June 26, 2013 - The Oxford area's summer festival season is set to kickoff this week with the Fifth Annual Seymour Celebration at Seymour Lake Township Park June 27-29.
Ride all day at the Seymour Celebration for only $20. (click for larger version)
"It's an opportunity for our residents to just come out and have fun," said Ron Davis, director of the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation Department.
"It goes back to the basics – quality, wholesome fun and a safe atmosphere in your own backyard."
"It will be a tremendous amount of work for me and the staff, but it's a great time to showcase the park and the community," he added. "Every year, it just gets better and better. I think it's been a great success."
The Seymour Celebration will feature a carnival, live music, a garage sale and vendors, a splashpad, spacious playground and two nights of fireworks.
"There's something there for everybody," Davis said. "Everything's self-contained, so you don't have to walk a long ways. It's easy to bring the whole family, be in one area and not have to worry about trying keep your eye on everybody."
Per township ordinance, no alcohol is permitted in the park. This rule will be strictly enforced.
Skerbeck Carnival will return to the 125-acre park with some new rides that promise more adventure and thrills for older children and teenagers.
The carnival will be open from 5-11 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 and from 12 noon to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.
Those who wish to go on all the rides as many times as they want can purchase $20 wristbands at the park good. They're valid for one day. Wristbands can be purchased for $17 on-line at www.seymourcelebration.com before 12 noon on Thursday.
As usual, the Seymour Celebration will offer plenty of live music.
Mainswitch, a classic rock band, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday and SoulQuest will take the state at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Saturday will feature a variety of bands during the "Jam for Vets" concert from 12 noon to 7 p.m. The Bush Pilots will perform from 7-10:15 p.m.
Visitors looking to snag a few bargains are invited to browse the Clean Sweep Garage Sale and Vendor Alley from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The marketplace will feature at least 55 booths.
The Kids Kingdom playground and KLR Splashpad will be open during the festival.
Access to the playground is free, however, there is a charge for the splashpad, which will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. all three days. Oxford kids are $1 each and non-resident children are $4 each. Adults are free.
The park also features an 18-hole disc golf course, softball fields and volleyball, basketball and tennis courts.
Oxford will get a jump on the Fourth of July holiday with not one, but two nights of fireworks on Friday and Saturday.
Both displays will begin at approximately 10:15 p.m. Friday night's display will be 10 to 15 minutes long, while Saturday's will range from 20 to 25 minutes.
A $5 per vehicle parking fee will be charged for visitors entering the park after 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The parking fee will be used to help pay for the fireworks, live music and other festival-related expenses.
"We're just trying to recoup costs. It's not like we're making money on this thing," Davis said. "It's like anything else – if you want it, somebody's got to pay for it. You've got to recoup some costs, or you just don't do the event."
Davis explained that "typically what happens is 25 percent of the people roll into the park after 7 p.m. – just for the fireworks."
Davis said the $5 fee might encourage some folks to attend the festival earlier in the day, when parking is still free, so they can visit the carnival and enjoy the park's numerous amenities.
"I would just encourage everybody to come out and enjoy it," he said. "It's right in your own backyard. Come out and take advantage of it."
For more information, visit www.seymourcelebration.com.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.