Having a blast

Temperance Hulbert, 7, came to the Fairy, Gnome and Troll Festival in 2022 in downtown Kendallville dressed to have some fun.

KENDALLVILLE — Grab your calendars, because downtown’s summer fun lineup is starting to fill up.

Get ready for a skate party, the return of the fairy festival and a downtown concert event.

Tuesday’s Kendallville Board of Works and Public safety kicked off its meeting by approving street closures for three different downtown events taking place in May and June.

On Saturday, May 6, the city will close Main Street between William and Rush streets, as well as West Rush Street in front of City Hall, to host the first downtown skate party.

Historic Downtown Kendallville purchased dozens of sets of roller skates for skate events downtown. Main Street Manager Kristen Johnson said the skates are available for use by nonprofits who will run the events and allow them to use it for fundraising and community fun.

“This is actually something that we’re trying to offer for different nonprofits downtown,” Johnson said. “Common Grace (Ministries) has one scheduled in June.”

The May 6 event will be hosted by the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. Skating will take place in the streets and there will be some additional food stands and carnival games set up in the pocket park, Johnson said.

Participants will be required to sign a waiver when renting skates in order to protect the city in case of wipeouts and injuries.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, I think it will be a great family night,” Mayor Suzanne Handshoe said.

Two weekends later it will be the fourth annual Fairy, Gnome and Troll Festival, the massively popular downtown event that has taken over Main Street for its four-hour family-friendly events.

This year is no exception and Johnson said the event is bursting.

“We have more vendors than we’ve ever had and about ready to cut them off,” for lack of space on the street, Johnson said.

Like previous years, the event will span from Rush to Mitchell streets as well as the pocket park. The event on May 20 will run, as usual, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring numerous stands selling items, offering crafts or food and other family fun.

Johnson said the plan is the same, just with more offerings this year. The only potential change will be whether she can lock in carriage rides again this year.

“We are checking into the carriage rides again and if we do that we’ll do the same route as we did last year,” she said.

Lastly, on Saturday, June 17, JD3 and the Jondo Trio will take the stage at the pocket park from 6-8 for a free downtown concert. Food trucks will be on hand for concert-goers.

“We’re going to try to do a couple of them this year,” Johnson said. “It’s the JD3 band and they’re going to perform from 6-8 in the pocket park and I’ve already got three food trucks lined up.”

That event will only require closure of Rush Street in front of City Hall for the food trucks and patrons. Main Street will remain fully open during the concert.

The Board of Works approved closures for all three events.

In other business Tuesday, the Board of Works:

• Approved relocating old light poles from Main Street to the Mid-America Windmill Museum to help better illuminate its entry and campus.

• Hired Jason Meade as the new Kendallville Outdoor Recreation Complex manager. Park Director Dawn McGahen noted the department interviewed five candidates before selecting Meade.

• Approved purchase of two John Deere mowers and a John Deere tractor for the park department at costs of $17,923.72 each for the mowers and $22,252.29 for the tractor.

• Hired Crystal Furlow as lab technician in the wastewater department.

• Approved an additional expenditure of $23,523 for a raw sewage pump due to the cost increases associated with the project, which was initially quoted at $25,000.

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