ormiston, Macy Eckert and Mariah Brown. The contest will take place Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Markle Park Pavilion at 6:30 p.m.