Music, food, pride part of Community Days

MINGO JUNCTION – Mingo pride was in full display for the first day Friday of this year’s Community Days celebration featuring music, good food and an eventual performance slated for Sunday by one of the village’s favorite sons.

Friday’s activities got off to a rousing start with the festival opening with a rocking version of the national anthem performed by guitarist Ty Carney, lead guitarist for the band Vanilla Sounded Chocolate. Carney and his band would play later in the evening after sets by Mingo native Rose Angelica singing country music – including her own hit, “Girls Just Wanna Drink Beer” – and local band All Ends Well.

Commercial Avenue Friday was lined with vendors and those eager to buy momentos, jewelry, Mexican food and just about anything one could think of. Children’s activities included pony rides, the Spirit of America train ride, face-painting and tattoos, along with vendors selling glow sticks, funnel cakes and shaved ice.

Mayor John Fabian said he was glad to see a mainstay of the community come back again this year.

“As far as Community Days goes, I’m disappointed (village government) couldn’t support it like we used to,” said Fabian, who also expressed his appreciation for those who helped organize the festival.

“I wish them well,” he said. “We did a little bit, but we didn’t actually spend any money. It’s a three-day affair this year, and there will be a parade (today).”

Singer/songwriter Angelica, who’s had a hit record under her belt for some time, said it was great to come off the road and see her good friends in Mingo again.

“I love playing in Mingo,” said Angelica, whose set included her own compositions as well as those made famous by Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Sr. “I was the band director here, and it’s good to come back and see my former students and support my own community.”

While some sat on benches to listen to the performers, others bought cotton candy or commemorative T-shirts. Bob Coppa, president of the Indian Creek Athletic Boosters Club, said he and fellow boosters were selling T-shirts, pork-pulled sandwiches and other items to help fund sports activities for the school district.

“We come here every year,” he said, adding every penny raised goes toward sports activities. “This year we’re selling food.”

“We support all sports,” echoed Dave Trikones, booster vice president, adding sales of clothing usually was successful. “We’re not doing too bad. When it comes to the clothes they will spend the money.”

Coppa gave credit to festival organizers, adding “they deserve a lot of credit. It’s a lot of hard work.”

Others raising funds for Mingo-related activities included Deidre Burkey Sorrell and Mary Clark Wilson, both village natives selling items to raise funds for a future class reunion.

“We are raising money for our 30th class reunion (of the former Mingo High School),” said Sorrell.

“We’re selling soda pop, water, chances on a 50/50 drawing and a drawing for a 55-inch smart TV,” said Wilson.

“Anyone is welcome to purchase tickets,” said Sorrell, adding those wishing to buy tickets should call (740) 535-3020 and leave a message.

Both Sorrell and Wilson said they were delighted with Mingo’s Community Days and were glad to part of the event.

“I feel it’s nice to come and reconnect with friends and support Mingo,” said Wilson. “Mingo pride is the biggest thing in our town.”

Entertainment and activities continue today with a parade on Commercial Avenue at 12:30 p.m. featuring the Indian Creek Marching Band and contestants for the Princes Aracoma and Little Chief Logan pageant; a car show scheduled for 4 p.m. with Hank Vincent; Stonestreet Station taking the stage at 5 p.m.; Rich Treglia performing songs made famous by Dean Martin; Spinning Jenny; and a performance by Never Wake, a local hard rock/metal band.

Sunday’s activities include the sold-out concert by the reformed Wild Cherry featuring Rob Parissi and other bands performing at the Mingo Knights of Columbus hall.