POMEROY — All’s well that ends well, and while Friday’s rain necessitated some cancellation of the Gold Wings & Ribs Festival’s scheduled events, Saturday’s sunshine more than made up for what was lost.
The motorcycles, delayed because of Friday’s rain, came in early Saturday and filled Court Street and one section of the parking lot. The concessionaires opened a little early to lines of people waiting for a barbecued sandwich, some fried vegetables, a blooming onion, or a sugared waffle, and the kids gathered around to register for a variety of contests including the Buckeye State pedal pull contest, a first for Meigs County, the cookie stacking contest, a balloon toss, a stick pony rodeo game, and a pickle spitting contest.
Forty-six pieces of art in a variety of mediums, including the new multi-media class, where colorful sequins, beads of all sizes, puffs of colored fabric, and even straw, were used to accent a painted design, made up the Art in the Park display in the Court Street mini-park. Viewers voted on the entries they liked best and the ones in each category getting the most points won cash prizes.
As for the amphitheatre entertainment, there was everything from bluegrass by Lonesome Meadow, to classic rock by Titus Canbe, to country by Rhythm Station, to a trip back into music of the sixties by The Fads who closed out the festival Saturday night with a 9 p.m. concert just after the motorcycles set out on a light parade around the Bend area.
Contest winners were recognized in an awards program chaired by Bill Quickel, festival chairman, who recognized the winners and distributed cash prizes. Winning the 2012 Ohio’s Best Wings Plaque was Tom Christy of The Plains, with Diane Coulston of Carey, Ohio, taking the 2012 Ohio’s Best Ribs Plaque. Christy has had a concession stand at the festival for several years. It was Coulston’s first time here.
Quickel presented cash prizes of $50 each for the winning entries in each category in the Art in the Park show as selected by a vote of the viewers. They were Bobbi DeLong, oils; Rhojean McClure, acrylics; Sharon Dean, photography; Shirley Berkley, mixed media, and Mike Cogar, other.
First place contest winners in their respective age categories were announced and presented prizes. In the pickle spitting contest the winners were Brooklynn Walter, 5 to 9 years; Dawnette Davis, 10 to 15 years old, and Bill Harris, 16 and up. Dawnette Davis and Madison Davis won the balloon toss prize, Josh Bodimer, the stick pony race, and Brooklyn Walter, the cookie stacking contest. Sonia Young was the winner of the motor cycle Poker Run.
Winners in the Buckeye State Pedal Pull were Wyatt Smith, 4, of Racine; Uriah Ruark, 5, of Mason, W. Va.; Shanna Scott, 6, of Middleport; Jonny Scott, 7, of Middleport; Cassandra Heed, 9, of Howard, Ohio, and Brayden Ervin, 10, of Middleport,
Given special recognition by Quickel were Mr. and Mrs. Harry Keaton of Illinois who have helped with arrangements for the Gold Wings & Rib Festival since it was started 10 years ago. He also recognized Allen K. Graham for his contributions to the festival over the years.
The Gold Wings & Ribs Festival kicked off the summer festival season in Meigs County. Kickin’ Summer Bash will be held June 15 and 16 which includes kayak races, carnival games, a local talent show, entertainment in the amphitheater, and a river rescue demonstration by firemen.
The first of the free Friday night Rhythm on the River concerts will be held on June 29 and will continue through Aug. 10, with the Big Bend Blues Bash on the last weekend in July, all staged by the Pomeroy Blues & Jazz Society.