Progress Staff Writer

ANTWERP – On Saturday, Aug. 11, Antwerp will hold its annual Day In the Park. This year’s theme is “Back Home Again.”

Start the morning off at the Antwerp EMS station with breakfast from 7-10 a.m. On the menu are pancakes, sausage and more. The cost is a free-will donation and they will deliver to local businesses.

The big event will be held at Riverside Memorial Park and will start with a parade at 10 a.m. The parade route will be starting at the high school and travel through downtown Antwerp. Line-up will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Antwerp School.

The park festivities will begin at 11 a.m. with the National Anthem sung by Antwerp’s very own Janelle North. There will also be a welcome by Mayor Ray DeLong, followed by a flag recognition and retirement ceremony by the local VFW Post #5087 and the Antwerp Boy Scouts Troop #143. Introduction and appreciation of the Gem of Antwerp will be made at this time.

This year’s Gem of Antwerp will be “Pudge” Kennedy. Kennedy has been a valuable member of the community with all the help to the water and sewer lines. He also has done a lot of work in the cemeteries and is always on call for the needs of the community.

Strong Tower Fitness will be doing a high energy fitness demonstration at 12:30 p.m. Pull on those leg warmers and get in a good workout.

There will be a wide variety of craft vendors, food vendors, entertainment, as well as games for all ages. The bounce house will be back, courtesy of Community Memorial Hospital.

Starting at 2 p.m., Fort Wayne’s comic/magician and illusionist Jim Barron will perform. Barron combines humor and magic for a show that is guaranteed to entertain audiences of all ages. He started out in radio broadcasting and was on the air at WOWO and WAJI. Today, when he isn’t performing magic, he is a part of the WBCL morning program.

The day’s entertainment will include The Dance Dolls performing in the afternoon along with the Antwerp Community Band.

New this year is an energetic K&S Tumblefit performance at noon.

Also new this year will be Mark’s Ark. For over 11 years, Mark’s Ark has been providing quality entertainment in the area. Live, hands-on, interactive animals shows and petting zoos are their speciality. All of Mark’s animals are safe for petting and handling. Many of his animals are also available for adoption. Mark and his creatures will be in the park from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Back by popular demand will be the Cutie Pie contest. The entry deadline was Aug. 3. Attendees to the festivities can vote for their favorite cutie by putting money in their jar. At the end of the day, the jar with the most money will be named the winner. The winner will receive a free photography session and a 11x14 print by Memories by Tawnya Photography. They also will receive two passes to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo from the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce.

Also in the park will be a business and industry area, 50/50 raffle and silent auction items. Auction items can be viewed before Saturday in the front windows of Leland Smith Insurance and at Antwerp Exchange Bank.

Games will be going on all day by Antwerp cheerleaders, Community Memorial Hospital and Antwerp Chamber.

For the kids there will also be a duck pond, boat race, face painting, obstacle course, photo booth, bean bag toss, nail painting and hair braiding.

At 3 p.m., the winners for the silent auction items, 50/50 raffle and Cutie Pie contest will be announced.

Closing out the day will be an alumni reunion and dance in the evening.

Plan on coming out and enjoying a fun-filled day in Antwerp and celebrate “Back Home Again.”