Call it what you will, but Bellaire plays host to a special event Saturday.
The Bellaire Fall Festival unfolds that day, bringing a daylong full plate of fun, food and entertainment to the downtown area. It had been operating under the name Octoberfest for the first three years.
Regardless, the festival is a first-class affair, made possible by a dedicated and passionate committee of volunteers who plan the event for nearly a year.
Once Saturday's extravaganza comes to a close, the committee will take an abbreviated respite before launching plans for Fall Festival 2012.
Proceeds from the festival go to a most heart-warming cause, as the funds go toward purchasing winter clothing (coats, sweats, socks etc.) for needy children in the Bellaire Local School District, including St. John's. Several hundred children have experienced a warmer winter thanks to the festival.
Saturday's agenda begins at 10 a.m. in historic Bellaire Park and doesn't wind down until 9 p.m. The Bellaire American Legion Post 52 will launch the day's schedule, leading into a day of activity, offering something for everyone.
Entertainment on the main stage will feature Robert "Moose" Dodrill from 10-11 a.m., Ohio Valley Promenaders from 11 a.m. to noon; The Shang Gang Band from 1-4 p.m; the annual auction from 4-6 p.m. (preregistration from 2-4 p.m.) and the closing act will be the Hot Pursuit band from 6-8 p.m.
The aforementioned auction has a boatload of great items. Up for bid will be a Pittsburgh Steeler helmet autographed by Troy Polamalu, a Travis "The Terror" Clark item, an Ohio State University picture and Longaberger items. A 50-50 drawing is planned immediately after the auction.
In addition to the main stage entertainment, many other attractions will be available for festival-goers, including Jingles the Clown, free inflatable for children from 1-4 p.m., Kim Pugh Face Painting, Hay Rides, all-day free children I.D. kit sponsored by Farmers Insurance and a cornhole tournament sponsored by the Boy Scouts.
Food vendors and crafters will be out in full force that day.
Proceeds from the festival are channeled to the Children's Charities, sponsored by the festival committee.
THE BELLAIRE Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon meeting Thursday at the Bellaire Public Library. The chamber has launched a new agenda each month, featuring a guest speaker. Thursday's was John Braunlich of United Bank. He spoke on a wide variety of financial issues.
Chamber President Lou Ann Bennett noted that the UMW office is now open in Bellaire, located at the former dry cleaner's building. She also noted that volunteers are needed to help with hanging downtown Christmas lights when the holiday season draws closer.
Cindy Maupin of the Veteran's Office informed the chamber and guests that her office is helping children of veterans in need of winter coats.
THE FUTURE of the Forest Hills Community Center in West Bellaire does not look good. A Sept. 7 membership meeting failed to produce new and youthful leadership. Thus, association members have opted to have the facility appraised in preparation for the likely sale of the state-of-the-art center. It is a well-used and versatile building. It's a shame that a community the size of West Bellaire (some 700 residents) cannot find enough civic-minded and physically able individuals to hold onto a gold mine. Should the center be eventually sold, it would be a perfect fit for a nice sit-down restaurant.
SHADYSIDE HIGH football coaching legend Ty Fleming was the guest speaker at the St. John Central pep rally Friday. With all Ty's success in Tiger Town, many people forget he coached the Fighting Irish to a 7-3 mark in 1978, his lone season at the SJC grid helm. It also marked the last time St. John's defeated Guernsey Street rival Bellaire in football...the triumph coming on a last-second safety. Ty also coached the SJC hoopsters for several seasons.
STEUBENVILLE CATHOLIC Central's band performed a stirring patriotic halftime show last Saturday in its game with Bellaire. The marching Crusaders opened with a trumpet solo of Taps followed by a musical selection dedicated to each branch of the service. Also every veteran in his or her respective branch of service was asked to stand at the appropriate musical time.
THE STEELERS' lopsided a week ago is just an aberration. The Browns, meanwhile, must win at Indy today or be prepared to embark on a one-way trip southbound.
THE OLD Bridgeport Bridge came down as clockwork Monday. Hopefully, one day in this century, the same can be said about the Bellaire Interstate Toll Bridge.
IT'S HARD to imagine that Michael Jackson's estate can generate $310 million in the two years since his death. It is equally as hard to fathom the pop star had financial issues at the time of his death.
KUDOS TO Rick Goodrich. The former Bridgeport High football great has his Cambridge Bobcats at 4-0 following a prized 28-27 overtime win over New Philadelphia Friday night.
TRAVELING Ohio 7 between Bellaire and Bridgeport is becoming a pain, as northbound and southbound traffic is narrowed to a single lane. ODOT officials are not releasing details on the work yet, but the word is a four-lane resurfacing project is ready to commence.
MONEY TRIVIA: On a Canadian $2 bill, the flag flying over the Parliament Building is an American flag.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org