The annual Wadsworth Blue Tip Festival fired up Tuesday as the Blue Tip torch blazed once more in Town Square and children lined the street awaiting candy from parade floats.
The festival is named after the Ohio Blue Tip Company, a factory that produced wooden matches for several decades in the city until relocating in the mid-1980s.
“Tradition is very strong in Wadsworth,” said Safety Director Matt Hiscock. “The company was very strong when it was here for all it did to help Wadsworth make its mark in Medina County.”
Since then, the festival has raised tens of thousands of dollars to benefit local nonprofit organizations like the Wadsworth Salvation Army, Wadsworth Community Band, Hospice of Wadsworth-Rittman and Meals on Wheels.
Retiring schools Superintendent Dale Fortner presided over this year’s parade as grand marshal.
“It was a nice evening to enjoy what they’re calling the 40th anniversary of the Blue Tip Festival,” Hiscock said. “We’re proud of Dr. Fortner as the grand marshal, not only for his role with the schools but how involved he is in the community.”
The parade began at 6 p.m. and proceeded from the High School to Isham Elementary, featuring dozens of floats and vehicles from area businesses, officials and fire and police departments.
The Blue Tip Parade is coordinated and staffed by the Rotary Club of Wadsworth and sponsored this year by Structure Personnel.
The festival will run through Saturday and will include games and rides. Local and regional musical acts will take the stage beginning 7 p.m. today with country band Buckshot.
Home Depot will sponsor a kids zone on Friday and Saturday where kids can make wood projects. A classic car show will be held on Saturday. And while the merchant tent has returned for this year, there will be no Matchstick 4-Mile Foot Race.
For schedules and more information visit www.bluetipfestival.com.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.