Summer Classic plans in final stages

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


With less than a month until the beginning of the annual Summer Classic event in Washington, the Washington Chamber of Commerce is putting the finishing touches on the planning of the event.

Summer Classic 2018 is scheduled for May 31 through June 3. Events include two parades, family games and entertainment, food and concerts at the Washington Airport. Alisha Davis, Washington Chamber of Commerce event director promises plenty of events for the whole family going on this year.

?The activities that will be offered as part of this year?s schedule will be very similar to last year, with a few minor changes,? Davis said. She said one of the biggest changes would be the Main Street Washington celebration of its 10th anniversary in Washington with a Mardi Gras-style event on Friday night in conjunction with a Movie on Main Street. There also will be six class reunions during Flight line Live on Saturday of the event.

Summer Classic, which is entering its fifth year, is an extension of the 175th Anniversary Celebration held in 2013. It includes four days of events to kick off summer and each day has its own theme to highlight things in the Washington Community. In a memo to the council, Chamber director Michelle Redlinger said the chamber looks forward to hosting the event for years to come.

Events start with AG Day on Thursday, May 31, which will include the tractor parade through Washington. There also will be a display of agriculture equipment on the square. Davis said that organizer Jerome Vittetoe has already cleared all the closures with the police. Davis said Little Hands on the Farm at the Washington County Fairgrounds would be from 5 to 7 p.m. The Washington Municipal Band will perform that night in Central Park.

Family Day will be held on Friday of the week. Davis said there will be a little less parking on the square. She said the YMCA of Washington County would have many events and that the Joy of Music would have a sing-along. There will be a picnic in the park. A bounce house will be featured. In the evening, Main Street Washington will have a shrimp boil and music on the bandstand. The first movie in the park of the year will follow, which is ?The Princess and the Frog.?

?We are doing a lot of events throughout the year to celebrate our anniversary, but the culmination one is going to be the shrimp boil and music in the park,? Main Street Washington director Sarah Grunewaldt said.

The 71st running of Ridiculous Day will be held Saturday, and will include a parade and many special deals at local retailers. During the 175th Anniversary celebration, the Saturday evening concerts had been moved from Central Park to a hangar at the airport due to inclement weather. It has been held at the airport ever since with a new name ? Flight line Live! The event is returning this year. There will be a photo booth at Washington State Bank.

Five class reunions will be held during that day and will be featured at Flight line Line. Local historian Mike Zahs is hosting a tour of Washington for the reunions. Bands at the airport have been scheduled. At 6 p.m. James Crossroads of Washington plays music from all genres. Matt Greiner will be featured on guitar, Joe Nichols on bass, Heather Greiner on vocals and Kelsey Allendes on violin. At 7:45 p.m. Brass Pear, an Eastern Iowa rock band specializing in 70s and 80s music, takes the stage. From 9:30 p.m. to Midnight Brushville, a Chicago, Illinois-based country rock band, will perform. Like last year, at 10:30 p.m. there will be a special 15 minute set from local rapper Matt Bump aka A$THMATTIC.

Latino Night also will continue this year on Sunday of Summer Classic week. Latino food, vendors and activities will be held in Central Park. Davis said this year the plan is for a full Latino festival and it is a communitywide event.