The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

2018 Peony Festival set for this weekend

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With the first weekend in June coming up, it’s time again for the Van Wert Peony Festival. First begun in the 1930s, and resurrected in the 1950s and in the 1990s, the annual festival honors the area’s peony growing tradition, which began in the 1900s when peony farms dotted the Van Wert countryside. It was then that Van Wert was known as the “Peony Capital of the World”.

Jean Owens, co-grand marshal for the 2010 Peony Festival Grand Parade, waves to the crowd. VW independent file photo

This year’s event will include the Peony Patio that features adult beverages, a fishing derby for children, free entertainment, including a Friday night concert sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation, and an art and vendor show.

Other features include the annual Grand Parade on Saturday, a car show, and self-guided garden tours.

The 2018 festival will begin at 10 a.m. this Friday, June 1, with a ribboncutting ceremony held by the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Main and Jefferson streets. A festival information booth will also open at 10 Friday morning at the corner of Jefferson and Main, while the Optimist Youth Art Show will also begin at 10 a.m. Friday in Fountain Park.

Activities beginning at 11 a.m. Friday include a photo booth by Vividly Unique and food vendors along South Jefferson Street.

A Peony Festival Committee concession stand will open at 4 p.m. Friday, while there will be Art in the Park by Sally Geething from 4-7 p.m., and a Chair-ity Silent Auction in Fountain Park from 4-9 p.m. Friday.

The Peony Patio offering adult beverages will open on South Jefferson Street from 4-9 p.m., and will feature Land Grant Brewing Company. Registration for the Peony Festival Car Show will begin at 4 p.m., while the car show will run from 6-9 p.m. Friday on Main and North Jefferson streets.

Children’s rides will be open from 5-9 p.m. in the East Central Avenue parking lot, while Phil Dirt & the Dozers, part of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series sponsored by the County Foundation, will perform in the park from 7-9 p.m.

Saturday’s events open at 7 a.m. with a Peony Festival Committee concession stand in Fountain Park serving breakfast.

From 9-11 a.m., the Peony Kids’ Free Fishing Derby will be held at the YMCA’s Camp Clay on Liberty Union Road west of Van Wert.

Other events Saturday include Mr. Barber’s Animals from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Central Avenue, the Optimist Youth Art Show from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Foiuntain Park, the Chair-ity Silent Auction from 10 a.m. until 7:50 p.m. in the park, an Art & Vendor Show in the park from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., a photo booth by Vividly Unique from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the park, a free Color Fun Run at 10:30 a.m. around the S.F. Goedde Building on West Crawford Street, and a Color Van Wert 5K Fun Run at 11 a.m. that starts at the corner of Jefferson and Crawford streets.

A number of local groups will entertain in Fountain Park, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Groups include Van Wert cheerleaders at 11 a.m., Kim Hohman’s DanceWorks dancers at noon, a Van Wert County Humane Society Dog Show (registration at 1 p.m. and the show at 2 p.m.), and the Van Wert Ballroom Dance Club at 3 p.m.

A number of art and entertainment activities will also be held in the gazebo at Fountain Park, starting with Tyler White & Friends at 11 a.m., Michaela Johnson at noon, Griffin Waltmire at 1 p.m., and Aubrey Gebert at 2 p.m.

A Chalk the Walk event will be held in Fountain Park from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., while Aaron Roehm’s Balloon Creations will entertain in the park from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

Caricature drawings by Darlene McCartney will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the park, while free children’s activities, games, and inflatables will be held in Fountain Park from 11 a.m. until 3 Saturday afternoon.

From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Peony Festival Garden Tours will take place at a number of area gardens (see a brochure on the Peony Festival website: www.vwpeonyfestival.comand click on “2018 events” and then “Garden Tours”).

Food vendors will be open on South Jefferson Street from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., while the Peony Patio will provide adult beverages on South Jefferson from 4-9 p.m. Saturday.

At 4:45 p.m., Miah Katalenas will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of the Van Wert County Courthouse, and the Peony Festival Grand Parade will then start at 5 p.m. down Main Street.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Peony Festival Committee concession stand will be open for dinner in Fountain Park, while a free Saturday night concert featuring the band Blind Date will be held from 7-9 p.m. on the Fountain Park stage.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, winners of the Chair-ity Silent Auction will be named.

Garden tours will also be held from noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.

POSTED: 05/30/18 at 7:44 am. FILED UNDER: News