HARROD — The two-day Harrod Pork Rind Festival, on June 10 through June 11, annually brings together an average of 400 to 500 people to celebrate the summer weather with music and family fun, including fireworks, games, rides, food and a car show.
Tony Blake, who has headed up organizing Harrod’s Pork Rind Festival each year, said there would be some new additions to this year’s festival.
“For many years we’ve wanted to do fireworks, but funding was always an issue until now,” Blake said. The fireworks are planned for Friday evening, but should the weather not cooperate, they will be held on Saturday.
“We’ve also wanted to do more during the day for kids. Some of the rides are free and others are as low as we can go to get good vendors here. There will also be a tent for family games, as well as pony rides,” said Blake.
For adults, the craft show will be held again as well as the car show, which is expected to bring 100 cars this year.
Some popular food vendors will be returning, while others will be new.
The beer garden, which has been very popular since it started 12 years ago, will return. But it pales in comparison to the pork rinds, for which the festival is named.
“Rudolph Foods donates 100 percent of the product used to cook the pork rinds,” Blake said. He said they are such a crowd favorite that “people wait in a half-block long line to buy the pork rinds. We have a standing goal of selling $100,000 worth of pork rinds priced at $3 per bag, over a day and a half.”
Additional foods provided by vendors will include hamburgers, pork tenderloin, fish, chicken wings, slushes, lemonade, as well as desserts like homemade licorice, ice cream and fried Oreos.
Friday night, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Exploit will be the featured musical entertainment. Exploit is a four-person band made up of Bob Schroeder (bass, vocals), Frank Hornishsgear (“Elwood”) (keyboard, saxophone, vocals), Don Gray (guitar, vocals) and David Breaston (drums, vocals).
Those from Lima will likely recognize this band that formed in 1990 from its past performances during Square Fair, Rally in the Square, as well as the St. Gerard and St. Rose festivals.
While a popular local band, it has experienced problems, both internal and external, over its 32-year history.
During 2002, the band broke up and did not get back together until 2008. Its members have also changed. Then, in 2020, Exploit had about 50 shows cancelled due to COVID-19.
This year, the band is as strong as ever and, based on its performance schedule, seems to be making up for lost time. Exploit is touring many locations this summer in addition to the Pork Rind Festival, including the Putnam, Shelby and Auglaize county fairs, as well as the Summer Moon Festival in Wapakoneta.
“We play mostly country and rock,” said Schroeder. Before the fireworks show, which is scheduled to start at 10 p.m., he said they would likely play a tribute to all four military branches as well as “Proud to Be an American.” “The rest of the time, we will be playing music people can dance to and sing along with and have fun.”
By Shannon Bohle
Reach Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.