A four-day festival featuring live music, food, amusement rides and children's games will transform Pickerington's Victory Park into Picktown Palooza.

Starting Thursday, July 13, and running through Sunday, July 16, Pickerington's newest festival aims to be a family-friendly celebration of community and fun, said Chris Stein, president of the Picktown Palooza.

Sponsored by IGS Energy, the festival will bring national musical acts such as Cracker and Soul Asylum, to the Victory Park main stage and showcase 12 local bands as well.

In addition to summer festival staples, such as amusement rides and games, a car and bike show and a Kids' Corner are planned.

Stein said organizers have worked hard to give Picktown Palooza a heavy-hitting musical lineup that is a diverse and eclectic mix offering something for everyone.

The scheduled for the main stage includes:

* Thursday, July 13, the headliner is Eugene's Axe: The Music of Pink Floyd from 9:30 to 11p.m.

* Friday, July 14, is country music night with The Kate Hasting Band playing from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

* Saturday, July 15, features two national acts co-headlining the main stage.

Cracker, which has garnered tons of airplay over the years with its Americana brand of California-style rock and roll will play from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

At 9:30 p.m. Minneapolis-based Soul Asylum takes the stage. The band has achieved platinum-level success with international hits such as "Runaway Train" and "Misery" and continues to successfully tour the country.

* Sunday, July 16, the lineup will feature Christian rock bands with headliner SlawDog playing from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

"We're really excited," Stein said. "The weather just needs to be good. A lot of people are asking about the Pink Floyd (tribute) band on Thursday.

"Kate Hasting Band on Friday should be a great night of country music and we expect Saturday to be jam-packed for Cracker and Soul Asylum. Even on Sunday people should come down, get some food and listen to some great bands," said Stein.

In addition to the full schedule of music, Picktown Palooza will have carnival rides throughout the four-day festival, including a special $1 per ride deal on Thursday, July 13.

For those who bring their appetites, there will be more than 15 food vendors on hand serving anof food and beverages. A beer tent for those 21 years old and and over will also be available.

The Kids' Corner, reserved for children 12 and under, will be on-site and feature unique giant games like Kerplunk as well as special appearances by favorite movie characters like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, among others.

Check the festival website for the movie characters' appearances.

Other events include a Car and Bike Show from noon until 4:30 p.m. on Columbus Street in Olde Pickerington Village on Saturday, July 15, and a business showcase tent on all four days of the festival.

Stein said Picktown Palooza is generating a lot of interest from area residents and out-of-town visitors.

"It's looking really good," Stein said. "We've got a lot of stuff going on. There's been a lot of things to get done in a short period of time. Our biggest push right now is for volunteers."

He said having such a large festival is testament to the spirit of cooperation in Pickerington.

"We're just extremely excited we've been able to put this together," Stein said.

"We couldn't have done it without the support of the city of Pickerington, the Pickerington Local School District, our great sponsors, including our presenting sponsor IGS Energy, and our dedicated volunteers," he said.

Parking for Picktown Palooza is free on city-owned lots throughout the Olde Village area, and at Ridgeview Junior High School, the Pickerington Farmers' Market lot (except for Thursday, July 13), Sycamore Park and on all public streets.

Lawn chairs are allowed on festival grounds, however, coolers are not permitted.

Admission to Picktown Palooza is $5 each day at the gate. A four-day pass for $10 can be purchased before the event begins at Heartland Bank or on the Picktown Palooza website.

Palooza grounds open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m,. Friday, and will run until 11 p.m. Friday hours are 5 p.m. to midnight. Saturday hours are noon until midnight and Sunday the grounds will be open from noon until 6 p.m.

A schedule of activities and events, festival rules, how to volunteer, a list of sponsors and other information, go to www.picktownpalooza.org.

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