Did you know the US state of Ohio had a Violet Capital? In 1808, settlers named the “Violet Township” after its abundance of soft purple flowers. The Ohio Legislature officially designated Pickerington the Violet Capital of Ohio in 1996. A year later, the Violet Festival was created to celebrate Pickerington’s and Violet Township’s charm and hospitality.
This year, the Violet Festival will be held at the Pickerington Toll Gate Middle and Elementary Schools campus from Wednesday, July 29, 2015 through Saturday, August 1, 2015.
“The festival has become a much-anticipated summer event in Pickerington,” says Violet Festival President Chris Stein. “It features something for everyone, no matter the age, including a parade through the historic downtown area, a car and bike show that showcases historic and unique autos and motorcycles, a 5K race and children’s fun run, an expanded kids’ zone as well as midway games and carnival rides.”
Stein and his team have planned four days of musical entertainment. The headliners on Friday night will be LOCASH, a country duo whose hits include “Keep In Mind” and “The Best Seat In The House” and who has written such hits as “You Gonna Fly” for Keith Urban and “Truck Yeah” for Tim McGraw. On Saturday night, the crowd will be entertained by KANSAS, a band that has played together for more than four decades. In addition, there will be local and regional musical groups of all genres performing.
“The Violet Festival is truly a community event and something Pickerington and surrounding residents look forward to every year,” says Stein, who has been on the event’s board for four years and says he was originally asked to be a part of it because of his passion and knowledge of music. Thus, he started out booking national artists.
Stein was elected festival president this year, and his first order of business was to find a new home for the event, because it had to move, after 16 years in the same location.
“I have lived in Pickerington since 1978 and I have seen it grow from a village to a city,” Stein says. “I did all my schooling here, and my kids are now attending school here, so I have a special place in my heart for Pickerington.”
As a nonprofit organization, the Violet Festival is organized and presented through the efforts of a committed board and hundreds of volunteers, who believe in giving back to the community. “That is why the festival is very special and unique to me, and why I put in so many countless hours to ensure a successful event for the thousands of visitors that see Pickerington for the first time each year.”
According to its President, the proceeds from the festival are donated to local nonprofit organizations, such as the Pickerington Food Pantry. “After our last event, we contributed more than $25,000.00 back into the local community to local charity groups that provide volunteers to help us operate the festival. It’s just another way we give back to this community where we work and live.”