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Fundraiser Plan Leads to Food Fest in Kenton

“Eats on the Street,” which will run from 5 to 10 p.m., will feature six food trucks from Columbus serving a variety of food available in the capital city.

Columbus food trucks featured at ‘Eats on the Street’

An auction to help a local organization raise funds has mushroomed into a big community event in downtown Kenton on Friday night.

“Eats on the Street,” which will run from 5 to 10 p.m., will feature six food trucks from Columbus serving a variety of food available in the capital city. At the same time there will be a vintage motorcycle and classic car show, along with performances by two music groups and other activities.

Jacqualine Fitzgerald, director of Downtown Development with the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said it was a meeting with Marcia Retterer, founder of the cancer support group Not By Choice Outreach in Kenton, that led to the food fest. Retterer wanted to have an auction of Adirondack chairs as a fundraiser for the organization.

Fitzgerald said she wondered, “How can we get her a bigger audience?” She decided they needed some sort of food to get people downtown.

The first person Fitzgerald thought of is former Kenton resident Taylor (Roof) Klinger, who lives in Columbus with her husband, Josh. They have a Cold Stone Creamery food truck and agreed to drive it to Kenton to be part of the event.

Fitzgerald, talking to others at the Alliance, said, “We haven’t had a community event in a long time. What if we make this really big and draw a big crowd downtown?” She said they decided they should invite more food trucks.

Their first call to a food truck operator happened to be the president of the Columbus Food Truck Association.

He said he could get more food trucks to drive to Kenton and “Eats on the Street” was born.

Fitzgerald called Retterer and told her, “Marsha, I think we can get you a bigger venue. It’s all falling into place.” Lined up to be in Kenton on Friday night, in addition to Cold Stone Creamery, are The Paddy Wagon, Pitabilities, Schmidt’s Sausage Truck, Phillybuster and Sticky Fingers. “It’s such a hot thing,” Fitzgerald said of the food trucks, “and no one in the surrounding counties is doing this. It’s nice to be on the cutting edge of things.”The trucks will be lined up on Columbus Street between Detroit and Main. In addition, there will be a beer tent with live music.

Although there will be some benches borrowed from the fair board, Fitzgerald encourages people to bring a lawn chair.

Groups performing on the north side of the courthouse are Whitaker Brothers from 5 to 6:45 p.m., followed by Zoo Trippin’ at 7:30 p.m.

The original reason for the event, auction of the Adirondack chairs to benefit NBC Outreach, will begin at 7 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. Fitzgerald said the minimum bid for a chair will be $125. There will be two children’s chairs and 12 adult models – including one each painted in the colors of the six schools in the county.

Another attraction is a vintage motorcycle and classic car show. For the car show, the vehicles will be parked along Main Street, with the entrance off Franklin Street. The motorcycles will be displayed on Columbus Street across from US Bank. There is no pre-registration. Owners can call the Alliance (419-673-4131) or just show up to get registered.

Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded at 8 p.m.

Two 3-D chalk artists will create their artwork on the sidewalk on the east side of the courthouse. There will be face painting and local resident Bob Halsey as Tater the Clown making balloon creations.

Specially created T-shirts featuring a picture of the 1911 Kenton Motorcycle Club will be available for $15.

They will be sold from a tent at Columbus and Main. Fitzgerald she encourages everyone to come to downtown Kenton for “great food, great music and to raise money for Not By Choice.”