Willowdell is a small family community of large families. To further explain, there are many young families with five, six and possibly seven children like the Borchers, Meyers, Ahrens, Gehrets, Wilkers, Broerings. Steve and Tracy Henry, also of Willowdell have six children, their third born, eleven-year-old Kiersten, was born with special needs.
So, when Steve Henry mentioned an idea to have a party and raise a little money for the Special Olympics the neighborhood was incredibly receptive. Together the town created an event that was talked about for months after and anticipated for months to come. The event was established in June of 2019 and fondly dubbed “Wienerfest.” Now in its third year, “Wienerfest” a is extremely recognized by mascot “Willy the Wiener.” The icon adorned the Wienerfest float in the Poultry Days parade, in which hot dogs were tossed spectators along the parade route.
This event has games, music, food and the “Build Your Willy” hot dog stand that offers a variety of condiments. Everything is a donation and if the attendees want beer, they must bring their own. Steve credits his friends and neighbors for the inception and growth of the Wienerfest. It is best described as one big backyard party that has successfully contributed to the local Special Olympics since its creation. T-shirt sales were added to benefit the surrounding EMS departments.
Willowdell is approximately 7 miles north of Versailles with a couple of jogs. You can take State Route 47 east, at the second curve go straight on Streib Road, turn right on Pitsenbarger Road, and left on Willowdell Road. Watch for the signs designed to assist out of towners and for parking.
This weekend is the Willowdell Wienerfest! This two-day event starts at 5:30 pm Friday, June 25, with D.J. Braydo performing until 7:30 p.m. From 6 to 9 p.m. the “Build-a-Willy” bar, kettle corn, Kona Ice will be open. At 7:30 p.m. watch the wiener horse races, then from 8 p.m. to midnight listen and sway or dance to the Act 3 Band.
Saturday festivities begin at 2 p.m. with the Presentation of Colors and the Amplified Music Group. The parade begins at 4 p.m. The “Build-a-Willy” bar opens at 4:30 p.m., cornhole at 5:30 p.m. and Buff Francis performs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., more wiener horse races at 7:30 p.m., Empty Tank performs from 8 p.m. to midnight and crowning of the Wienerfest royalty is at 10:30 p.m. along with the 50/50 drawing.
“The noblest of all dogs is the hot dog for it feeds the hand that bites it.”
“Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
A couple hot dog facts: Hot dogs were one of the first foods eaten on the moon and Mickey Mouse’s first on screen words were “Hot Dog!”
Friday, June 25, Artists will be on hand at the Arcanum Bears Mill from 6 to 8 p.m.
Friday, June 25, Noah Back will perform in Versailles at the Heritage Park Amphitheater beginning at 7 p.m. This is lawn seating.
Friday and Saturday, June 26, Willowdell Wienerfest.
Saturday, June 26, Annual Flea market at the Versailles Winery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 26, Singo the Greenville VFW beginning at 7 p.m.
Monday, June 28, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. is a Memory Lane Dance held at the Greenville VFW.
Happy birthday wishes to Jeff Cochran, Carolyn Wilker, Jill White, Mary Kate Mceowen, Danesa Borgerding, Jacqueline Hoying, Ronda Mangen, Angie Meyer DeMange, Cindy Grogean, Chuck Platfoot, Ray Osborne, Susie Ross, Maddie Bartsch, Melanie Huffman, Jennifer Feltz, Diana Homan DeMange, Kirsten Erisman, Shelly Siders, Larry Brown, Melissa Werling, Phil Gehron, Denver Toner, Tim Bornhorst, Toni Taylor, Roberta Grisez, and those I may have missed. Happy anniversary wishes to Marianne and Shawn Unger (21), Tamara and Ben Monnin (22), Lori and Dan Lawrence (28), and Judy and Jeff Cochran (34).
Please extend your heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Debra Ernst (67), Anthony “Boar Hog” Francis (68), Betty Garke (78), Raymond “Ed” Didier (80) and all those who have passed and those who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give too your supportive and healing prayers for the sick, suffering, terminally ill, the caregivers, and all those who have lost loved ones, the struggling, lonely, addicted and those dealing with life’s enumerable challenges.
Try to give someone a compliment each day. It can be big or little it is the thought that counts. It will build that person’s confidence and you will find joy in the doing.