Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival features food, music, activities

The Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival will return to Champaign County for two more Saturdays this month with food, music and activities.

The 21st annual festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays Sept. 16 and 23, at Freshwater Farms of Ohio, just north of Urbana, at 2624 N. U.S. 68. It opened last Saturday.

The event will include seafood, live outdoor music with 12 bands, the farm’s sturgeon petting zoo, fish and critter displays, bounce houses, arts and crafts vendors, and a kids play zone. The 12 bands are Honey Compass, McGuffey Lane, Deuce ‘n a Quarter, Big Gill’s Blues and his Funky All Starts, Luv Locz Experiment, Eleyet McConnell, SpikeDrivers, The Wayfarers, Gary Guitar Williams, Ladies of Longford, Meridith Evans, and Reyna Spears and Dana Farley.

Some of the features the festival will include this year are games for children and adults such as angry fish throwing, battling water balloon catapults, goldfish bowl toss and darts target game; four inflatable bounce houses, face painting, balloon sculptures and pirate treasure sand dig; critter displays including sturgeon petting zoo, touch tanks and trout feeding by hand.

The Freshwater Farms of Ohio Farm Market will offer fresh harvested shrimp for sale, until sold out, beginning at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16.

Several things are also new this year at the festival, including:

  • Overnight self-contained RV and tent camping on Friday and Saturday night each weekend. Reservation are recommended and can be made at eventmanagerffo@gmail.com or 937-652-3701.
  • More areas for small groups to gather and enjoy meals and drinks from the fountain display area and Rainbow project, which features a wisteria dome and wildflower meadow maze. Seating will also be available around the outdoor stage.
  • Three times more vendors, including local merchants and artisans.
  • Food selections that include Freshwater Farms’ pan-fried rainbow trout, jambalaya, grilled and coconut shrimp, fish tacos and a full dinner menu, as well as food trucks and vendors serving bourbon chicken, pizza, shrimp and fish dishes, sushi, tacos, barbeque, pastries and coffees.
  • Charlies Bar will serve wine, beer, margaritas and cocktails; and Feisty Brood Meadery will serve mead pours at the bar from 1 to 9 p.m.

Parking is free with gate admission of $5 for ages 12 and up, $2 for kids ages three to 12, and free for ages two and under.

Admission is free to guests who dress up as a mermaid, pirate or sea creature. Secret judges will award cash and game ticket prizes in each category for costumed adults and youth ages 16 and under.

For more information and the schedule, visit fwfarms.com/festival.

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