Writer / Janelle Morrison
Celebrating 100 years of Lions International, the Zionsville Lions Club is pleased to announce this year’s Fall Festival theme, Yo! Ho! Ho! And a Park Full of Fun. The club, comprised of approximately 140 members, will host the 64th Annual Zionsville Lions Club Fall Festival September 8-10 with new attractions added to the traditional weekend festivities. The annual festival attracts approximately 25,000 attendees throughout the festival weekend.
The weekend kicks off with the VIP Carnival on Friday, September 8. This unique opportunity provides a night of fun for special needs individuals, their families, and caregivers. In partnership with the HAWK Foundation, the Zionsville Lions Club offers this opportunity every year and draws in families from all over the state.
The beloved Fall Festival Parade kicks off on Saturday, September 9 at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at the Zionsville Community High School parking lot and will march down the historic brick street in downtown Zionsville, ending in the Lions Club park. Festival-goers of all ages will have several options to choose from for entertainment, shopping, and food. Poor Jacks Carnival and Midway will operate Friday from 6-11 p.m., Saturday from 12-9 p.m. and Sunday from 12-6 p.m.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Zionsville Fire Department, and Zionsville Police Department will present a Safety Fair with demonstrations on Saturday, September 9. The Kids’ Corner will have bounce houses, slides, and interactive booths. The Pet Pavilion will feature vendors with a vast selection of items and products for your pets throughout the weekend and will feature live acts from Silly Safaris on Sunday. Live music from The Impalas will entertain the crowds on Saturday night from 5-11 p.m. in the adult lounge. The young adults in the community are invited to a drug and alcohol-free dance party in the gazebo on Saturday evening and will be entertained by the cool, rhythmic stylings of DJ Blazin Traxx.
The Silent Auction boasts a plethora of unique, must-have items this year. The Lions Club is still accepting items for the auction, which will be conducted from 2-6 p.m. Saturday. However, early bird bidding will begin online August 1 at qtego.net/auc/zlc. All donations are tax-deductible. Some of the items that will be available for auction include a signed T.Y. Hilton Colts jersey, a signed 16×20 photo of the infamous Bob Knight “chair-throw,” a signed Pete Rose jersey and a signed Johnny Lattner 1953 Heisman Notre Dame jersey.
Mike Moran, the 1st Vice-President of the Zionsville Lions Club, is excited to be overseeing the silent auction for the second time and emphasized that it takes the assistance and dedication of his fellow Lions to pull off the auction and the entire festival from top to tail.
“I really enjoy being part of such a great organization,” Moran said. “The Lions Club volunteers work tirelessly at putting together this wonderful tradition, in addition to the other events and works that the club does throughout the year. What people may not realize is the amount of service hours and maintenance that goes into keeping the park in such excellent condition so that our park partners, residents and visitors can continuously enjoy the park’s amenities. The club does not receive local funding outside of our fundraising efforts and donations received, so the festival and silent auction is our primary revenue generator for the funds that are necessary to maintain this park that is truly a remarkable treasure to not only the Lions Club but to the entire town and those who visit it.”
New to the festival this year will be a Wine and Canvas program on Sunday afternoon along with the return of the 15th American Dream Car Show and another day of carnival rides, arts and craft displays to discover. And of course, there’s the tasty carnival food to enjoy. The ceremonial crowning of the Miss Festival Pageant winner will take place the following Saturday, September 17.