A young girl waves as she rides the train last year at the Cridersville Firemenâ€™s Jamboree. The festival is set for Friday and Saturday and will benefit the Cridersville Fire Department.
The Cridersville Firemenâ€™s Jamboree will include something for everyone of all ages this Friday and Saturday, as event organizers work to make it bigger and better each year.
This will be the 47th year for the Jamboree, and Cridersville Fire Chief Ron Mertz said there will be fun for all ages at this annual fundraiser for the fire department.
â€śItâ€™s a neat event for everyone, and there is a little bit of everything for everyone,â€ť Mertz said. â€śItâ€™s a small-town type of atmosphere, but has a great feel.â€ť
A new attraction this year is the headlining entertainment, which will feature Nashville Crush beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday and The Earthquakers beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening. Both acts will perform in the Entertainment Tent until 11 p.m.
â€śWeâ€™re bringing in better entertainment with Nashville Crush on Friday and keeping up with the good entertainment on Saturday,â€ť Mertz said.
He said he is excited to bring in these two big name bands for the festival this weekend.
Corporate sponsors along with local sponsors will be helping out with paying for the entertainment. The corporate sponsors include Lima Memorial Health Care Systems, St. Ritaâ€™s Medical Center and 1-800-Board-Up, along with local sponsors.
The festival starts with a main attraction on Friday, which is a car show. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and there will be dash plaques given out to the first 100 participants and 15 trophies will be awarded.
â€śWe always have a big car show,â€ť Mertz said. â€śLast year we had 103 cars.â€ť
The car show will take place on Main Street, in which a portion of the street will be closed down for this event.
The Jamboree on Saturday kicks off with the annual Cridersville Firemenâ€™s Jamboree 5K, beginning with registration at 7 a.m. Mertz said this portion of the event is attracting many participants this year.
â€śWe have received entries from as far south as Cincinnati,â€ť Mertz said.
â€śThe word is out. Itâ€™s a nice, flat run.â€ť
Chicken barbecue dinners will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the annual parade at 1 p.m. on Main Street. A corn hole tournament will take place in the afternoon, along with rides, games and bingo.
Also, there will be a grand prize drawing, in which one person has the chance to win $1,000, along with other prizes.
â€śWe give away approximately 20 major prizes from $1,000 to a Kindle,â€ť Mertz said.
Tickets for the drawing are $1 or six for $5 and can be purchased at the festival.
All of the proceeds from this event benefit the Cridersville Fire Department and help with purchase of new turn out gear for the firefighters, which includes new boots, coats, pants and helmets.
There are currently 43 firefighters and EMT members on the Cridersville Fire Department.
â€śIt started out to be a major fundraiser for the fire department,â€ť Mertz said. â€śI feel that Cridersville is a unique community and we (the Cridersville Fire Department) like to give the town something to look forward to each year.â€ť
There will also be game and rides for the children during the festival.
Mertz said that the alcoholic beverages will be available and they are kept on one side of the event while the rides and games for the children will be on the other side of the festival.
â€śI want to thank you and your team for all your efforts,â€ť Mayor Lorali Myers said at last monthâ€™s Cridersville Village Council meeting, of the crew helping out with the planning of the Jamboree. â€śI think itâ€™s a great opportunity to invite visitors into town, and a great way to raise money.â€ť