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Kim Klewer made sure his company was ready back in April for Saturday’s Harrison Rally Day in downtown Perrysburg.
As soon as he could, Mr. Klewer, president of Asset Protection Corporation, booked a booth with the Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce to ensure his business wouldn’t miss the 15,000 to 20,000 people expected to visit downtown throughout the day — “the largest event in Perrysburg or its neighbors,” he said.
Harrison Rally Day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a parade at 10 a.m. and live music throughout the rest of the day. The event features 95 artist booths, 14 food vendor booths, and 100 market booths representing different local businesses, churches, and candidates for public office.
The event, now in its 24th year, is staged by the Perrysburg Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the Mercy hospital system.
The parade route starts near Louisiana Avenue and Fifth Street, proceeds on Louisiana to Front Street, then goes right on Front and right on Elm back to Fifth.
Vendors will be set up on each side of Louisiana, while artists will be south of the railroad tracks near Perry's Landing and Way Public Library. The marketplace will be centered at Louisiana and Second Street, and Taste of Perrysburg food vendors will be along Louisiana in the heart of downtown, near Front.
“It is one of the largest trade shows around with a great mixture. We had a waiting list this year of about 40 to 45 people,” said Sandy Latchem, the chamber's executive director.
Cindy Silvis has been coming to Harrison Rally Days since it started. The Perrysburg city administrative employee grew up in Perrysburg.
“It is a great Perrysburg event,” she said. “It is an example of what a small town is all about — the community coming together.”
The House Band, Arctic Clam, Perrysburg High School Women’s Select and Jazz Singers, and Athens Wheeler are the four music groups playing live Saturday.
The Rally for the Arts will have three winners out of 29 distinguished artists present. First-place prize is $500, second is $300, and third is $200.
There also will be a Creation Station children’s activity area and re-enactor Martin Nagy will perform as Lightfoot in clothing from the Ottawa tribe, telling stories and the history of Native Americans in the Maumee River area.
“It is a feel-good day,” Ms. Latchem said. “You don’t see anyone with a frown on their faces. There is something for everyone. People just love to come and hang out and see people they know. It is a big deal, and I’m so proud of it.”