By Greg Smart
HUBER HEIGHTS — Since the Marigold Festival was reinstituted as a destination two years ago, the festival has grown from around 2000 visitors in 2013 to over 4000 visitors last year at the Eichelberger Ampitheater, located behind the YMCA. Organizers are hoping for good weather this year as the event got off to a slow start last year due to the cold and windy conditions that prevailed for the first several hours. Organizers are expecting the festival to grow this year.
“It’s gotten better every year and this is our third year,” said Margie Muhl, city staff liason with the Arts & Beautification Commission.
“We doubled last year from the first year, so we thought that was absolutely great,” added Muhl.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is hosted by the Huber Heights Arts & Beautification Committee, chaired by Brenda Lambros, who indicated the members are all volunteers.
“We love our community and we want to bring positive things to the citizens here,” said Lambros. “We have a wonderful team and everybody has different specialties they bring to the table and different ideas.”
The festival features over 100 vendors this year, according to Muhl. There are a variety of arts and crafts booths as well as food booths and food trucks. Muhl said the food trucks were among the popular vendors last year.
One highlight of the festival was the success of the family fun and entertainment opportunities. Entertainment this year includes White Rabbit, B-Caged and Flashback Band at the Eichelberger Amphitheater which can be accessed using the Aquatic Park entrance. Jim Bucher will again serve as MC.
“The bands have been around numerous years,” said Lambros. “They are very popular in the area and have performed in numerous venues throughout the Miami Valley and surrounding areas.”
B-Caged is from Middletown and performs a range from Frankie Valli to current rock from the 50s to the 80s and will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. White Rabbit is an eclectic brand of rock ranging from Crosby Stills & Nash to Steely Dan and will perform from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Flashback Band is a classic rock band that will perform from 4 to 7 p.m.
The three finalists from Huber’s Got Talent include the duet of Charles Rhacks and Breeny Rose, a pair of songwriters who have been singing together for quite a while and perform at other music venues, according to Lambros; Olivia Totty, a vocalist, who is a junior at Wayne; and Matthew Fergus, a modern hip hop dancer. This years talent competition featured 15 contestants and nine advanced to the finals, from which three were chosen to perform at the Marigold Festival.
“They are all three very talented,” said Lambros. “I was just really happy with the turnout and the talent that came out.”
“There was a lot of great talent in Huber and we’re expecting it to grow next year,” said Brenda Lambros, who is the lead singer with Flashback. “We plan on having it again somewhere in the winter time.”
Totty will perform from 1-1:15 p.m., Fergus from 3:30-3:45 p.m. and Rhacks and Rose from 5:30-5:45 p.m.
The Kids Zone includes carnival games and the bouncie houses.
Members of the Arts & Beautification Commission are: Brenda Lambros, Chair; Gerald Proctor, Vice Chair; JoAnn Demland; Danna Plewe; Vaughn Ridgel; Karolyn Ambrose; Chris Trobough; Cheryl Thomas; and Jaclynn Shook.
Sponsors for the Marigold Festival include Buffalo Wild Wings, Huber Heights Rotary Club, Scott Family McDonald’s, Rural King, Lowe’s, Wayside Collision, Walmart; Dayton Children’s Hospital, Steak ‘n Shake, Bob Evans, Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Big Boy, Party City of Huber Heights, Kroger’s, and Skyline.
“We’re hoping for good warm weather so that everybody will come out and have a good time,” said Muhl.
There is no charge for entrance to the Marigold Festival.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.