Marbletown Festival is right around the corner. One of the signature events is the Kids Cake Decorating Contest at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 at Delphos Wesleyan Church. Little ones are each given a 4-inch round cake, icing and fun sugary candies to decorate with and earn a ribbon. (DHI Media file photo)
Marbletown Festival is right around the corner. One of the signature events is the Kids Cake Decorating Contest at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 at Delphos Wesleyan Church. Little ones are each given a 4-inch round cake, icing and fun sugary candies to decorate with and earn a ribbon. (DHI Media file photo)
BY NANCY SPENCER
DHI Media Editor
nspencer@delphosherald.com

DELPHOS — As the committee gears up for the ninth annual Marbletown Festival Aug. 8 and 9, Chair Kathy Gengler recalls the festival’s humble beginnings.



“It was started by Rev. Dave Howell as a way to bring the people of Marbletown together and help improve Garfield Park,” Gengler said. “The park was in disrepair and the city didn’t have the money or manpower to do anything. The tennis court was in terrible condition and they just didn’t put the net up any more. The basketball court was a small square of concrete and the only thing for the little kids was a few swings and a Merry-Go-Round. Pastor Dave spurred us to work together to change that.”

Eight years and more than $30,000 later, the park as been rejuvenated. Proceeds from the event have been used for improvements, including new sidewalks, a shelterhouse and grill, electricity for the shelterhouse, a drinking fountain, a commemorative stone noting the former site of the Garfield School placed on top of a time capsule, a new flag pole and flag and new trees. The committee also pooled its money with the Kiwanis Club of Delphos and donated toward the slide that was recently installed in the park and the refurbishing of the basketball court.

“We have been able to make a lot of progress and we still have some ideas for the park,” Gengler said.

With less than a week before this year’s event kicks off, the committee has a few new items to add. An appearance by Chuck E. Cheese and the mascot from Buffalo Wild Wings will happen on Saturday and other mascots have been invited and may show as well.

Also new this year is a family-friendly movie on Friday evening. Hint: “It’s so fluffy! … again.” A “movie” package will also be raffled. This event is sponsored by a generous donation from Superior Federal Credit Union.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Jamey Wisher and his crew will not be able to provide fire truck for children Saturday morning.

The event kicks off with a corn hole tournament (adults only) at 6 p.m. Friday at Garfield Park. Children will be kept busy with the annual Kid’s Cake Decorating Challenge at 6:30 p.m. at Delphos Wesleyan Church. Each child will be provided a 4-inch round cake, icing and decorations. Ribbons will be awarded. Adults can get in on the action with their own contest with awards for Best Tasting and Best Decorated (using a Marbletown theme).

Saturday begins with the “Run for the Marbles” 5K. Registration is at 7 a.m. with the race at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the top three males and females in each age category. The top male and female will also be recognized.

Children’s games begin at 10 a.m. and a pair of inflatables will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with unlimited rides with a wrist band.

A tried and true favorite, the frog-jumping contest starts at 11:30 a.m.Watch as little ones chase the jumpers around and race to the finish line.

Participants will line up for the parade at 12:30 p.m. Doug Harter will serve as parade marshal.

New to the parade this year is a Golf Cart Decoration Contest. The winner will chosen during lineup and will be noted during the parade. First place will receive $50 and second $25. Those with carts who would like to participate in the Golf Cart Poker Run should sign up at 1103 Skinner St. after the parade. The Poker Run starts at 3 p.m. with an extended route this year.

This year’s memorabilia includes “It’s A Marbletown Thing” T-shirts and a “loaded” cooler will be raffled along with 50/50 tickets for the big drawing at 5 p.m.

Food will be available from 11 a.m. on and will include the usual fare of Marbletown Steak, corn dogs and hot dogs by the Wesleyan Women and hamburgers and french fries, sausage and kraut and roasting ears by the Kiwanis Club.

Gengler said the event has become a catalyst for family reunions and family time in general in Marbletown.

“I know some families whose members plan to come home for that weekend so they can be a part of the festivities and many people throw up tents and canopies in their yards and everyone just comes together for the weekend, has a good times and makes some memories,” she concluded.

Here is the 2014 Marbletown Festival schedule:

Friday, Aug. 8

6 p.m. — Corn Hole Tournament at Garfield Park

6:30 p.m. — Children’s Cake Decorating at Wesleyan Church

8 p.m. — Adult Cake Bake-Off at Wesleyan Church

Dusk — Free family movie at Garfield Park

Saturday, Aug. 9

7 a.m. — Run for the Marbles 5K registration at St. John’s Annex

8 a.m. — 5K run at St. John’s Annex

10 a.m. — Children’s activities at Garfield Park

11:30 a.m. — Frog-jumping Contest at Garfield Park

12:30 p.m. — Parade line up at Grothouse Plumbing and Heating

12:30 p.m. — Golf Cart Decorating Contest judging on Clime Street

1 p.m. — Parade steps off and travels west down Clime Street

2 p.m — Golf Cart Poker Run registration at 1103 Skinner St.

3 p.m. — Golf Cart Poker Run

5 p.m. — 50-50 drawing at Garfield Park