05/11/12  The Yellow River Festival Committee is hard at work finalizing details for this year’s festival. The free 6th annual event will take place on Saturday, June 2, from 10am to 6pm in River Park Square on LaPorte St., just a few blocks east of Michigan St. in downtown Plymouth.

The festival celebrates the first 30 years of Marshall County (1834-1864) as well as the significance of the Yellow River in our community. Festival committee President Teressa Welborn points out that “it’s a great way to show our children and teenagers what life was like back in that time before electronics and video games.”

The festival planners have brought back popular attractions while also including new vendors and presenters. Paula McAdams, Education committee chair, prioritized booking “Johnny Appleseed” (portrayed by Steve McPhail) after last year’s festival appearance won many new fans. Johnny, whose festival appearance is sponsored by Del Monte, will be joined by more re-enactors who dress in 1800s style clothing and can explain the artifacts. The “Liars Bench” was well-received last year, as well, and will include some of last year’s favorites, including Mayor Mark Senter, along with some new faces.

Many festival-goers also look forward to the food available at the festival. Mike Woolfington works with the food vendors and looks for “non-profit food vendors from the county that will dress in period and (for any food preparation required at the festival) prepare their food like it would have been prepared in the early 1800’s—over open fire.” The festival is still accepting vendor applications; those interested can contact Mike Woolfington by calling 936-1882 or 936-9649. While this year’s list is not yet complete, so far it includes homemade ice cream, buffalo burgers, apple dumplings, pulled pork, chicken and noodles, cinnamon rolls, and kettle corn.

Other Yellow River Festival attractions will include music, children’s games, educational presentations, arts and crafts, the Arts Council of Marshall County’s exhibition tent, and a few more surprises. The festival committee adds the latest information to their website – www.yellowriverfestival.org – and their Facebook page.

The festival’s planners point out that one major attraction is something the committee didn’t plan: the Yellow River itself. Bob Yoder, who handles logistics for the festival, hopes that while people enjoy the food, music, and education, they will also “enjoy our natural settings and the beauty of our flowing river in downtown Plymouth.”

Photo: Front row (l-r): Kathy Bottorff; Steve Weaver; Teressa Welborn. Back row (l-r): Jerry Nikitas; Bob Yoder; Mike Woolfington; Ed Pullen; Paula McAdams.

Joel Thomas Correspondent