After a one-year hiatus, the show will go on as a revamped Violet Festival gets set to open a four-day run at a new venue on the grounds of Tollgate Elementary School and Tollgate Middle School, 12089 Tollgate Road N.W. in Violet Township.

After a one-year hiatus, the show will go on as a revamped Violet Festival gets set to open a four-day run at a new venue on the grounds of Tollgate Elementary School and Tollgate Middle School, 12089 Tollgate Road N.W. in Violet Township.

Pickerington's Violet Festival is scheduled to open Wednesday, July 29, and run through Aug. 1, and will be jam-packed with activities, entertainment, food, games and rides for all ages.

Violet Festival President Chris Stein said he is optimistic this year's venue, lineup and layout will be better than ever.

"Things are coming along just fine," Stein said. "We just need good weather and the turnout should be good. I think people appreciate what we're trying to do."

New this year is a concerted focus on family-friendly activities.

That's why organizers set up a dedicated Kids' Corner tent, sponsored by Nationwide Children's Hospital. The venue will be open to children 12 years old and younger and feature giant games such as Kerplunk, Jenga, Operation and Checkers. There will be no extra admission charge to enter the tent.

"It's a pretty big tent that will have tables and chairs so parents can go in and eat food under the shade while the kids are playing," Stein said.

Friday, July 31, from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 1, from 2 to 10 p.m., the Kids' Corner will feature stilt-walking balloon artists as well as a strolling magician and magic shows.

Carnival rides are back without the accompanying hit to the pocketbook, Stein said.

Opening day, all rides are $1 each, all day.

Thursday through Friday, a ride ticket is $1.50 per ticket (rides range from 2-3 tickets per ride) or $15 for an all-day pass.

Saturday, an unlimited ride pass can be purchased for $12 which is good from noon to 5 p.m., or $15 for unlimited riding from 5 p.m. to midnight.

"Traditionally at festivals, prices seem to increase every year," Stein said, "but because of sponsorships, we've been able to decrease the prices as they pertain to the actual rides."

Admission to the Pickerington Violet Festival will be $3 per person Wednesday and Thursday and $5 per person Friday and Saturday. Wristbands will be sold at the gate. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free.


As for entertainment two big-name musical acts will take the stage Friday and Saturday night.

National country-music duo LOCASH is the headliner scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m. July 31. Carlie Short and the Rotgut Ramblers will open that show at 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 1 will feature classic rock band Kansas at 9:30 p.m.

Stein said there will also be plenty of bands playing throughout the festival, including Wednesday night headliner The Byron Shepherd Band and Thursday night's main act Radio Tramps.

"We're adding a lot of flavor this year, so it's not just cover bands," he said.

Other attractions

Other notable events include the Violet Festival Parade, a car and motorcycle show sponsored by the Ohio Auto Club, and a 5K Dash and Kids Fun Run, sponsored by Diley Ridge Medical Center.

The Violet Festival Parade will step off July 31 from Pickerington High School Central, 300 Opportunity Way and wind its way through Olde Pickerington Village and back to the high school.

The car and motorcycle show, which takes place Aug. 1 on the Tollgate campus, will feature an array of classic and antique cars and motorcycles. The show is open for viewing from noon to 4:30 p.m. Registration is from noon to 3 p.m.

The Diley Ridge 5K dash will also take place Aug. 1 at 9:15 a.m. Day-of-event registration starts at 7:45 a.m. A free Kids' Fun Run will start at 8:45 a.m. Check the Violet Festival's website for details and to pre-register.

Stein said there is "a lot of stuff" going on at the 2015 Violet Festival, including food and beverage choices.

"There are 19 food vendors so there are plenty of choices as well," Stein said.

"We have 16 picnic tables set up and we also have tables inside the Kids' Corner and people can take food over to the Beer Garden," he said.

No coolers will be allowed on festival grounds, however, attendees are allowed to bring lawn chairs. Pets are not allowed on the grounds.

Stein thanked the Pickerington Local School District, Fairfield County Sheriff's Office, the city of Pickerington and Violet Township officials for their assistance.

"Everyone wants the festival to succeed," he said.

Stein also said the Violet Festival's various sponsors all stepped up to make the event happen.

"Without the sponsors, we don't have a festival," Stein.

Hours and parking

The Pickerington Violet Festival, presented by Mount Carmel, will run from 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 30; from 5 to midnight July 31; and from noon to midnight Aug. 1.

For a complete listing of Violet Festival activities, events, schedules, sponsors, rules, event registration and ticket information, go to the website

With the exception of handicapped-only parking, there will be no parking on Violet Festival grounds.

Free off-site parking will be located at Pickerington High School North, 7800 Refugee Road; Lakeview Junior High School, 12445 Ault Road and Trinity United Methodist Church, 6389 Blacklick Road N.W.

Free shuttle services will be offered from those locations to the festival site during festival hours.

Also during festival hours, no parking will be allowed in the Huntington Hills subdivisions or on Toll Gate Court and Mamie Drive.

In addition, Tollgate Road will be closed from Refugee Road North to Mamie Drive and Refugee Road will be closed from Pickerington Road to Saylor Road, according to the Fairfield County Engineer's Office.