Pickle Festival raises money for library
CHASE — Chase was packed with fans of pickles and supporters of the Chase Township Public Library during the sixth annual Chase Pickle Festival this past week — a four-day event hosted by Chase Main Street Foundation.
The event celebrates the significance of pickles in the town's history, including when farmers from miles around brought their pickling cucumbers to the salting station on the south side of Chase — an industry spanning five decades since beginning in 1912.
This year's Pickle Festival theme was "Rockin' the Library."
"We are still waiting on totals, but I think we will get to $10,000," said event organizer Heather Streicher. "This was our best festival to date. The overwhelming community support was amazing and so greatly appreciated. I think this year put us on the map and I am so excited for it to continue to grow."
The pickle-themed fun began Thursday with the pickle pageant at the Chase Creek Smokehouse. Contestants showcased their talent and dressed like their favorite rock stars. Lorelie Wallace was crowned Pickle Princess, and Johnny Quinn, Pickle Prince.
On Friday, competitors battled each other in a cornhole tournament.
The main festivities, taking place Saturday, kicked off with the Chase Pickle Festival parade with four fire departments represented; the U.S. Forest Service with Smokey Bear; the Lake County Sheriff's Office; political candidates; the Chase Pickle Court; the grand marshal, librarian Roxanne Ware; horses pulling wagons and more.
Following the parade, youth had an opportunity to participate in "Touch a Truck" — got to turn on sirens, honk horns and play inside fire trucks, cop cars and other service vehicles.
Lovers of pickles competed in a pickle judging contest, serving their best bread and butter pickles, pickled green beans, beats and relishes. The public also tasted pickles in the people's choice competition, with Diane O'Neil winning for the extra bite in her homemade sweet pickles. Dilly dogs — corn dogs with pickles in them — also were served.
Other fun included countless kids games and activities, a climbing wall from Eagle Village, a car show and baked chicken dinner at the Chase Creek Smokehouse and a family favorite, the pickle derby, where kids design a pickle car to race down a ramp.
On Saturday evening, the ladies went wild with entertainment by the King of Rock 'n Roll, impersonated by Jake Slater at the Chase Creek Smokehouse.
The festival concluded on Sunday with the first Chase all-school reunion — with alumni of former Chase area schools being served a catered meal and sharing memories at the Chase Township Hall. The school reunion formerly took place each summer at the Chase Township Park, but with no one to take charge of the event anymore, it was consolidated with the Chase Pickle Festival.