More than 100 competitors, historical re-enactors, vendors and others will participate in J.D. Justus’ Vail Meadows Festival and 2008 International Mounted Police Ride Off on May 31 in Oregon.
The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Vail Meadows Equestrian Center, 6118 Cedar Point Rd. It will be followed by live band performances from 5 to 8 p.m. by Kerry Clark, Attacked by Wolves and Groovemaster. Admission is $10 per person age 12 and older; those under 12 are free with an adult.
Vail Meadows’ therapeutic riding program for 45 adults from Luther Home at Vail with mental retardation and developmental disabilities will receive a 75 percent share of the proceeds from the event. The remaining 25 percent will be split between Luther Home of Mercy and the Ronald McDonald House.
Justus, a former member of the Perrysburg police department for 23 years who was forced to retire at age 48 with seizure problems, annually held fundraisers for people with life-threatening medical bills for the past 14 years at his family farm in Perrysburg Township. This year, Justus, hired as a special events coordinator at Veal Meadows, decided to bring his farm fundraiser to a new farm: the 25-acre Vail Meadows equestrian center.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Drum and Bugle Corps have agreed to open the event at 9 a.m. by performing the National Anthem at the indoor riding arena. The corps will later perform a concert from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. under the big tent behind the arena.
Oregon Mayor Marge Brown, whom Brown credited with helping him wade through the permit process for the event, will serve as a guest judge for the mounted police in dress blues uniform contest beginning at 9:15 a.m. She will be joined by Lucas County Sheriff James Telb, Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre, Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn and Perrysburg Police Chief Richard Gilts.
Navarre will present awards to the winners of the dress blues event. Wasylyshyn will serve as the ring announcer for the dress blues competition and later for the mounted police obstacle course competition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dee-Dee Bing Hennis of Bassett, Va., and Kelly Lauderback of Perrysburg will judge the international obstacle course competition. The winner(s) will receive the awards from Sgt. Len Klimpke and Cpl. Cory Hoehn of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
During the festival, there will be child fingerprinting as well as presentations by historical re-enactors of such figures as President Abraham Lincoln, Johnny Appleseed, General George Armstrong Custer and period soldiers, Red Bear and other Native American Indians, and others.
Tomahawk throwers, arrowhead and moccasin makers, dulcimer and flute players, weavers/spinners, blacksmith, wood carvers, and scrim shaw artisans will demonstrate their crafts. Covered wagon and horse-drawn carriage roads will be available.
The concerts will begin at 5 p.m. with Kerry Clark performing under the big tent. He will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by Attacked by Wolves and at 8 p.m. by Groovemaster.
BYOB (but no glass) is permitted at the concert inside the tent. No alcohol is permitted on the festival grounds.