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MUNROE FALLS -- This year the basketball courts at Guise Park will be in the city's spotlight -- not the Cuyahoga River.
After more than 25 years, there will not be a festival focusing on the body of river that runs through town.
"Munroe Falls will not be hosting RiverFest this year due to financial restrictions and a lack of volunteers," explains Matt Roeser, park board chair.
Instead, the Park Board is hosting Munroe Falls Parkfest at Guise Park on June 10 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As well as being a family friendly event, Parkfest is to be a fundraiser for plans to light the basketball courts.
The Ohio Controlling Board, which deals with adjustments to the state budget, earlier this year approved a $12,000 Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant for lighting at the court.
"We need to raise $6,000 to match the state grant . . . so we don't lose the money," says Matt Roeser, park board chair. "It is our hope that the community will come together at this fun event and we can raise the funds necessary to make this improvement to our park."
Park board member Lucky Tisch says due to the city's "financial straits" the park board saw its fund cut in half in this year's budget. She said the board couldn't afford the tent or any of the activities that usually accompany RiverFest.
Not wanting to lose the opportunity for a family event and wanting to fund the lighting project, Tisch says the park board "came up with a way to do that."
For sports enthusiasts, there will be 3-on-3 basketball and cornhole tournaments. Registration for the 3-on-3 is $75 with a deadline of June 9. The double-elimination tournament's first tip-off will be at 9 a.m. Age brackets will be 10-12, 13-15, 16-18, 18-21 and 22 and over. Each team must have at least three players with a maximum of five players.
Registration forms are available at City Hall and on the city's website, www.munroefalls.com.
The cornhole tournament will be open to teams of two and registration will be $20 per team. Registrations will take place until noon that morning, with the tournament beginning at 12:30 p.m.
All participants will receive a T-shirt and first- and second-place trophies will be awarded.
In addition to the tournaments, ParkFest will include activities for children, food trucks from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a beer garden and live entertainment throughout the day.
Donating their time, area musicians scheduled to perform include:
Akron blues and folk singer/songwriter Johnny G., 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Cleveland folk troubadour James McKievier, 2 to 3 p.m.
Kent indie rockers Passenger Trip, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Akron root rockers The Brothers Band, 5 to 7 p.m.
The food trucks are donating a percentage of their proceeds, says Tisch. River City Charities, a 501(c)3 organization, will handle the beer garden, with all proceeds donated back to the city. All funds raised will go toward the lighting project, with any excess earmarked for "the betterment of Munroe Falls' parks."
Tisch says the hope is to eventually make the parks self-funding, "so we don't have to take money from the city to use for parks."
'Making Strides Against Breast Cancer'
The day will kick off with Kyocera-SGS Precision Tools' annual No More Falls 5K race. In its eighth year, the race will begin at 9 a.m., with packet pickup and day-of-race registration at 7:30 a.m. at the company's headquarters at 55 S. Main St.
The 5K course will begin at the headquarters, travel on Route 91 to the Munroe Falls Bike and Hike Trail and back. Walkers can do a 1-mile course. Company associates will be present at each one-mile marker to offer encouragement and let runners know how much further they have to go, says Shana Skinner, a 5K Run team member.
Registration cost is $25 prior to race day and $30 on the day of the 5K. Registration information and forms can be found at the Facebook page, KSPT Annual No More Falls 5K; on the website www.active.com/munroe-falls-oh/running/distance-running-races/kspt-no-more-falls-5k-2017; or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be raffle tickets for sale for baskets and prizes from Munroe Falls businesses, as well as prizes for the race. All proceeds go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Skinner says the company was honored with the American Cancer Society's Corporate Excellence Award for its fundraising efforts -- a total of $165,000 donated. She adds the president gives a matching amount each year. Last year he matched the $7,000 raised, for a total of $14,000 donated.