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Strawberry Festival returns Saturday

July 14, 2010 - While many communities spend tons of money on extravagant summer celebrations filled with flashy bells and whistles, the Village of Leonard continues to rely on small town charm and down-home fun to draw people of all ages to its wildly popular Strawberry Festival.

It's a formula that's been successful for more than half-a-century. This year's festival, the 58th annual set for Saturday, July 17, promises to continue the tradition.

The day begins with a delicious pancake breakfast at Leonard United Methodist Church from 8-10:30 a.m.

After breakfast, head over to the Cooper Standard Automotive parking lot to view the Addison Township Lions Club classic car show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

At 11 a.m. stroll on over to Leonard's old fire station for ice-cold strawberry (and chocolate) sundaes dished out by members of the Addison Twp. Firefighters Association.

Sundaes will be served until 6 p.m.

Work off those sundaes by visiting arts and crafts booths, playing miniature golf and petting animals from Upland Hills Farm, all of which will be happening from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Don't miss the annual festival parade down E. Elmwood Street. It begins at 12 noon. This year's Grand Marshals are Glenn and Pat Eisenhardt. Special persons include Edward Porter, Eleanor Hamilton, Marge McCallum, Ann Schlusler and Mary Sue Sutherby.

After the parade, from 1-5 p.m., children are welcome to take a train ride, enjoy the giant slide and obstacle course or ride a pony.

At 2 p.m. "DA the Clown" will perform a magic show by the Polly Ann Trail.

If you're still hungry after devouring that scrumptious sundae, the festival offers plenty of great eats including Italian sausage with fried onions and green peppers, Kielbasa and sauerkraut, hot dogs with all the fixings, potato chips, soda pop and water. All this will be served up by members of the Addison Township Lions Club.

Those craving entertainment will not be disappointed by the Shane Gang Dancers performing at 1:30 p.m., the Amber Dance Academy performing at 2:30 p.m. or comedian Joshua Mills performing at 3:30 p.m.

All of these acts will delight crowds on E. Elmwood St.

Don't miss "Bebe and the Blues Masters" set to perform by the Leonard Post Office from 5-7 p.m. End the day by kicking up your heels during the annual street dance that runs from 7-10 p.m.

For more information about the Strawberry Festival, visit www.strawberryfest.net.

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.
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