By Scott Halasz
XENIA — An expanded vendor area and a star-studded entertainment schedule highlight the 2016 Xenia Community Festival.
Set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17, the festival takes place at Shawnee Park and will feature music from Xenia’s Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, who are regularly played on Sirius/XM and bluegrass channels, and the Soul Express Motown band along with three local dance teams and an Irish band.
And when it’s time to eat and shop, attendees won’t have to go very far to find their favorite items.
“We have more vendors, more food and craft vendors,” said Diane Hollenbeck, president of the committee. “It’s just growing each year.”
The festival opens 4 p.m. Friday with opening ceremonies 6 p.m. The popular balloon glow, featuring champion balloonist Al Nels of Beavercreek, begins at dusk. The fun resumes 9 a.m. Saturday with the parade. It begins on East Main Street between Collier and State Route 68 and goes up North Detroit Street to the Shawnee Elementary School area.
New Wilberforce University President Dr. Herman J. Felton will be the grand marshal as the festival is celebrating the revitalization of the school and its 160th anniversary.
Dance Loft Plus, Diamonds & Pearls and Live Gracefully dance teams perform between 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Soul Express takes the stage 5 p.m. with Mullins and the Ramblers 7:30 p.m.
The Third Annual Junked Bike Art Competition will be judged during the festival with the winner being announced 6 p.m. Saturday at the main stage.
In addition, the festival will feature paddle boats on the lake, amusement rides and PNC Bank’s Imagination Station.
“It’s just a gold old-fashioned community festival,” Hollenbeck said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.