The annual Archbold Carp Festival will take on more of a festival atmosphere with events in historic downtown Archbold, said Julie Brink, director of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce.
The 33rd annual Carp Fest kicks off tomorrow, Thursday, with the Archbold Farmers Market, Adriel Ice Cream Social, and other events.
When planning for this year’s events, Brink said the Carp Fest and Fall Festival boards met.
“We had a discussion. The two festivals have not been real well attended over the last few years, so we decided to do one festival and give it our all,” she said.
As a result, there will be no fall festival for 2012. The future of the event will be evaluated after Carp Fest.
Block Traffic Saturday
For this year’s Carp Fest, Brink said North Defiance Street will be blocked off Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm.
Downtown is the site for many activities, beginning with the start and finish of the annual Run for The Lights 5K run and two-mile walk.
A disc jockey will begin playing music at 7:30 am, and go until 1 pm.
Brink said restaurants and other food vendors have been asked to put tables and chairs outside, to create a “sidewalk cafe” atmosphere.
Other downtown events include Toddler Trot and Diaper Dash races for small children, a cookie cook-off, childrens fashion show, and a kids pedal tractor pull.
One new event this year is the “Gone Fish’n Poker Shop.”
Shoppers will visit participating retailers, where they will draw, or “fish,” playing cards from seven merchants.
At the end of the day, a poker expert will determine who drew the best poker hands. Prizes will be awarded.
The annual Steve Schnitkey Fishing Derby at the Archbold reservoir begins at 8:30 am, Saturday.
The Black Swamp Arts Council will have a “Kidz Zone,” featuring artistic activities for children, Saturday from 11:30 am to 2 pm downtown.
Other traditional Carp Fest events will be held in their normal locations.
The annual Archbold Lions Club auction and fish fry is Friday night in Ruihley Park.
The Archbold Knights of Columbus will hold its Party in the Park starting Friday at 8 pm at Rebeau Hall on West Lutz Rd.
Volleyball tournaments will again be held Friday and Saturday in Ruihley Park.
The Archbold Athletic Boosters will have a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and nine-foot slam dunk contest Friday night in Ruihley Park.
An event for a 21-and-over crowd is Saturday starting at 5 pm.
West Holland Street, from North Defiance Street to Ditto Street, will be blocked off for a Street Fest, which will feature food and entertainment.
Brink said, “Saturday will tell us” whether or not a downtown “festival”-style Carp Fest is successful.