River View Park Social celebrating 50 years

| August 2, 2016
The flier for the first River View Park Social in 1967.

The flier for the first River View Park Social in 1967.

The future site of the River View Community Park.

The future site of the River View Community Park.

WARSAW – For 50 years, the River View Park Social has been an annual tradition for many residents in the Warsaw area. This year, the event will honor its 50th anniversary with a special fireworks display on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. Fireworks will be shot off from the property behind the park by Big Midget Pyro, which works through Extreme Pyrotechnics LLC.

The event will run Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7 at the River View Community Park. The three-day event kicks off Friday at 8 p.m. with a Community Pool Party with the theme, “Superhero”, which has changed from what was previously announced. Residents are invited to swim at the pool until 10 p.m. There is a $2 admission.

Before the big fireworks show on Saturday night, there will be Bingo at the large shelter from 6 – 9 p.m. After the game, sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

“The main difference is just to signify and celebrate our 50th park social,” said Jesse Fischer, president of the park board.

Sunday will be the main event. Come hungry beginning at 11:30 a.m. for barbecue chicken by the Walhonding Valley Firefighters, homemade noodles, sandwiches, homemade pies, and homemade ice cream.

“We couldn’t do this without volunteers,” said Fischer. “The volunteer firemen in Warsaw cooking the chicken, they’re here at 4 a.m. starting the process. About 50 to 60 people donate homemade pies, some even two pies. These fantastic people take time to do that for us. There are also 25 to 30 people in addition that help set up, serve food, and clean up.”

At noon, McFarland Martial Arts School will give a demonstration. From 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., the Walhonding Rube Band will perform and from 1:30 – 3 p.m., the Chestnut Ridge Bluegrass Band will play. At 2 p.m., there will be a $50 coin toss in the pool, and at 3 p.m., the watermelon-eating contest will take place along with the 50/50 drawing. At 3:30 p.m., the Beaver Run Duck Race will begin. Adopt a plastic duck for a donation and hope it finishes in the money!

All day, there will also be a dunk tank and the Rollie Darr Memorial Baseball Tournament. There will be no cruise-in car show this year.

“Rollie was the former mayor of Warsaw and passed away in 1995,” said Fischer. “He was actually sitting mayor when he died. He was a big supporter of the youth and the park. It’s a big tribute to him that we named the baseball tournament in his honor to show how much he believed in the youth of the area and supported the park.”

The park social began in 1967 when the original park board decided to raise money to acquire land and buildings to be used as a community park. The first park social was held at Thompson’s IGA in Warsaw and the community raised $2,700 which is equivalent to $19,485 today. The park opened in 1969 and the social was moved to the newly-built park. The social hasn’t changed much over the years. The duck race started in 1990 and the watermelon-eating contest began in 2006.

Since the very first park social, the community has supported the River View Community Park with their time and donations.

“The community really shone through this year and raised $3,255,” said Fischer. “We are really tickled with that. The community involvement to put this event on every year never ceases to amaze me.”


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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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