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Published: Monday, 8/12/2013

Rossford Riverfest to return in expanded format Aug. 24


Rossford Riverfest returns to Veterans Memorial Park in Rossford Aug. 24 after the event’s inception a year ago, augmented with a second band for musical entertainment and a second field for a softball tournament, organizers said.

“We are building on the success last year, with about 1,000 people attending,” said Rossford’s parks and recreation director, Ivan Kovacevic, co-chairman of the event.

The bands will be Wilson Lake & the Rock Bass and the Connor Rose Band, Mr. Kovacevic said. The two softball fields to be used in a co-ed softball tournament will be the one in the memorial park and the other downtown, Beach Street Park, behind the union hall of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 85, 319 Glenwood Rd.

Also planned are fireworks, carnival games, a cornhole tournament, 50/​50 raffles, food concessions, and a beer garden.

“It’s a fantastic event for the entire community,” Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said. “It’s truly an event that makes us a better community. It brings people together. It’s something everybody enjoys. It’s just a lot of fun.” He noted the fireworks last about 40 minutes.

The event is a co-production of the city’s parks and recreation department and the Rossford Business Association.

Brenda Schwind, association’s president, said in a written statement the group is “thrilled to be part of providing a fun-filled event for the city of Rossford.” Riverfest is a “chance for us to give back to the community that supports our member businesses.”

Mr. Kovacevic, who belongs to the association, said the idea for Riverfest was born of the plan to merge the Labor Day weekend Fireworks in the Park put on by the city at the park and the Fun at the Fountain event put on the following weekend by the association.

As funds became scarce, he said, the association led a fund-raiser in 2009 to help save the fireworks display. The city and the association then held a larger event a week before the Labor Day weekend, combining Fireworks in the Park and the Fun at the Fountain. The former was held in the park and the latter at the fountain in front of Rossford City Hall.

After a few years of the event in that format, Rossford Riverfest was held last year not only at the same time but at the same place — the park — “to have a bigger event,” he said. The Fun at the Fountain was moved to Memorial Park.

Event sponsors include Hollywood Casino Toledo, Meijer Inc., Welch Publishing Co., Pilkington North America Inc., and the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission to the beer garden is $1, with proceeds to benefit the annual RBA scholarships for local high school students. Wilson Lake & the Rock Bass will perform from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; the Connor Rose Band will start at 7 p.m.

Parking will be available at Eagle Point Elementary School, with overflow parking at Rossford High School.

For more information, call 419-666-2905 or visit rossfordrecreation.com.

Contact Mike Sigov at: 419-724-60789, sigov@theblade.com, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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