MONTICELLO — This weekend’s Spirit of Monticello festival will include new events and activities, as well as traditional favorites.
One new event will be the best-dressed dog contest and inflatable obstacle courses for children.
Other new attractions include an Angry Birds sling shot game, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and various new children’s games. Events will run from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and carry on from 6:45 a.m. to midnight Saturday.
Ken Prieboy, chairman of the Spirit of Monticello committee, said he expects to see between 6,000 to 8,000 people at the festival.
The sixth annual talent show will also be conducted where members of all ages can participate. There will be cash and coupon prizes for winners within each age group.
“The talent show is always fun because it brings typically shy children out of their shells,” Prieboy said.
Aside from activities, there will be wine, beer and food vendors lining Broadway Street. There are food contests available throughout the weekend such as a wing-eating contest, pizza speed-eating and hot dog-speed eating contests.
Live music and entertainment are available Friday and Saturday with performances from Darin Patrick & Friends, Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel, Jay McLaughlin the magician, Jay Walkers and the Jason Wells Band.
Prieboy hopes to see a large crowd despite what the weather conditions may be when the weekend arrives.
“It is a family oriented, two-day, free festival that is always a blast,” he said.
He also credited returning sponsors and the new sponsors for this year’s event. New sponsors include White Oak Health Campus, Church Law Office, Boost Mobile, Furniture Warehouse, Howe Insurance and Family Express.
“The festival committee is so appreciative of all of our sponsors,” Prieboy said. “Without them, we couldn’t put it on or keep it free, which is something we love to do.”
This will be Prieboy’s eighth year as the festival’s chairman. The event brings him joy, he said, and he hopes to see the festival continue for years to come.
“I would hate to see it stop because it’s such a good thing for the community,” he said. “The smiles on children’s faces brings me so much joy.”
For more information about the Spirit of Monticello and its schedule, visit spiritofmonticello.org, where there is a detailed itinerary of events for both Friday and Satuday.