ELSIE — The 2018 Elsie Dairy Festival has announced its schedule for this year’s events, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best thus far, with festivities kicking off Thursday, and running through Sunday.
This year marks the 32nd consecutive year the festival has taken place, and officials expect about 18,000 people to attend.
The festival begins with village-wide yard sales, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The arts and crafts booths open at 10 a.m., and continue until 7 p.m. Schmidt Amusements and the ice cream booth open at noon. American Legion Bingo is from noon to 6 p.m.
The opening ceremonies, with the introduction of grand marshals, Ken and Janet Swanson, take place at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“(The Swansons) were nominated and then unanimously selected by the committee to be the 2018 Elsie Dairy Festival grand marshals because they are a great representation of our ‘small town, big heart’ community,” festival parade and talent show coordinator Brooke Wooley said.
“The Swansons have been a part of planning and organizing for the Elsie Dairy Festival for years, have grown a successful business and have served countless hours in our community to make it the place it is today,” she continued. “Growing up here, Ken and Janet have planted their roots and built a family that continues to give.”
The festival royalty will be formally introduced after the Swansons. Kaila Witt is queen, after being crowned in March. Junior Miss Kaylee Hall and Princess Madalynn Bushard make up the royal court.
The draft horse pull begins at 7 p.m., followed by the talent show. According to festival President Carolyn Long, the talent show is one of the more popular events.
“We expect to have about 10 to 15 acts for the talent show,” she said.
On Friday, the arts and crafts area is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Michigan Pedal Pullers kiddie tractor pull registration starts at 12:30 p.m., and pulling begins at 1 p.m. Bingo is from 2 to 6 p.m. The modified garden tractor pull begins at 6 p.m., and the kiddie parade (No registration) kicks off at 6:30 p.m.
Popular 1980s-music rock band Glamhammer has two shows, at 7 and 9 p.m.
For Saturday, the Dairy Dash 5K begins at 7:30 a.m.
The 3-on-3 basketball tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. Long expects about 25 teams to compete.
The “Super Parade” begins at 11 a.m.
“We already have 60 vehicles registered for the parade, and we’ll probably end up with 75 to 100 that end up showing up,” Long said.
Blueberry pony rides, the ice cream booth, and Schmidt Amusements all start at noon.
The Imagination Playground and a silent auction run from noon until 4 p.m. The antique tractor pull begins at 1 p.m., and Bingo runs from 2 to 6 p.m.
A hog roast, sponsored by the Ovid-Elsie FFA alumni will take place at 6 p.m. The Chicago Boyz acrobatic team performs at 6 p.m., followed by musician Bob Hausler at 7:30 and 9 p.m.
At 8:30 p.m., the grand marshals and Dairy Festival royalty will be recognized. At 10 p.m., a light parade by the Elsie Area Fire Department takes place.
Sunday, a community worship service commences on West Main Street, featuring devotional music from the Calvarymen Quartet.
For questions regarding tickets, registration or other information, visit elsiedairyfest.com.