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Committee ready to ramp it up

January 3, 2014
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The planning committee for Celebrate Poland will meet at 6:30 p .m. Jan. 6 at Wienauer's Cafe to map out next summer's event set for June 27 and 28 .

"We are hoping more people get involved in 2014," said Tricia Perry, Celebrate Poland's publicity chair. "It"s such a huge event for a committee of 10 to pull together."

Perry said assistance is needed in all areas including people to help set up, operate the various venues and to help clean up at the end.

"Our meetings are also a great place to meet new people," Perry said.

Celebrate Poland began nearly a decade ago with the fireman"s parade and a fireworks display. Since then, more venues have been added to make it a huge two-day celebration.

Committee member and Poland Township Trustee Bob Lidle was one of five Poland men who came together to start the celebration. The other four are President of Streetscapes Larry Warren, current committee president and fireworks expert Greg Morrison, Rick Pompeii and Lee Ingold, president of the Poland Fireman's Association.

Lidle said the first one was a two-day event with the fireman's parade on Friday and the fireworks on Saturday, held the weekend before the Fourth of July.

"By going the weekend before, we got a half-hour of fireworks for half the price," he said.

Since that first celebration, the event has grown to include the Poland Idol contest featuring local talent, held the second year for the event when Cindy Best came along with the idea. The craft show idea presented by Barbara Banks and sidewalk chalk art contest idea of Jim Comport also has gained in popularity.

In 2013 two new venues were added to the event. Perry said the rubber duck race on Yellow Creek and the dedication of a state historic marker for William McKinley's boyhood home location was added.

"The historic marker was a one time event, but the rubber duck race will be back in 2014," Perry said.

Perry said holding the event before the Fourth of July affords residents an opportunity to travel, have cookouts with family and enjoy other Valley fireworks displays on the Fourth. She also said it is hard to get volunteers on the Fourth.

Perry and Lidle both said there are no new venues this year as yet however any Poland resident is welcome to attend the Jan. 6 meeting and present new ideas. The main goal is to get more people involved so it takes some of the pressure off the small committee of ten, Lidle said. Being a part of the planning committee also is open to high school students, he said.

"High school juniors and seniors looking to get National Honor Society community service hours will find Celebrate Poland as a great way to fulfill that," Lidle said.

"Volunteers are needed and welcome to make Celebrate Poland! 2014 happen. Any amount of time or effort is greatly appreciated. Meetings are also a great way to meet friends and get to know Poland a little bit better," Perry said.



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