By Megan Hammaker
Darke County Parks
Summer is almost here and I am beyond excited! We’re now less than 30 days away from Darke County Parks’ first ever “Bash at Bish”. It’s finally happening! What in the world is Bash at Bish? Well, it’s my brain child, 4 years in the making. After I started with Darke County Parks in 2019, I decided that I wanted to plan an annual event to draw people to our new education facility, the Bish Discovery Center, located on N. Ohio Street. I pitched the idea of Bash at Bish to the rest of the programming staff and they were all for it. They threw in ideas and we went to work making plans, but over the next few years, several bumps in the road put Bash at Bish on hold. Finally, this summer, the wait is over!
So, without further ado, I want to personally invite everyone in the community to come out to the Bish Discovery Center on June 24th from noon-7 p.m. for our kick off to summer party! You won’t want to miss this free event that focuses on outdoor recreation and sustainability. You can stop out for lunch or dinner…or both! We will have several food trucks that will be set up that day, including Badges BBQ, El Diablo Grill, Blue Bus Coffee Roasters, and Kona Ice. Yum!
What would a summer bash be without good tunes? Camarillo Band will take the stage (1:10 p.m.) to get the party started with some alternative rock, playing both original songs and covers. Authorized Personnel will continue the fun (4 p.m.) with an eclectic soul blend of R&B, pop, blues, funk, rock, reggae, and jazz! Don’t miss Dialed Action BMX stunt shows at 12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Their BMX stunt shows are a choreographed performance with aerial and ground stunts such as backflips, 360 spins and so much more. Throughout the day there will be plenty of ongoing fun, including Tree Climbing, Try a Kayak, Try Disc Golf, Spin Art, Safe Archery, Yard Games, and more. You can also stop by the Outdoor Academy throughout the day for mini programs such as “Go Green with your Coffee Routine”, “All About Red-tailed Hawks”, “Fire-starting”, and more. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to explore the interactive displays inside the Bish Discovery Center, as well as several educational displays including Darke County Soil & Water, Balloons Blow, Leave No Trace, and The Caterpillar Lab.
Since Bish Discovery Center is all about teaching sustainability, Bash at Bish will be a zero plastic waste event! That means no plastic bottled water! We will have canned water available and we encourage you to bring your own water bottle and visit the refill station. All food packaging used by the food trucks is completely compostable. Food trucks will only be permitted to sell canned beverages at the event as well. My hope is to eventually make this event completely zero waste, so this year we’re taking the first step by eliminating plastic waste.
After waiting four years, I’m incredibly excited for Bash at Bish to finally happen! It’s going to be a day jam packed with outdoor summer fun. This is the first major event I have coordinated and let me just say, it’s a lot of work! Contacting vendors, scheduling shows, advertising, obtaining sponsors, and making sure we have plenty of volunteers has taken a lot of time and effort, from all of the staff. We’re all going to be very busy the next few weeks finishing preparations for Bash at Bish, making sure we can deliver the best possible event to the public. In order for you to get the most out of the day, I encourage you to check out www.darkecountyparks.org/bash so that you can come to the event prepared. Firstly, there will not be parking at the Bish Discovery Center or Alice Bish Park the day of the event! Parking is available at the American Legion and Greenville School, where you can shuttle to the event location. You can also park at Prairie Ridge Meadow and walk or bike to Bish Discovery Center. Ohio Street will still be under construction, so all traffic MUST enter from the north end of Ohio street to access parking at the American Legion. There’s also a “what to bring” checklist on the webpage. For instance, if you want to try out paddling, you’re going to want to make sure you bring water shoes and spare clothes!
For more information about Bash at Bish, including an event map, schedule, and “what to bring” checklist visit www.darkecountyparks.org/bash. Make sure you follow Darke County Parks on Facebook for updates on all of our programs and events.