Pickerington event gains Mount Carmel as sponsor
The 15th annual Violet Festival will kick off July 25 featuring a host of events, including a karaoke competition and a concert by Night Ranger.
A signature event for the Pickerington and Violet Township community, the festival will take place July 25-28 in Victory Park. It traditionally draws up to 40,000 people.
This year, the event is being called the Mount Carmel Pickerington Violet Festival, after securing corporate sponsorship from Mount Carmel's health care organization.
"That is securing the fact we can put together some great entertainment -- such as bringing in Night Ranger -- and it gives us great exposure and the ability to promote the festival," said Jason Heitmeyer, a Violet Festival board member.
Night Ranger, rockers whose hits have included Sister Christian and (You Still Can) Rock in America, will serve as the festival's headlining act, with a performance in the park July 28.
Hotel California, an Eagles tribute band, also will return to festival for a concert on July 27.
Additional information about other live performances will be available on the festival's website, www.violetfestival.org.
This year, free parking for the festival will be available at Sycamore Park, 500 Hereford Drive, as well as at Pickerington High School Central, 300 Opportunity Way, and Ridgeview Junior High School, 130 Hill Road.
Free parking also will be available in the gravel lot at the corner of Center Street and Town Square Drive.
Admission to the festival is $3 per day, except after 5 p.m. July 28, when the cost to enter the grounds will rise to $5.
Patrons can avoid ticket lines and save money by purchasing a four-day wristband for $7 at KeyBank, 126 Postage Drive, Pickerington.
"A lot of people stood in lines for wristbands last year," Heitmeyer said. "They can get an all-week wristband pass through advance sales at KeyBank in Pickerington."
Children younger than 13 can attend the festival for free.
Also free will be several longstanding festival events, including the annual Downtown Dash, a 5K run through Olde Pickerington Village sponsored by Diley Ridge Medical Center, which will begin at 6:45 p.m. July 27, and immediately precede the 2012 Violet Festival Parade, which also is a free event and is slated for 7 p.m. July 27.
Registration information for the Downtown Dash and parade are available on the Violet Festival website.
Other traditional events returning to this year's festival include the annual Car & Bike Show, which will take place from noon to 2 p.m. July 28 in the Olde Village. Heitmeyer said there will be a wealth of food court options, carnival rides and arcade games.
Additionally, the festival's beer garden and VIP Tent, which also will feature wine sales, will be back this year.
"There are still limited opportunities for VIP involvement and access," Heitmeyer said. "We'll have live video feeds of the entertainment into the VIP Tent and beer garden."
New to this year's festival will be a karaoke contest, the finals for which will be held July 25 in the beer garden.
"They (contestants) can qualify for the finals at local bars in advance of the festival," Heitmeyer said.
Additional details about the nonprofit festival and activities there can be found on the Violet Festival website.