By BRADEN LAMMERS
Events for the 13th annual Founder’s Day celebration commemorating the founding of Charlestown by Charles Biggs on June 29, 1808, will get into full-swing today.
On Thursday, it got started a day earlier than normal.
Charlestown Beautification Committee Co-Chair Donna Coomer said there is a lot of local talent in Charlestown and the Thursday event served to highlight young singers and musicians in the city.
Ted Little, co-chair of the Charlestown Beautification Committee, said Thursday’s events were spurred on because, “we had some young people in the community who expressed a desire to sing. It would broadcast to our young people ... come join us.”
When events kick-off today with an opening ceremony and the presentation of colors by the VFW and American Legion, more people are expected to be in attendance.
Little said attendance figures are expected to be higher than last year, judging by the amount of people at the ice cream social and gospel singing event held last week, and at the city’s street dance Saturday, which he said had record crowds.
Coomer agreed and estimated 14,000 to 15,000 people will attend the city’s Founder’s Day events. She added that there will be more arts and craft booths than ever before for the festival, about 55, 10 more than last year. There also will be more carnival rides available this year, despite the vendor the city did have lined up canceling in May.
Little said Derby City Rides was able to accommodate the festival and Coomer said they will bring even more rides than last year, about 15.
Another new attraction will be choo-choo train rides for up to 40 people, with a train made out of a converted baggage tug. The train will be featured in the parade as well as give rides to attendees to the festival.
“It’s very unique,” Coomer said.
But the biggest draw, and the purpose for hosting the event year-after-year is the atmosphere, organizers said. Little said the purpose behind Founder’s Day is to bring people some joy, even if it’s for a day.
“It’s a chance to mingle, to get to know one another ... and have a day of fun,” he said. “It’s all about doing it for somebody else.”
Coomer agreed and said, “people enjoy the atmosphere [and] people come back to see friends.”
“It’s got that hometown feeling, there’s something for everybody, young and old alike,” she added.