FunFest to take place this week

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- A North Manchester summer tradition continues with FunFest Under the Stars Aug. 9-11.

Festivities kick off Thursday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. with a jungle safari in the  First Financial Bank parking lot, with an animal education session at 5 p.m.

Another staple of FunFest continues with the Cutie King and Queen contest at 7 p.m., along with a kids parade at 6:30 p.m.

The annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, concluding Saturday, Aug. 11.

Moose Family Center hosts Trivia Night Thursday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m., while the North Manchester Fire Department offers fire truck rides from 6-9 p.m.

The MiBash radio stations 101.9 and 105.9 start coverage Friday, Aug. 10, at noon until 8 p.m. on Main Street.

“We are excited for this year's FunFest,” FunFest Committee Chair Karen Fawcett said. “We have some changes this year.

The [FunFest] committee is thankful for all who are helping to make what we plan on having a great weekend.

“We are also appreciative of all of the sponsors that help making FunFest a great event.”
Friday, Aug. 10

The American Legion begins a busy day Friday with a bicycle give-away, motorcycle show, and a hot dog sale, all starting at noon..

Among other highlights are Trolley No. 85, rides sponsored by Timbercrest Senior Living Community; a watermelon feed at First Financial Bank at 5 p.m.; Dancing Under the Stars at The FireHouse, featuring lessons, performances and contests; local band The Murphy Wrecks performing on the Crossroads Bank Stage on Market Street at 8 p.m.; and the main event for the Friday session of FunFest, the Eel River Cruizers Car Show from 1-10 p.m. on Main and Walnut streets.

Saturday, Aug. 11

The 46th 5K and 1-mile Fun Run/Walk starts Saturday's festivities, with the Fun Run/Walk beginning at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K run at 8:30 a.m.

Moose Family Center offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet from 7-10 a.m.

The Farmers Market continues its Saturday morning schedule at Riverbridge Electric on the corner of State Road 114 and Wayne Street, beginning at 8 a.m.

A tractor show featuring Echoes of the Past Tractor Club begins at 11 a.m.

FunFest-goers can indulge in food contests with a pizza eating contest at 1 p.m., followed by a pie eating contest at 1:30 p.m. on Market Street.

Water lovers can compete in the Bellwood Canoe Race at 1 p.m. Racers launch at the Liberty Mills Public Access Site.

The Thomas Marshall House opens for tours from 1-4 p.m. on North Market Street.

The First Brethren Church serves the community with a fish fry at Warvel Park on North Market Street from 4:30-7 p.m..

The always-popular and well-attended FunFest parade kicks off at the Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School parking lot at 5 p.m., heading south on Market Street, turning east on Main Street, then north on Mill Street, and back to MJSHS from College Avenue.

Belles & Beaus hosts Square Dancing/Line Dancing in the Street at the intersection of Third and Market streets at 6:30 p.m.

The festival concludes with the band Steel Rail performing from 8-11 p.m. on the corner of Main and Market streets.

North Manchester Chamber Interim Executive Director Susan Mattern echoed Fawcett's thoughts.

“So far, things are going well,” Mattern said. “This is my first FunFest, and people are asking me if I'm ready for it. However, we have so many people who jump in to help put this all together.

“It's really a great community with so many people who care and work together.”

Posted on 2018 Aug 07