Corn, Cookies, Giant Weed Among NW Ohio Festivals

(Fayette, OH) The 40th annual festival that honors what some call an invasive weed takes place this weekend in Fayette. 

That Fulton County community plays host in a tongue-in-cheek way to a weed common in the countryside. The Bull Thistle Arts Festival, which features a parade, fireworks display, arm wrestling tournament, a tall tales writing contest, Bull Thistle Burgers, art vendors, and a flower contest to see who can grow the nicest bull thistle plant. 

The festival in Fayette started with a conversation over coffee right after the U.S. bicentennial celebration in 1976, so this year’s theme is “40 Years of Bull.” In case you were wondering, the bull thistle can grow to a height of 12 feet and is festooned with thorns and a purple flower-- and happens to be the national flower of Scotland.

One Henry County community celebrates all things corn this weekend. The Deshler Corn City Festival happens Saturday and Sunday with rides, a parade, volleyball tournament, kiddie tractor pulls, and a car show, along with ears and ears and rows and rows of corn cooked all ways. That annual festival is put on by the Deshler chamber of commerce.

The 13th annual McComb Cookie Festival kicks off Saturday morning with softball and disc golf tournaments, a 5-K run, and a parade through town. The festival itself happens at McComb Village Park at the corner of state routes 186 and 235. There's a car show and a fishing derby among the Sunday events in that Hancock county community.

Hot-air balloons will color the skies over Defiance tomorrow for that community's annual balloon festival. Nearly 20 balloons will be on hand for tethered rides Saturday morning and a night glow that evening. There's a 5-K fun run and one-mile walk in the morning along witha pancake breakfast. Evening events include a touch-a-truck contest and BMX bike demonstration.

The annual Festival of India will put on a colorful display of culture at Centennial Terrace on Sunday. Traditional folk and Bollywood dances, spicy food, and meditation are among the events planned from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the free, family-friendly festival. Kids activities will include face painting and a photo booth.

Carey Fest is underway in that Wyandot County village. The 37th annual event runs this evening and tomorrow with plenty of bands, a three-on-three basketball tournament and a 5-K run. There’s also a twilight trot and teen dances—all in downtown Carey, which is also hosting a parade Saturday afternoon.

The Van Wert Ribfest kicks off later today in that Paulding County village. The 11th edition of that weekend festival includes wiffleball and cornhole tournaments, plenty of bands, a cruise-in and car show, pig races, and a rib-eating contest. The festival runs Friday and Saturday all day. 

The first-ever Street Feast takes place in downtown Findlay tomorrow. The festival features regional cuisine from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday and you can even vote for your favorite food vendor with a one-dollar donation. There will be plenty of live music as well. That festival benefits the arts education programming of the Findlay-Hancock County Arts Partnership.

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