Monday, July 26th, 2021
Lake Fest Has the Beat
There was something for everybody at Festival
By Leslie Gartrell
The Scoom Squad from Dayton rocks the 2021 Lake Festival Parade on Saturday afte. . .
CELINA - This year's Celina Lake Festival was a massive success with a potential record-breaking number of people in attendance, according to a festival chairperson and two local officials.
Michelle Miller, co-chairperson of the festival, on Sunday said the festival's reception was the best she had seen in the more than 20 years she has served on the festival committee.
"We had a great turnout, way larger than in 2019," Miller said. "The event went very, very, very well."
Miller said the 2021 festival could be a record-breaker for crowd attendance. People from all around the county and beyond turned out for new vendors, new rides and new additions to the festival weekend, such as the golf cart parade contest and a kids event courtesy of the Mercer County Library. She added thousands from all around Grand Lake likely watched the fireworks on Friday night.
Celina mayor Jeff Hazel said he was thrilled at the size of the festival crowds over the weekend. Many people commented that they had been looking forward to the festival after missing out on the 2020 event due to COVID-19, he said.
"They were just so excited to go to a festival," Hazel said of the attendees. "I was very pleased with the crowd overall. It was a huge success for both the lake festival and the community."
Miller estimated about 100 units were involved in Saturday's parade, which she said is likely down from previous years but still a good turnout.
The collector car show yielded about 150 vehicles, Miller said, which is an increase over previous years. She said about 45 Amphicars drove into town this weekend, but was unsure how many participated in the splash-in at the hot water hole.
The festival in previous years has had a better Amphicar turnout, Miller said, but noted this year's downturn was mostly due to scheduling conflicts because of the pandemic last year. Miller said she knew of a handful of regular Amphicar owners who couldn't attend this year due to postponed weddings or other events that were pushed back.
Even so, Miller said the crowds over the weekend were phenomenal.
"It was a great, phenomenal year," she said. "I don't know if we'll ever see such a crowd again."
Hazel said the community worship service held Sunday morning also yielded large crowds with over 300 worshippers in attendance.
Dave Faler, director of Grand Lake St. Marys State Park, said the weekend was quite calm. He said he was unaware of any incidents requiring law enforcement or emergency personnel during the festival.
Faler said the lake was packed with boats on Friday night, as spectators gathered on and around the lake to watch the fireworks. The state park director said he was impressed with the fireworks, adding festival committee members always seem to bring something new each year.
The campground experienced a power outage around 8 p.m. Saturday night that lasted about 30 minutes, Faler said. The outage was "on the DP&L side of things," Faler said, and didn't affect many campers since it happened later in the evening.