BELLBROOK — The 38th annual Sugar Maple Festival will not only celebrate sugar maples, but 200 years of Bellbrook history April 22-24 at Bellbrock Park.
“We have a wonderful group of volunteers and this year is going to be really fun for families,” said festival chair Tosha Shupe. “There are a bunch of new things to look forward to such as this year is the first time we will have a beer garden, we have 70 crafters and a variety of food vendors coming.”
The festival’s beer garden is hosted by two breweries: Warped Wing of Dayton and Yellow Springs Brewery. The garden will be open 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Shupe is a first time chair for the festival and is excited to see the whole festival come together.
Some highlights Shupe pointed out were that all the children’s activities in the park are free, the Girl Scouts will have maple flavored cotton candy and a blacksmith will be working in the park. Food vendors will be open Friday and Saturday until 9 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate our history and enjoy a weekend of fun,” Shupe added.
The festival also features the dog show, 5K run, recycled sculpture contest, parade and the Mini Sweetheart Parade.
The 10th Annual Sugar Maple Festival Dog Show is Friday and there will be food and activities. The dog show includes categories: cutest puppy (12 months and younger), cutest dog (over 12 months), ugliest, smallest, largest, best costume and silly dog tricks.
Each of the above categories will award a first, second and third prize trophy. There is also a Best of Show winner. The winning dogs will be invited to participate in Saturday’s parade. Food and beverage will be available at the show. The rain date is Saturday at the same time.
Saturday starts with the pancake breakfast 8-11 a.m. at Bellbrook United Methodist Church on Franklin Street. The 5K Run starts at 9 a.m. at Sugarcreek Elementary School, 51 S. East St. and is hosted by the Ohio River Road Runners Club. The race is an out and back on Washington Mill Road.
The parade begins 10:30 a.m. downtown. This is one hour earlier than last year and will have a variety of participants including World War II vehicles. Bicentennial cookies will be handed out afterwards to celebrate the city.
Other events this year include the Recycled Sculpture Contest, which promotes recycling at the Sugar Maple Festival. Artists ages 10 and up will use their imagination to create a unique sculpture out of recycled materials. Sculptures will be displayed during the festival weekend. Cash prizes and ribbons will be awarded.
In addition, there will be an art show for K-12 by Bellbrook students at the Bellbrook City Building in the community room, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Operation Kidsafe will be available 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday to digitally fingerprint and photograph children. The free event was provided by Bright Now Dental.
The Mini Sweetheart Parade will take place 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Bellbrock Park. This parade is for little girls up to age 7 to dress as their favorite princess costume and participate. Participants will receive a prize.
The festival will have a variety of entertainment and will conclude on Sunday with entertainer Danny Voris, 3-4:30 p.m. in Bellbrock Park.
The festival will be held Friday at 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Main Street will close 10 a.m. Friday and Franklin Street will close 5 p.m.