Dayton Upfront

 Dayton Upfront

The Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.

By Madison Rodgers

“40 years in the Making” is this year’s theme for the Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, and it seems appropriate due to the occasion. Over the last 40 years the Sugar Maple Festival in Bellbrook has become a staple event within the community.

“Something special we are doing this year is displaying memorabilia from the last 40 years,” says Tosha Shupe, chairwoman of the Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival. “The memorabilia will be open for display immediately following the parade.”

The parade includes the Sugar Maple Sweetheart and Attendants, local groups, horses, the dog show winners, antique cars and the Bellbrook High School Marching Band. If you’re looking to watch the parade get your spot along West Franklin Street between Dot’s and the center of town to see the parade at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28.

The festival offers many things in which people can participate. Activities include live music, a craft fair, a 5K run, a dog show and a beer garden. The festivities kick off on Friday, April 27, at 5 p.m. and continue throughout the weekend ending on Sunday, April 29.

The 13th Annual Sugar Maple Festival Dog Show will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 27. Registration for this event is 6-6:30 p.m. behind Sugarcreek Elementary School. The categories for the dog show include cutest puppy, cutest dog, ugliest, smallest, largest, best costume and silly dog tricks. Each category has first-, second-, and third-place winners and one dog will be crowned Best in Show. The winning dogs will be invited to participate in Sunday’s parade.

A staple of the festival is the Sugar Maple Sweetheart contest. In order to participate in the event young girls from the high schools and middle schools need to fill out an application.“The sixth- through 12th-graders send in applications and then go through an interview process,” says Shupe. “If the girls are chosen they volunteer during the festival.” The winner of the contest also receives a scholarship.

“Everyone is amazing,” says Shupe. “It’s often difficult to choose.”

Something that makes the Sugar Maple Festival stand out is that it is a large community fundraiser. “If someone in the community has a need and they express that need we try to help in any way we can,” says Shupe. Most of the proceeds of the festival go to the local Bellbrook community.

Something that is new to the festival this year is a workout demonstration that will happen in the Bellbrook Park on April 29 at 10:15 a.m. These classes will be offered at Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District headquarters. This demonstration will include a follow-along, low-impact, high-energy workout class and a core-focused, MMA-inspired workout.

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