Roann festival to begin on Thursday

By Mandy Underwood

The Roann Covered Bridge Festival will be taking place Thursday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 8.

Activities will take place from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m.--11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. Saturday, and noon–4  p.m. Sunday, which a community church service at 10:30 a.m..

The theme for this year’s festival is “Rollin on the River,” Donna Harman, coordinator of the festival told The Paper of Wabash County.

“We are sure hoping for better weather than last year when it rained out most events,” said Harman. “We are thankful to have our community building as a backup for the bands to perform there. We had a full house in there last year for The Sounds of Summer group concert.”

Harman deemed the band as the best band they have ever had.

This year’s bands are sure to entertain as well. There will be many local bands as well as Bigg Country, a band from Martinsville, who performed at the festival three years back.

Free family entertainment has had crowds flocking to the annual Labor Day weekend festival for years including an antique tractor pull, parade, pedal tractor pull, mud volleyball, live entertainment, vendors, and much more.

“We will not have carnival rides this year but have many activities for the children, including a bounce house with a slide for children 12 years and younger, pony rides, a petting zoo and carnival games. This is all free to the children. Our committee will have some family games too.” Harman said.

“The Stockdale Mill tours is always a favorite,” Harman added.

Tours start at 10 a.m. until the parade starts at 2  p.m. on Saturday, and then start back up after the parade until dusk. Tours are also available from noon to 4  p.m. on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, the Trolley 85 has mechanical problems and will not be taking people to the mill.  We are working on an alternate people hauler but not sure we can get one by festival time,” said Harman.

After the parade, ice cream sandwiches will be handed out in memory of J.P. Schuler.

Houlihan’s Mower Sales & Ag Green will be giving away free watermelon, pop and water after the parade, as well. 

“A new event we are excited about this year is an adult pedal tractor pull with the Michigan Pedal Pullers.  They are bringing adult size pedal tractors,” said Harman.

Participants must be 18 years or older and there will be a cash prize given for first place and a festival T-shirt for second place.

“The Roann Heritage Group has some great raffle prizes,” said Harman.

“The money will go to match the Main Street Grants the town of Roann received.  Prizes includes a handcrafted ash porch swing, and a walnut side table, built by one of Roann’s fine carpenters. A restored antique trunk donated by Log Cabin Antiques in Roann, and a Pappy’s Campfire cooker.”

Tickets for the raffle are $1 each or six for $5.  The prize items will be displayed at the Main Street booth in front of Log Cabin antiques during the festival. 

Winner’s names will be drawn before the 8 p.m. band on Saturday and they need not be present to win. Harman also highlighted that these fan favorite activities will be available again this year: Stockdale Mill Duck Race, as well as the popular mud volleyball tourney.

“Please for the courtesy and safety of everyone, no pets or alcohol,” said Harman.

For more information and details on this year’s festival, please visit

Posted on 2019 Sep 03