The Berlin Heights Basket Festival takes place today through Sunday at 20 E. Main St. near Edison Middle School.
“The Basket Festival started in 1983. Before that, there was the harvest festival but that stopped around 1981,” festival organizer Lance Horwedel said.
The festival was named to celebrate the Patterson family’s Berlin Fruit Box Co. which made baskets out of material from local orchards. The company may have closed years ago, but the village continues to celebrate its history and the festival has continued to grow.
The festival features many family-friendly activities, which kids of all ages will enjoy, including a human soccer ball, dodgeball games and bouncy houses, Horwedel said.
The fun begins today with the queen’s contest, live music by the Lonely Nights and the beer tent.
The queen’s contest begins at 7 p.m. Friday in the Edison Middle School gymnasium. The contestants are Kyla Brown, Allison Pennell, Halle Patton and Elizabeth Pruitt.
On Saturday, festival favorites such as the Kiddie Tractor Pull, the grand parade, the car show, fireworks and more, take place.
“We’re having the firework display for the second year so that’s going to be fun,” Horwedel said. “Lil’ John from ‘The Big Chuck and Lil’ John Show’ will be in the parade and signing autographs and taking photos afterword.”
“The Big Chuck and Lil’ John Show” was a program that featured comedy skits and presentations of horror shows. It ran on TV in Cleveland from 1979 to 2007.
“That’s probably the newest things that most people are excited about,” Horwedel said.
The festival ends Sunday with the 5K race and the pancake breakfast at the Berlin Township Fire Hall.
Here are some of the festival’s highlights:
Garden club flower show: 4-8 p.m.
Hoops shoot contest : 4 p.m.
Home run derby: 5 p.m.
Magician Gordon Russ: 5-5:45 p.m.
Beautiful baby contest: 6 p.m.
Queen's contest: 7 p.m.
Citizen of the Year: 7:45 p.m.
Little Prince & Princess Contest: 7:45 p.m.
The Lonely Nights concert: 8-11 p.m.
• Car show: 10-12:30 p.m.
• Grand parade: 1:30 p.m.
• Kids water fight: 4 p.m.
• Dodgeball: 4:30-5:15 p.m.
• Fireworks: 10:15 p.m.
• Pancake breakfast: 7-noon
• 5K race: 9 a.m.
For a full schedule, visit basketfestival.com.
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Four contestants will vie for the Berlin Heights Basket Festival queen’s crown at 7 p.m. today in the Edison Middle School gymnasium.
Here is a brief biography for each contestant:
Allison Pennell is the daughter of Robert and Lora Pennell. She is a senior at Edison High School. Pennell, sponsored by Amazing Moments, is actively involved in band, show choir, majorettes and drama club. She also volunteers in the baby center at her church. She demonstrates her leadership ability by serving as the secretary for Drama Council and the co-president for Band Council. Her hobbies include sewing, performing and being happy. Allison works at Dairy Queen in Huron. Ten years from now Allison sees herself helping students of any age learn to appreciate theater and hopefully having a house and starting a family. Pennell’s siblings are Emily, 22; Olivia, 20; Ella, 9; and Ava, 7.
Kyla Brown is the daughter of Constance and Robin Brown. She is a junior at Edison High School. Her activities include soccer, volleyball, band, stage band, pep band, drama club, Girl Scouts, Interact Club, Spanish Club and National Spanish Honor Society. Brown, who is sponsored by LuLaRoe by Misty Bushschor, is the vice-president of Band Council, Jr. class secretary, and captain of the JV soccer team. She has also earned her Bronze Award for Girl Scouts and her scholar letter. Brown is employed as a babysitter. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, playing trumpet, organizing, watching television and movies, and volunteering. Ten years from now she sees herself with her undergraduate degree and medical degree completed and going into her surgical residency. Her siblings are Taylor Brown, 21; Christian Brown, 16; Grace Brown, 16; and Zoey Bryant, 7.
Elizabeth Pruitt is the daughter of Jackie and John Pruitt. She is a junior at Edison High School. Pruitt, sponsored by Leimeister Crane and Tree Service, stays active by playing goalie for the varsity soccer team, playing softball and participating in the Ladies Night Out Gun Safety course. She is employed in the hospitality department at Summit Motorsports Park and she also is a babysitter. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, photography, and target shooting. Ten years from now Elizabeth sees herself as either an art teacher at the Ohio School for the Deaf or becoming a social worker for young kids. Her siblings are Ashley, 20 and Shelby, 18.
Halle Patton is the daughter of Shirley and Brian Koch and Jessica and Manus Patton. She is a junior at Edison High School. Her activities include soccer, competitive cheerleading, softball, bowling and being a majorette. Patton, who is sponsored by Grass Shearers, demonstrates her leadership ability as the secretary for student council, secretary for the Berlin Busy Bees 4-H Club, and treasurer for band council. She is employed as a year-round babysitter and works for Burnham Orchards during their fall festival. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing and spending time with friends and family. Ten years from now Halle hopes to be a successful early education teacher where she will be able to spend every day working to shape young minds. She also hopes to have a family of her own and to be given the opportunity to adopt. Her eight siblings are John, 11; Peyton, 10; Mya, 9; Joe, 8; Claire, 6; Aiden, 5; Mathius, 3; and Benjamin, 2.