GREENFIELD — It’s the first official week of summer and time to revisit some of Greenfield’s summer traditions. Whatever the warmer weather means to you — outdoor concerts, yard sale season, art fairs, summer movies or time to read — you can find your summer fun in Hancock County.
Entertainment on the Plaza
Entertainment on the Plaza kicks off its 31st season at 7 p.m. Friday night with a perennial favorite, the Wright Brothers Band. Concerts are every Friday at 7 p.m. on the courthouse square at the corner of State and Main streets.
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The eight-week series, which wraps up on July 21, includes returning performers such as New Odyssey and Greenfield’s own Brandywine Wind concert band, but many of the acts are new, including the Banjo Buddies Dixieland Band and the Flatland Harmony Experiment. Each concert runs about an hour and 15 minutes.
The Greenfield Kiwanis Club sells water, soft drinks and popcorn prior to the performance, with proceeds going to local charities and the Riley Hospital for Children. The concerts, sponsored by Greenfield Banking Co., are free, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
Free family film festival
Drive past the Legacy Nine Cinema at 2347 W. Main Street on any Wednesday morning this summer, and you’ll see the parking lot packed with cars, buses and vans from the local childcare facilities. Legacy’s Free Family Film Festival is the place to be for eight Wednesday mornings of animated entertainment. Most of the movies shown are current — from 2016 — with 2017’s “The Lego Batman Movie” as the summer’s finale. Seating opens at 9 a.m. with the show starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The concession stands are open during the showing of the film.Old National Road Yard SaleYard sales are another summer tradition, starting with the one of the biggest yard sales in the country this weekend: the Old National Road Yard Sale. Thursday through Sunday, for 824 miles — from Baltimore, Maryland, to St. Louis, Missouri — along U.S. 40 (Main Street in downtown Greenfield), bargain-hunters can find antiques, collectibles, toys, clothes, and even larger items like furniture, boats and cars at thrift store prices.
If a full weekend of treasure-hunting isn’t enough, housing additions often coordinate to offer neighborhood sales. Sales on the horizon include the Twin Oaks subdivision on June 9 and 10; Indigo Springs’ sale June 16 and 17; and Oak Highlands on June 24; for details, see yardsalesearch.com.
Summer reading program
The summer reading program is in full swing at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road, but there’s still time to get on board.Founded on research that shows children who read 20 minutes a day maintain their reading skills over the summer, goals for the children’s reading club (infants through fifth grade) are based on minutes, with milestones reached — and prizes given — at 60 minutes, 300 minutes, 600 minutes and 900 minutes.
But the summer reading program isn’t just for kids. Teens (sixth grade through age 19) can also earn prizes for reading and logging books they read on their own — and for every 10 books read to someone in the children’s age group. For each book logged, teens get an entry slip to win gift cards to Hometown Comics, Walmart, iTunes and GameStop.
The adult reading program matches the teen club, with adults logging books they’ve read or read to children to win gift cards from local businesses.
The program runs through Aug. 1 with all prizes claimed by Aug. 9. For more information, visit hcplibrary.org.
Hancock County 4-H Fair: The fairgrounds at 620 N. Apple St. will be abuzz with activity from June 23 through 30. This celebration of agriculture features 4-H projects on display, a parade on Saturday, farm animals, a talent show, monster trucks, fair food, nightly entertainment in the pioneer building and carnival rides.Running eight days, admission to the county fair and most of the events is free. For more information, visit yourhancockfairgrounds.com.
Pennsy Trail Art Fair & Music Festival: Now in its 15th year, the Pennsy Trail Art Fair & Music Festival sets up on the courthouse lawn and American Legion Place in downtown Greenfield. This one-day festival — July 29 — highlights local and regional artists and performers gathering for this fundraiser for Mental Health Partners of Hancock County.
The festival opens at 9 a.m. with a Run for Healthy Minds 5k. A new event at this year’s festival is the MHP (Mental Health Partners) Grand Prix – an adult Big Wheel race — at 12:30 p.m. Teams of five adults will compete in heats to determine a winner.
The traditional Ducky Derby raffle drawing will occur at 3 p.m. For more information, visit mentalhealthpartnershc.com.
Cumberland Arts Goes to Market: Since 2009, Cumberland Arts and the Cumberland Farmers Market have joined forces to spotlight their community with an event known as Cumberland Arts Goes to Market. Held this year on Aug. 19, more than 100 artists, crafters and farmers market vendors pitch their tents to sell their wares along Saturn Street in Cumberland.
The festival features entertainment, activities for kids and adults, local history stations and a wide variety of local and regional artists and craftsmen. Admission is free, as is parking in the Meijer parking lot next door. For more information, visit cumberlandarts.org.