Archbold, OH

Friendship Days Dodges Rain; Gross Proceeds Down $11,000

Pettisville Friendship Days events experienced very few problems, despite weather forecasts that called for a chance of rain during nearly every event.

Friendship Days were held over the weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 27- 29.

The only event canceled due to rain was the hole in one golf contest scheduled for Saturday.

Revenue Down

While attendance seemed strong, preliminary figures show gross receipts for the festival were down.

“Income from nearly every event, with the exception of the chicken barbeque on Friday evening, was down compared to two years ago,” said Char Lee, Friendship Days treasurer.

The community festival, which is held every other year, funds maintenance and improvements at the community park.

Preliminary gross receipts for the weekend total $59,000, down almost $11,000 from 2006.

Festival officials cited the weather, economy, and competing events as factors that could explain the decrease.

Pettisville moved the festival from the third weekend in June to the fourth to avoid competing with the Black Swamp Festival, when it moved from September to June.

But the fourth weekend in June also features the National Threshers Association convention at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, Wauseon, another event that could draw attendees away from Friendship Days.

“Overall, I think Friendship Days went well,” said Lavon Herschberger, who with his wife, Marie, chaired the event.

“Our attendance seemed good, especially considering the weather forecasts.”

Community Effort

Herschberger praised the community effort it takes to put on the festival.

“It’s a real community effort,” he said. “Everyone jumps in and helps. We have lots of volunteers, good attendance, and lots of monetary support for the events.”

The Friday night benefit auction offered many items donated by area businesses.

The Friendship Days quilt, made by local quilters especially for the festival, sold for $2,100. The auction grossed more than $15,000.

Saturday night’s big event was a reverse raffle drawing, with Jay Pursel taking the first place prize of $1,500.

Sunday morning there was a community worship service in the large tent at the park, featuring Gloria Beck as a speaker, and a youth worship band from a local church leading praise and worship.

The offering from the service was divided to help with two local needs, the NOAH house shelter and medical expenses for Cayman Stamm, a threemonth old who has already needed numerous surgeries due to birth defects.

The festival also included a children’s carnival, inflatable games, and numerous sporting events in addition to meal sales and concessions.

“It’s a real community event, where people can come and bring their children,” Herschberger said. “Friendship Days is very family friendly.”

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