A new family-friendly summer event is scheduled to debut in Pickerington in July.
Picktown Palooza will be a four-day celebration that will offer music, food, amusement rides, game, a Kids' Corner, a car and bike show, and more.
Sponsored by IGS Energy, Picktown Palooza will run July 13 through 16 in Victory Park and on the grounds of the adjacent Pickerington Local School District in Old Pickerington Village.
The site was previously the location of the Violet Festival for 16 years until that event moved to Toll Gate Middle School off Refugee Road where the festival was held in 2015 and 2016.
The February announcement the Violet Festival was dissolving its board of directors and would no longer hold a festival left a void in the summer entertainment landscape.
That void was filled.
Panger Productions, a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization, will produce the Picktown Palooza in the wake of the dissolution of the Violet Festival.
Organizers emphasize Picktown Palooza is an entirely new and different festival with a new board of directors and new format.
"Mayor Lee Gray felt strongly that the city still needed this type of event," said Chris Stein, president of Panger Productions.
"He asked me if it was something I was willing to do and I obliged," Stein said.
Stein said Pickerington City Council's Safety Committee unanimously approved the operation of a Picktown Palooza beer garden on city property at its May 3 meeting.
Final legislative approval for the beer garden will now be up to City Council.
"The biggest thing here wasn't me coming to the city saying 'I want to put on an event,' this is really a partnership with the city," Stein said.
"The mayor felt I could pull this off, but I said only if the city was going to be involved," he said.
Stein said once the city and school district expressed support for Picktown Palooza, planning started in March to bring the event to downtown Pickerington.
Stein said IGS Energy has been tabbed as the presenting sponsor for the event, but an additional 18 other sponsors also have stepped up.
"We're excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Picktown Palooza," said Scott White, president and CEO of IGS Energy.
"As a family-owned company with over 25 years of experience serving central Ohio, we're proud to support the areas where we live and work. We look forward to this first-time ever event partnership," White said.
Music will be a big part of the festival's agenda. Stein said the festival already has lined up emerging Nashville-based recording artists the Kate Hasting Band as a Friday night act.
"They're coming up to play some country music on a Friday night," Stein said.
"We've already got some local bands booked and I'm pretty confident we'll also lock in some sort of national act," he said.
Organizations and individuals interested in volunteering or helping sponsor the event can call 614-379-2099.
Admission to Picktown Palooza will be $5 at the gate. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free. Heartland Bank is selling discounted admission passes for $10 which will cover the full four days of the Picktown Palooza.
For details about Picktown Palooza, go to PicktownPalooza.org.