By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer
PAULDING – “Music Through the Ages” will be the theme for the annual John Paulding Days held in downtown Paulding on the courthouse square, June 5-6.
“The chamber board decided it would be a great theme for area groups to celebrate the music they love most,” said executive director of the Paulding Chamber Erika Willitzer.
This year’s event, which kicks off on Thursday, June 5 at 5 p.m., will also feature a free family music fest.
“The two day festival located in downtown Paulding will be family focused with free music on the courthouse lawn and at the Herb Monroe Community Park too,” Willitizer said.
“Plenty of craft and food vendors will be situated in the downtown area and families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the music.”
The parade will be on Thursday, June 5 at 7 p.m. like past years and the parade route will be the same as last year.
Parade entries will line up at the Paulding County Fairgrounds at 5:45 p.m. Float themes centered around music of the various decades is strongly encouraged.
George Carter, chief executive officer of Paulding-Putnam Electric Cooperative, is this year’s grand marshal.
The parade route will be the same as last year, starting at Williams Street, turning right on to Wayne Street, then left on Main Street, left on Perry, then right on to Williams Street, and then left on to Jackson where the parade will end. The announcer will be positioned near Hometown Pizza.
Following the parade, a free family music festival will last from 8 until 10 p.m.
Among other highlights of this year’s festival will include a courthouse candy drop.
Last year’s event was so successful that that John Paulding Days organizers decided to do it twice this year. The second annual courthouse candy drop will be held at 9 p.m. June 5 and at 6 p.m. on June 6.
Participants are urged to bring their plastic bags and get ready to pick up all kinds of candy on the courthouse lawn. Kids are welcome to line up around the lawn of the courthouse and when the instruction is given to “Go!” those participating can walk around and pick up sweet treats.
“Candy is spread all over the courthouse lawn and kids can go and pick it all up. It’s quite the scene! Parents are strongly encouraged to bring their own bags,” said Willitizer.
Some of the other planned events include a craft fair on the square, and a corn hole tournament put on by Relay Team Marathon Moms & Open Mic.
Craft vendors and nonprofit/service agency food vendors will be open from 5-9 p.m. each evening.
Anyone wanting to display talents can contact Willitzer at 419-769-3011 or by email at PauldingChamber@gmail.com
Friday’s events will include rides and concessions from 5-10 p.m., free family music fest 5-10 p.m., courtyard candy drop 6-7 p.m. and craft fair 5-9 p.m.
Local thespians with CC Banks Productions of Antwerp will be on the grounds performing bits from their musicals, as well.
Face painting and kid crafts will also be going on during the two days.
“This is a community event that allows us all to come together to kick off the summer season,” concluded Willitizer. “We hope you’ll bring your family out to enjoy this great tradition in Paulding.”