Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
In early 2011 Theresa Dronsfield, owner of the distinctive Giant Lemonade Cup concession, approached members of the Village of Sunbury Parks & Recreation Committee about adding a festival to the village’s summer event agenda. The village already has three flea market events — Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day — but Dronsfield envisioned something different that would draw a larger crowd; something focused on music and food.
Following several visits to Parks and Rec and Sunbury Village Council, and council’s approval to move ahead, a date was set and Sunbury’s first Sizzle & Sounds was born.
It didn’t take long for everyone to notice that the first Sizzle & Sounds was scheduled for the same day as the 2011 Galena Summerfest. It could have been a disaster — two festivals on the same day only a few miles apart; but Dronsfield and Galena Summerfest chair Jane White, who had never met, decided to join forces, share promotional costs and connect the two festivals via a free shuttle.
The marriage of last year’s Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds and Galena Summerfest turned out to be so successful – 8,000 Central Ohio folks attended each event – that it made sense to schedule them on the same day again this year.
Dronsfield said last year was a learning experience that created changes in this year’s Saturday, August 25, Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds. The Kids Zone will now be on the west side of Sunbury Square, the adult stage and Beer Garden has been moved to the east side of the square near the Firehouse Tavern and Chase Bank.
“We’ve expanded the Kids Zone with the stage, and added a petting zoo and bounce houses,” Dronsfield said. “The Kids Zone stage will feature music by OH-YESS and Endless Recess.
“But our biggest news is we’re flying in two alumni to perform on our main stage,” Dronsfield continued. “Not only will our very own Ryan Notes be flying in from New York City to perform, we will also have a special guest flying in from Las Vegas Nevada — Sunbury’s own Joel Heitman.”
In addition to Ryan Notes and Heitman, Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds will feature performances by the 2012 Big Walnut High School 15-Minutes of Fame Contest winners, the Big Walnut area’s favorite local band Southwynd, Isis Yazmeen, and Lt. Dan’s New Legs.
Also performing will be Lori Ferguson, Mandy King, Dori-Kay Strom, The Usual Suspects, Simba Jordan and Fashion Disaster.
“We have a huge increase in food vendors this year, no duplication and all pretty much local food vendors,” Dronsfield said. “No beer will be sold until the Kids Zone closes down, and all beer will be served responsibly and monitored.”
Dronsfield said the 2012 Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds is expected to top last year’s attendance; and in addition to the open air trolley connecting both events, two large air-conditioned vans have been added to the shuttle schedule thanks to Life Builders.
“We invite the Big Walnut community to come out and enjoyed both festivals,” Dronsfield said. “It promises to be an exciting day with award-winning barbecue, tons of food, drinks and desserts as well as countless vendors.”
Dronsfield did note that a $1 donation would be accepted at the gate to help offset Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds costs.
The 2012 Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds is a Village of Sunbury Parks & Recreation Festivals & Events Committee event.