After a 20-year run, the Jubilee will present its last hurrah.
By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
SALEM -- Residents will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their community's annual festival this week.
A full agenda is planned for the final Salem Jubilee.
Scheduled for Thursday through July 22, the 20th annual Jubilee, sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce, commemorates the town's founding in 1806. Activities appealing to all age groups will be available.
"We have always touted the jubilee as having something for everyone," said Margie Kampfer, Jubilee coordinator and chamber executive director.
Free concerts will take place daily, with sounds ranging from blues to oldies to alternative rock. National recording artist Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, who performed at the celebration last year before an estimated crowd of 4,000 people, will return for the featured performance at 9 p.m. July 22.
Biggest draws: Besides the musical performances, some of the Jubilee's biggest draws are the Saturday night parade, which has more than 140 units registered to participate, and the Tri-County Antique Car Club show and parade Sunday, according to parade co-chairwoman Marge Zeigler. Kampfer said last year's Saturday parade brought a crowd of about 25,000 people.
Zeigler noted that the festival draws a large crowd.
"Especially when we have the big events. For our little town, it's not too bad," she said.
The Jubilee will be take place in the central business district in downtown Salem. East State Street from Ellsworth Avenue to Lincoln Avenue and South Broadway from East State Street to East Pershing Street will be closed for the festival. Many of the events will take place on a portable stage set up at Broadway and East State Street.
Plenty to do: Sidewalk sales, food concessions, miniature golf, instant bingo tickets and a video arcade will be available daily. Children's entertainment consists of Bounce House, Play Island, Sumo Wrestlers, a dunk tank and other games for $1 each and Choo Choo Train Rides for $2.
Adult activities include scaling the rock wall or participating in the "Iron Man Challenge" inflatable obstacle course.
The baby comfort station is available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. July 22 at Kid Zone, 545 E. State St.
For the fourth year, Jubilee commemorative T-shirts featuring the artwork of local artist Ed Sullivan will be sold. The last of his four drawings of community landmarks will appear on this year's cream-colored T-shirts with burgundy print. He will be available to sign the limited edition shirts Thursday evening. Shirts will be sold for $9 at the information booth on East State Street.
Funding: The Jubilee, paid for by private donations and jubilee profits, has a budget of $30,000, according to Kampfer. The committee raised about $11,000 from general donations -- $5,000 less than last year's figure. The celebration also is funded with profits from food concessions, totaling $10,000, and from selling booth spaces for displays.
The chamber announced July 6 that it will not sponsor the event next year and no new sponsors have been found, Kampfer said. The festival was founded and sponsored by the Salem Historical Society, but the chamber took up the festival's sponsorship after its first year.
"It had been handed down once, and it could be done again," Kampfer said.
She hopes that a large number of people will participate in this year's events because it is the festival's last year.
"I love it, and I think I'll miss it tremendously next year," Kampfer remarked.
Zeigler has been a part of the Jubilee parade committee the past five years.
"It's been a rewarding experience putting it all together, and I'm sorry it's coming to an end," she said.