ST. PARIS – The annual St. Paris Pony Wagon Days kicks off Thursday evening.
This year’s festival will be held in the front lawn of the old junior high building, 370 E. Main St.
Previously the festival has been held in the downtown area of the village, but Pony Wagon Days Committee President Dan Weinert said due to restrictions regarding fire lanes, power lines and to ensure intersections were clear enough to navigate to local businesses the festival was limited on rides and activities were spread out among different locations in the village.
Weinert said feedback the committee received from last year’s festival focused on wanting rides and wanting to keep everything in one location.
“By using the old junior high site, we will be able to address the two main points of feedback,” Weinert said. “We are able to bring in Miracle Amusements for rides and games by moving locations. They will be set up on the west side of the sidewalk in the front lawn area.
“On the east lawn area, we will have our entertainment tent, food, crafts and vendors. On Saturday, we will be using the ball field situated against the drive on the east side of the old junior high site for the car show. In addition, the town will be holding an auction behind the building on Saturday morning. Overall, this location provided more opportunity to keep everything together and visible for the community.”
The festival is free admission and parking is free. Parking behind the old junior high building is available for senior citizens and disabled citizens.
This year’s festivities start Thursday with the opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will include the crowning of the Pony Wagon Queen, Princess, Little Miss and Little Mister.
The annual parade will start at 6 p.m. followed by the annual basket auction at 8 p.m. Proceeds from the basket auction benefit the Pony Wagon Days Organization.
Food, games and rides will be available at the old junior high starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
On Friday, the Off the Record DJ Service will start at 6 p.m. followed by the Kids Glow Dash at 8:30 p.m. and the Glow-Run Fun Run at 9 p.m.
Registration and shirt pickup for the run will start at 8 p.m. and proceeds will support the Pony Wagon Days festival.
On Saturday, the car show will start at 8 a.m. on the east side of the old junior high building.
At 10 a.m., the town auction will be held behind the building.
A chicken noodle dinner will be held at the First Baptist Church of St. Paris, 138 W. Plum St., between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
A donut eating contest will be held at noon.
Between 1 and 3 p.m., Larry Lyons will be in the entertainment tent.
At 1:30 p.m. there will be a children’s parade and the rides and games will begin at 2 p.m.
Daniel Dye will be in the entertainment tent between 3 and 5 p.m.
Duck herding with John Allread will take place between 5 and 6 p.m.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., Just for Fun Line Dancers will be held in front of the old junior high building.
At 8 p.m., Grampy Bone will perform in the entertainment tent.
Weinert said anyone who would like to volunteer during the festival can contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.