The Orangville Day’s Festival has become a successful annual event and 2011’s 6th annual was no exception. Held the third weekend in August, it would have not been possible without the hard work of nearly 80 volunteers and 60 plus sponsors all under the direction of Mark Paradowski. Parking lots were at maximum capacity (2000 people) shortly after noon, despite the pending summer thunderstorm. Families enjoyed such things as rides on Laura the elephant, browsing over 30 vendor booths, the spectacular opening ceremony featuring 4 skydivers culminating in an airborne presentation of the American Flag, and oohing and ahhing over the classics cars in the car show, new this year. Everyone took pleasure in dunking their local celebrities in the new dunk tank. Throughout the day teams competed at horseshoes, 3 on 3 basketball, softball and disc golf (also new this year), which drew 14 teams to tee off against each other. Once again the ever popular “Orangeville Jail” was a huge success. Children and adults alike purchased arrest warrants and had their loved ones thrown in jail while “law abiding” citizens purchased t-shirts and buttons to avoid “doing time.”
Kids participated in the orange eating contest on stage and activities such as treasure hunt, face painting, “throw your dog a bone”, and the orange bowl contest all free of charge.
The Taste of Gun Lake was held the week leading up to the festival. Seven area restaurants competed for bragging rights for best each of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Gun Lake Family Diner won both breakfast and lunch and The Bib won the trophy for dinner. Customers purchased a wrist band for $5 which entitled them to special discounts at participating eateries during the week then were asked to vote for their favorite.
Although the day was cut short due to the dangerous weather, after the storm passed more than 100 brave soles took part in the “Surfin @ the Inn” contest at the Gun River Inn. With the help of generators, participants were able to ride the surf board and enjoy music, food and drink. Even a member of the Barry County Sheriffs Posse got in the spirit and rode the surf board. One member of the Posse was heard to remark “we work many of these types of events but this one is our favorite because of the level of organization and the respect with which people are treated” Orangeville Days has become a true “Coming together with community Pride”
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