Want to go?
WHAT: Bellevue Community Days
WHEN: June 28-30
WHERE: Greenwood Heights Park and Robert Peters Athletic Field, Bellevue
INFO: 419-483-5555 or Funcoast.com
Nowadays everything is iThis and eThat. Everybody wants to be extreme, push the limit and feel the rush. Specifically, the kids want to feel as though they’re, quoting the great Mötley Crüe, “Taking a walk on the wild side.”
Luckily this summer that’s what the organizers of the Bellevue Community Days has in store for the youth attending the 10th annual free event taking place June 28 through 30 at Greenwood Heights Park/Robert Peters Athletic Field.
“One of the things we did this year to highlight the amusement rides company we had the last several years is also get an extreme adventure ride company coming out bringing a zipline ride,” said Bellevue Parks and Recreation Director and Bellevue Community Days Festival Organizer Marc Weisenberger. “It’s brand new, and there are only like two of them out in the whole country. It’s 30-foot high, 135-feet long. So that’s something fun.
“They’re also bringing along as part of the extreme package a trampoline, where you’re bungeed in and kids can do all kinds of neat things, as well as also a 30-foot four-way climbing rock.”
While parents and grandparents enjoy strolling around the park seeing old friends or hitting a food vendor (or two or three), the kids are looking for stimulation. Weisenberger said the extreme rides are aimed at tweeners, but overall the event is a family-friendly affair.
“We try to provide a nice, clean, family-oriented event that has become a neat thing where people can come down and see people they don’t normally run into,” Weisenberger said. “We’ve got some class reunions, family reunions, things like that. It’s an established date that they started to build around that. And then I think as far as with Bellevue being situated uniquely as part of four counties, we want people from the area to feel like this is for all of them as well.”
The Bellevue Community Days celebrates a decade in existence, but the truth is the festival was supposed to be a one-off affair. It was originally conceived in 2003 as a celebration of the city’s sesquicentennial and the State of Ohio’s bicentennial, but local folks wanted more.
Run jointly by the Bellevue Recreation Dept., Bellevue Rec Club and Bellevue Area Tourism & Visitors Bureau, the Bellevue Community Days Festival offers everything from live entertainment to fireworks, tasty food, games, little league baseball, softball, cornhole tournament and more.
Another thing that’s grown in popularity is the annual raffle, which includes a collector’s badge.
“The badge is something you can look back upon,” Weisenberger said. “Back in the day when they had The Cherry Festival, they did the coins and I know people pull those out from time to time. So the badge is something that you go through all of the work of putting on an event like this, it’s nice to have something to look back on.”
He added, “The way that works is with your badge you get a raffle ticket and they’re $5 each or 5 for $20. That enters you into a series of raffles for cash prizes. Which will be drawn Saturday night at the festival. That’s a $1,000 grand prize, a $500 second price and a $250 third prize. Also along the way, between now and throughout the festival, we’ll be raffling off Jet Express Tickets and some of the local attractions here in Bellevue. There’s a lot of neat prizes and fishing trips.”
The other aspect of the badge/raffle ticket is buyers may not only win money but can enter into any of the various food eating contests involving pie, pizza and ice cream. When asked why some folks want to gorge themselves in the spirit of competition, Weisenberger laughed, “I think everybody likes the challenge of it, and maybe having bragging rights.”
For more information, call 419-483-5555.