ST. PARIS – The St. Paris Pony Wagon Days festival will kick off Thursday marking a return to a three-day format.
After last year’s festivities were limited to one day, Pony Wagon Days Committee President Melia Wagner said work on this year’s event started last October. Wagner said people were adamant about returning the festival to a three-day event.
“Our main goal was to say ‘we’re coming back and we’re doing three days this year,’” Wagner said. “I’ve been really fortunate. I’ve had a great bunch of people to work with. They’re working really well as a team and it’s really helped a lot.”
The festival will start with the parade at 6 p.m. Thursday. Wagner said a big draw for the parade will be the six-horse Clydesdale team Olde Tyme Travel from Portage. The Clydesdale team will pull the grand marshal during the parade.
Following the parade, a silent basket auction will be held at the Kiser Mansion lawn.
In addition to these events, rides, games and food will be available between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday and the Pony Wagon display will be available to view at the municipal garage between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Other entertainment that will be available on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. include a rock climb wall, games and food trucks.
On Friday, Steel Ivory will perform at 8 p.m. in the entertainment tent and Larry Lyons will perform in the entertainment tent between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
A 5K Glow Fun Run will take place at 9 p.m. Wagner said luminaries will be placed along the route and sign up is at 8:30 p.m. in front of the First Central National Bank, 103 S. Springfield St.
Rides, games and food trucks will be available between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. The Pony Wagon display will be available between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the municipal garage on Friday.
On Saturday, the Car, Truck and Bike show will be held between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the old junior high school. The All Children’s Parade will take place at 1 p.m. starting at the bank.
A tailgate kickoff for the Ohio State vs. Tulsa game will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent and the game will be shown on a large screen in the tent. A pair of tickets for the Oct. 29 Ohio State vs. Northwestern will be auctioned off during halftime along with other Ohio State memorabilia.
Saturday’s entertainment will include Daniel Dye between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent, the Just for Fun Line Dancers at 7:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent and a DJ will play music from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Other events throughout the day include a craft show and kids games between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the lot on South Springfield Street, a chicken noodle dinner between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, and a duck herding demonstration by John Allread between noon and 1 p.m. at the corner of Plum and South Springfield Street.
A Cake Walk will take place all day at the municipal building while the Pony Wagon display will be held between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the municipal building.
Rides, games and food will be available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.
The Pony Wagon Historical Museum, 510 Washington St., will also be open Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and on Sunday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Parking and admission is free during the festival.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.