By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
The Village of Galena held its first Galena Summerfest to celebrate the village’s 2009 bicentennial. The festival was so successful that the village wanted to do a repeat, but they couldn’t hold an event that large in 2010 because the Old 3-C Bridge was closed during the summer for repairs, said Galena Summerfest chair Jane White.
A Galena Summerfest was planned for 2011, the date was set and then it was discovered that the same date had been set for the 2011 Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds Festival, right down the road. White and Sizzle & Sounds event coordinator Theresa Dronsfield put their heads together and turned what could have been a disaster into a happy accident.
Having two nearby festivals on the same day worked so well that it made sense to do it again — Galena Summerfest and Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds joined together by a free shuttle connecting the two venues.
White, owner of Mudflats Bar & Grill, said during this year’s Galena Summerfest the entire Galena Square will be reserved for pedestrians; and the secure, ID’d, wrist-banded beer garden has been expanded, with live bands on stage facing the square playing from 1 p.m. and into the evening.
“We focused a lot on blues on our main stage this year,” White said. “Our headliner, the Sean Carney Band, goes onstage at 8:30 p.m. and plays until the festival closes. Sean Carney was the 2007 International Blue Challenge winner. At 6 p.m. Hurricane Jerry & Stormfront is onstage. Hurricane Jerry went to the IBC as a regional winner, so we’re featuring a really strong blues lineup.”
In addition to Sean Carney and Hurricane Jerry, the 2012 Galena Summerfest main stage lineup includes Ray Fuller & the Bluesrockers and Ms. Lissa & Company.
The Kids Zone at Ruffner Park will also have a stage this year, White said, featuring entertainment by Annie’s Jam Band, The Shazzbots and the Ohio Youth Entertainer Stage Show.
“Add to all of that there will be arts and crafts vendors, home and garden vendors, historical and parks tours, and local natural attractions,” White said. “For food we’ll have pizza, Graeter’s Ice Cream, Maggie’s Lemonade, Phat Wraps and Funnel of Love. The Galena Diner will be serving, Mudflats will be open, and there will be Bud Light and Yuengling beer outside.”
An Ohio State Highway Patrol chopper is scheduled to land at 11 a.m. at the Ruffner Park Kids Zone, where there will also be a caricature artist, face painting, a balloon artist, and Kroger’s Pepe will be on board from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Kids Zone to entertain children.
“We will also have collection boxes at the Greater Galena Civic Association booth for canned foods to be given to Big Walnut Friends Who Share, and school supplies for children in need as the school year begins,” White said. “The cans and supplies don’t offset any festival costs. Admission is free, parking is free and the shuttles are sponsored by LifeBuilders. This is just another way we can support our community.”
Just like last year, Galena Mayor Tom Hopper will serve as a Galena Parks and Historic tour guide three times during the day, White said.
“Galena and Sunbury are excited to be putting on a destination event for the Columbus area and beyond,” White said. “Some of the best live entertainment from all of Ohio will be performing. Each festival will complement the other,” White added. “This is a great marriage of communities working together.”