FridayOctober 31, 2014,

Heritage of Flight Festival Goes On Despite Weather PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00

The ninth-annual Heritage of Flight Festival and Parade provided attendees a celebration full of hometown fun, food, and crafts.

The festival weekend was a very busy time for the city of New Carlisle, with Main Street being blocked off at 12pm on Friday to get ready for the annual festival.  Around 1pm on Friday, over 1,000 classic cars started rolling into New Carlisle for the Classic Cruise-In, a festival favorite.  As the classic cars got situated along Main Street, the crowds started rolling in, as did the weather.  Fortunately, the rain only lasted a few minutes and did not seem to bother festival-goers as they took in the sights and browsed local vendor booths. 

The festival’s live music got everyone’s boots to stomping as two bands took to both stages Friday evening.  Classic rock band The Fleez played the main stage at dusk, putting on a rockin’-good set as always, while the Ecoli Blues Band performed on the south stage.  After working up an appetite doing all that dancing, many attendees flocked to the Masonic Lodge, which sold hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, smoked sausages, and nachos.  The Honey Creek Presbyterian Church, located at 212 W. Jefferson St, held a Chicken Noodle Dinner from 5 – 7pm.  “The dinner was good, but then it always is”, says Rebecca Pike of Huber Heights. 

Saturday was by far the busiest day of the festival, despite the off-and-on rain showers.  The New Carlisle Community Chorus kicked off the festivities at 10am Saturday, filling the streets of downtown with sweet music. The SERTOMA (Service to Mankind) pancake breakfast was held from 7-10:30am at the United Methodist Church. “Proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast will go to charitable organizations along with community projects, with the main one being for speech and hearing”, said Bill Berry.  The church was packed with patrons seeking a home-cooked breakfast, and after tasting that sausage gravy, one could certainly understand the crowd.

Commencing at 8:30am was the 5K walk/run, which was sponsored by My Time Fitness. Top finishers for the 5K were David Riley of Springboro, with a time of 21:40.5, Isaac Leavitt of New Carlisle, with a time of 21:42.7, and Jeremiah Mattingly of Medway, with a time of 22:00.6

Festival patrons participated in a silent auction and bake sale that was held in the Big White Tent, with many items up for grabs, such as wine and cheese gift baskets, and memberships to the New Carlisle Pool.  Next to it, the always-popular Beer & Brat Hangar, sponsored by the American Legion Post 286, served up cold beer and sizzling hot bratwursts. 

Team FASTRAX Parachute Jumpers descended onto the scene Saturday morning just before 11, filling the sky with huge American flags as they plummeted, with one of the flags measuring more than 2,000 feet in diameter. The parade began around 11 am, and featured many divisions the Antioch Shrine Parade Units, including live music, antique automobiles, and of course, clowns.  Ragtime Riverboat Rats along with Storms Creek, provided the entertainment for the day, and those looking to explore the Honey Creek Firefighting Museum were taken via a free horse-drawn carriage ride.

Trying to break the world’s record for the biggest Chicken Dance, many participants joined together at the main stage on Saturday afternoon.  “The Chicken Dance was a success, we didn’t break the world record, but we were close”, said Marshall Gorby. “Real close, trust me”, he added. Also on Saturday, Peter Rushton, owner of P.T. Reptiles of Columbus, was on-hand to entertain festival-goers with some of his reptiles and arachnids. During Peter’s demonstration, there were many curious on-lookers, wondering just what Peter had contained in those styrofoam crates.  Peter came to New Carlisle toting with him snakes, tarantulas, and an American alligator. Some of the children present, as well as their mothers, were lucky enough to be chosen to hold some of Peter’s reptilian friends. 

At 5 pm on Saturday, the main stage erupted in commotion as the chicken wing eating contest began.  With about 16 men and women competing against one another to see who could eat the most wings in a minute, Mayor Lowell McGlothin kept time, as the Heritage of Flight Crew Committee did the judging.  Randall Drew ate 20 wings and beat out Nathan Allen for first place, with Andy Barker taking home the 3rd place trophy. The final entertainment on the main stage for the day, was the Kate Hasting Band.  Throughout the day, during all the special events held, people had the opportunity to enjoy other activities such as the rides.  One could even try their luck at the Fastest Pitch Booth, sponsored by the NCBSA. Main Street was filled with the delicious aromas from all the food that was being cooked by the vendors.

On Sunday at 1pm, the fifth-annual Jim Slanker Memorial Chair Races were held on Main Street.  Jim Slanker, who passed away on October 1 of 2009, initially had the idea for the chair races as an annual Heritage of Flight event, and donated the first La-Z-Boy recliner as a prize.  The first chair race was October 4, 2009, just three days after Jim passed away. The festival committee then decided to name the races in his honor. The chair race contestants acted as a team of two, with one pushing the chair and one riding in the chair.  Each team raced down the street going in and out of cones. Teams that touched the cones were penalized ten seconds for each incident.  At the other end of the track, the teams then had to fill a glass with water and a bowl with popcorn, then switching positions before racing back to the starting cone without spilling any water, and having at least 20 pieces of popcorn remain in their bowls.  Brock and Blake McGlothin won the chair race this year, and after the race, said they would not participate anymore.  “We always say that, but then we always get talked into participating”, said Brock.  “We are always excited about this” added Blake.  Team Halfway Rustic (Larry Tate & Bruce Eggelston) came in second with Team Rednecks (Cody Arnett & Cody Dunn) winning third. .  This year, a special event occurred during the Chair Races, as Daniel Woodin dropped down on one knee in the middle of Main Street to propose to Sara Harold, and fortunately for Woodin, she said yes. 

The Tecumseh Show Choir performed on the main stage at 1:45 on Sunday, and unfortunately because of the weather, the National Kiddie Tractor Pullers Association cancelled their event.  Sure to disappoint the kids, it was a major event last year. Gretchen McAllister and Band took to the stage for the final entertainment of the weekend, concluding an all-around fun-filled hometown festival.

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