50th Roche De Boeuf Day Offers Plenty Of Festivities

Sparky the fire dog greets parade-goers during the 2022 Roche de Boeuf Festival. This year’s parade steps off at 10:00 a.m. from the intersection of Farnsworth and Michigan. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With music, games, art, vendors, classic cars, historical re-enactments, food and drinks, the 50th-anniversary Roche de Boeuf Festival promises to fill downtown Waterville this weekend.

Friday, September 22

Head downtown to the riverfront for a pre-festival Run de Boeuf 5K and 1K. Sponsored by the city, Scout Troop 101 and Second Sole Toledo Racing Services, the 1K begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by a 5K at 6:30 p.m. To register, visit runsignup.com or register on the day of the race on-site.

The Toppermost Beatles Tribute Band will take the Parker Square stage at 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. at 1 S. River Rd. The free concert is presented by the city of Waterville and Fallen Timbers Family Recreation Center. Food and beverages will be available for cash-only purchase. Bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy the show.

Saturday, September 23

The festival officially opens at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, with 135 vendor booths, including food and beverage merchants, lining the streets.

The Parade

At 10:00 a.m., the parade steps off from up the hill at Farnsworth Road and Michigan Avenue with 60 entries – including fire trucks, police cars, businesses, sports and dance teams, alumni, nonprofits and political candidates – proceeding to River Road, then heading south toward Waterworks Park. 

Children’s Area

Behind Peddlers Alley on South Third Street, a Kids’ Zone will include photo ops with Elsa and Spiderman, a photo booth, Belle’s Face Painting, Pattrick the Magi-cian, Miss Rita’s Balloon Animals, inflatables and games. The Lollipop Ladies will be handing out free lollipops and the Anthony Wayne Area Arts Commis-sion (AWAAC) will host a beaded bracelet station. Children who complete a scavenger hunt throughout the festival will receive a prize. 

Music

The main entertainment stage will be set up in the Parker Square parking lot on River Road. Live music will be featured throughout the day and adult beverages will be available for sale. 

The lineup includes Bliss from noon to 1:00 p.m., Freight Street from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and The 25s from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

A second stage at the clock tower will feature Asa Danekind at 1:30 p.m. and Dooley Wilson at 2:30 p.m.

Rue Des Artistes

On North Second Street, the AWAAC will host 30 local artisans, a community art project and live music by Asa Danekind and Curt Wolfe. 

All visitors are invited to add to a free “Unity Mosaic.” Design a wooden tile to add to a large mosaic that will be on display at the Waterville Branch Library from September 26 through October 21. No art talent is needed: Just fill a tile with a design or words.

While listening to live music from Asa Danekind and Curt Wolfe, browse through booths featuring the art of Andrea Baker, Bittersweet Farms, Mary Burget, Tony Burroughs, Bob Czyzewski, Joan Hetzner, Tana Johnoff, Shannon Jones, Ben Kendall, Kelli Kilpatrick, James Kincaid, Larry Knight, Terry Langenderfer (Carruth Studios), Amy Lehman, Heather Litz, Linda Myers, Deborah Reimond, Emilee Roach, Richard Rochester, Michele Ross, Rex Russell, Jack Schultz, Cheryl Scribner, Michael Simpson, Samantha Smolenski, Linda Stewart, Sunshine Studios, Jon Tempelton and Laurie Watterson. 

Car Show

At the corner of South and Second streets, the Shawn’s Irish Tavern parking lot will be filled with all types of cars, including classic, vintage and sports cars. Participants can roll in prior to 10:00 a.m. to register and join. Dash plaques and trophies will be awarded.

Historic Waterville

On South River Road, the Waterville Historical Society will open the Robbins House, Sargent House and Cobbler Shop for tours, and the campus will be filled with re-enactors and activities. 

The area opens at 9:00 a.m. with military encampments, spinning demonstrations, a tin punch craft, authors and a walk of historical flags. 

At 11:00 a.m., Springfield High School Jr. ROTC members will conduct drills in front of the band stage.

Re-enactors will be dressed in attire from the Civil War, War of 1812, World War II and Gen. Anthony Wayne’s Legion. Units will also conduct musket drill and cannon demonstrations on the hour from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Parker Square.

Throughout the day on the half-hour, guests can take a free trolley ride from the Robbins House to the historic Roche de Boeuf Bridge.

Roche de Boeuf souvenir T-shirts will be sold in the information booth for $25.00 each in gray, maroon and blue. 

Throughout the festival, guests can park at Waterville Plaza at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Waterville-Monclova Road or at Conrad Park, 798 Michigan Ave., and catch a free shuttle ride downtown.

The Roche de Boeuf Festival is sponsored by the Waterville Area Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the city of Waterville.

For more information, visit www.watervillechamber.com.

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