Commercial-News, Penny Saver, & Sturgis Sentinel News

Inclement weather hinders Covered Bridge Days

Cathy Carpenter, the MTSS coordinator of Centreville Public Schools and Citizen of the Year for Centreville, rides by on a float during the Covered Bridge Days parade Saturday.

By Robert Tomlinson
News Director
CENTREVILLE — Last weekend’s Covered Bridge Days in Centreville had the theme of “Hometown Country,” but you could make a strong case that rainy weather was a secondary theme.
The 51st edition of the festival had a few notable events that were cancelled and rescheduled due to threats of rain in the area on Friday and Saturday. The Friday night fireworks, which were scheduled to be held at Swanwick Park, were cancelled on Friday afternoon. That was followed up by the cancellation of the car show and Camp Bulldog on Saturday due to the overnight rain.
All three events were subsequently rescheduled to be part of the village’s Harvest Fest on Oct. 7.
“It was a little disappointing in the moment, but we had a way to fix it and bring those events in the future,” Covered Bridge Days event chair Brandy Eckert said. “We don’t like people having to miss out on certain activities or having to leave because of the weather – in the perfect, ideal case, we’d have sunshine and no rain – but this is two years in a row we’ve got hit with rain. It’s not ideal, but unfortunately it happens.”
However, despite those setbacks, Eckert said this year’s festival still had well-attended events, and got good marks from attendees.
“It’s good seeing people come together; we got a lot of compliments about how it was more family-based and just more fun for the whole family,” Eckert said.
The festival, held mainly on the stretch of West Main Street in front of the county courthouse building, featured a number of family-oriented activities and kids’ games in the Kids Zone, including ice cream and pie eating contests, inflatables, a ball toss, mini golf, hay rides, barrel train rides, Touch-A-Truck, multiple kids’ competitions, and a craft station hosted by the Home Depot. This year, the event had a Toddler Zone, which gave the littlest kids a place to play away from older kids.
“Safety is a big issue; sometimes we get too rowdy of big kids on the bounce houses, so we wanted to give them a safe spot to go,” Eckert said. “
Other events during the week included a wreath laying ceremony for Margaret Langley, the wife of village founder Thomas Langley, a “Meet the Founders” presentation, a cornhole competition, and a couple of live bands.
The culmination of Saturday’s festivities was the annual street parade, which featured an American Cancer Society Survivor Lap, and a short ceremony honoring Citizen of the Year Cathy Carpenter. A luminaria ceremony sponsored by the ACS was held later that night, and Sunday night a worship service was held.
Eckert said the parade was well-attended and one of the biggest ones for the festival in a while.
“We had 40 people down on our list with late entries, and then we still had people other people show up that we didn’t know about that wanted to be a part of it,” Eckert said.
Overall, Eckert said the event turned out good, and that the people made the event what it was this year despite the weather issues prevalent throughout the weekend.
“You can tell when the weather came, they dissipated, but as soon as the sun came out, they all came back,” Eckert said. “With rural towns, small towns, it’s the people in the community we want to support and kind of get their feedback from that, and the people mean everything to us.”
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or

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