WILMINGTON — Build your own banana split, enjoy fun and games galore, check out cool cars and enjoy a variety of live music at this weekend’s annual tribute to the banana split — in the city where it all began.
This year the Banana Split Festival turns 23, and festival chairperson Police Chief Duane Weyand expects a great event.
“We’ve been a staple for entertainment in our community for some time now,” Weyand said. “Passion and Blue Steel head up our entertainment acts on Friday and Saturday night. This year we’re honored to have Charlie Hargrave lead our car show. He is well-known in the car community and we look forward to a stacked car show event.”
What makes the fest an annual success is a slew of dedicated local volunteers.
“The Banana Split Festival is a great opportunity to come enjoy a sense of hometown pride as the event is put on by local Rotarians who give their time each year to pull off a great event,” Weyand said. “We also couldn’t do it without the help of a lot of local volunteers to aid in our event.”
And it appears Mother Nature may do her part this year.
“As the weather is looking wonderful for our event,” Weyand said, “come out and see the cars, baseball tournament and, most importantly, have a banana split in the town that created them 109 years ago.”
The schedule of events:
Friday, June 10
• Festival opens
• A cruise-in will be featured on Friday evening. Cars enter the cruise-in area at the park from 4- 7:30 p.m. One vehicle will be chosen as the “Banana Split Committee’s Choice” and receive a plaque. There is no charge to participate in the cruise-in Friday night.
• OSU Buckeye Mobile Tour, 4-7:30 p.m., travels throughout Ohio engaging fans through interactive games, activities, Buckeye-branded vehicles and inflatables. Don’t miss the ‘Buckeye Experience’ at the Banana Split Festival. No charge for this event.
• Pony rides Friday and going through Saturday.
• Rewind, the band is composed of friends, classmates and family who share a common bond for the love of music from the golden oldie years of the ’50s, ’60s and a little of the classic country sounds.
• Reload performs covers of classic rock/funk/soul songs from a wide variety of artists such as Tower of Power, Blood Sweat & Tears, Cold Blood, The Temptations, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Chicago and many others.
• Blue Steel plays classic rock favorites from the ’70s and ’80s.
• Festival closes for the day.
— — —
Saturday, June 11
• Sign up for 5K run; Heather’s Hope Lickety-Split 5K Run starts at 9 a.m. Heather’s Hope is a local organization founded by Wilmington High School alumni in honor of their dear friend Heather James, who passed away in 2008 from Type 1 Diabetes. Heather’s Hope has been raising money to help those with diabetes in the local area.
For more information, email Adrienne Schaad at email@example.com. To register, you can download a registration form or go to the online registration form. 5K prizes awarded to the winners of each age group.
• Festival opens
11 a.m.-12:25 p.m.
• Rhythm Union performs, a classic rock and modern country band well-known in southwest Ohio.
The Folks are a two-man act made up of Ben Schaad and George Carrington both of Wilmington.
• Classic Car Show — Entries are open from noon to 4:30 p.m., with an entry fee of $10 per vehicle. Entries are judged, and winners are presented with trophies at 8:15 p.m. The first 100 vehicles receive dash plaques.
• Sawgrass performs, a high-energy bluegrass quartet.
• Praise and worship with Carolyn Plummer
• The Folks return to perform.
• Banana Split Eating Contest in the pavilion; there are three divisions: adult, teens and kids.
• Announcements and car show awards from the stage.
• Smoooth performs, inspired by early R&B legends of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.
• Passion Music Group performs a true variety of music from just about every popular musical genre, including rock, pop, country, R&B, dance, funk, Motown, disco, ’50s-’60s, hip-hop, Latin, ’30s-’40s, swing and jazz.
• Festival ends for 2016.