The 93rd annual Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival is only days away and organizers have packed the three-day festival with a schedule of events they believe will please visitors who are expected to set another record for attendance.
The free festival runs from Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2, in downtown Canal Winchester.
Parking downtown will be restricted as vendors and entertainment set up around the Waterloo Road-High Street intersection; attendees are encouraged to leave pets at home.
"The Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival is a family event and there is something sure to please everyone in the family," Mayor Michael Ebert said. "If the weather holds out, we expect large crowds each day, as it is one of the summer's last major events."
Runners and walkers can enjoy the pre-festival Canal Winchester Alumni Scholarship Association 5K Run-Walk, which starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, at the old high school on Franklin Street. The annual run raises scholarship funds for Canal Winchester students.
The festival's opening ceremonies are scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Diley Ridge Medical Center Stage in the center of downtown. Bands will take to the stage at 11 a.m. and keep the music going for the rest of the weekend.
The music will continue from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Monday's schedule runs from 10:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. with a variety of entertainment, including the annual Canal Winchester Labor Day Parade.
Ebert, on behalf of the parade committee, named family-owned businesses as this year's grand marshals.
The businesses that have been in operation for 30 years or more include: Richard McClurg Optometry; Hartman Goodyear; the Jordan family, the Dysart Corp.; the Hershberger family and Dale Joiner, Hersh Rubber & Packing; the Larry Taylor family, Taylor & Son; Dwayne Spence, Spence Funeral Home; Jim and Vicki Shaw family, Shaw Jewelers; Ken Heiberger of Heiberger Paving; Tony and Karen Hoffman of Hoffman Auto; Joe Bitler family, Bolenbaugh Hardware; Pete Stebelton, Stebes Auto Sales; Tom Rutherford family, Rutherford Autobody; Roger White Insurance; the Pfeifer family, owners of the Doll Museum; Johnny Johnson, Body Masters; William E. Mills Dentistry; and the Johnny Macintosh family, Mac's Auto Parts.
"These are the same people we call our neighbors and friends and attended school and church with," Ebert said. "They have supported the foundation for our community and helped it to excel for the last 30 years or more."
One of those families includes the McDormans, who, on behalf of the Bob McDorman Corvette Museum, are sponsoring the parade, which starts at 1 p.m., Monday, Sept. 2.
The Labor Day Festival will again include children's games, contests and rides. A $12 wristband will provide an unlimited number of kids' rides from noon to 6 p.m. for the day it is purchased. The Kiddie Tractor Pull at 4 p.m. Saturday will be used to qualify entrants for a state competition.
Throughout the festival, food and craft vendors will sell their wares and the Kingy's Hospitality Tent will offer alcoholic refreshments; the Quilters on Canal group will set up a quilting display at the Francis Steube Community Center.
Jeff Wyler Chevrolet will host a cruise-in on Sunday, an event Ebert said "will once again bring out some of the finest show cars in central Ohio."
The Peggy Wood Scholarship Pageant will take place on Saturday with the winners being honored on stage on Monday, following the parade.
For more information, visit cwlaborday.org.