The city of Erlanger bid farewell to summer at Saturday’s Summer Sendoff at Silverlake Park.
The event kicked off at 4 p.m. and ended with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. The weather cooperated perfectly, with the sun coming out in the afternoon and the temperatures just right for the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
“Once again, this was a Friendship City Celebration for the entire family,” said Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette. “This year the weather is phenomenal! And I think we have covid kind of behind us at this point, last year was a little more worrisome, and this time everyone is so relaxed, and ready to get back to our normal fun activities coming together as a community. And then on top of this, we’ve done this before. I said to Tyson (Hermes) this morning, this is like a well-oiled machine.”
So many things were happening at once — a definition of a party to say goodbye to the summer festivities.
Starting at 4 p.m. the band Moonshine Drive began playing music. They weren’t the only band that played. From about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. the headliner, a band called DV8, took the stage.
Children had activities designed especially for them, plus Cincinnati Circus brought their bounce houses so kids could get as wild as they wanted.
Cincinnati Circus also provided stunt shows, at 4, 6 and 8 p.m., which attracted eventgoers to watch and marvel.
Arts and crafts booths lined up with activities and freebies for guests.
But the contests commanded center stage.
At six o’clock contestants gathered to see who was the best at eating the most coneys from Skyline. Eleven contestants sat down with four cheese coneys in front of them, and a bottle of water, including a ten-year-old named Mason Gillespie who was definitely in it to win it.
He didn’t. Brandon McCubbin from Burlington finished 3 3/4 coneys to win.
Immediately on the heels of the coney-crunching was the repeat of the Colonial Cottage Memorial pie eating contest. Chocolate cream pies were again provided by Matt Grimes, the owner of the Colonial Cottage.
Mayors from three cities vied for the title — Mayor Chris Reinersman from Independence, Mayor Joe Meyer from Covington and Erlanger Mayor Fette, along with four Erlanger councilmembers, Rebecca Reckers, Jennifer Jasper Lucas, Tyson Hermes and Steven Doan. Tyson Hermes won last year.
“This is such a special event for Erlanger, to be able to share it with our Independence and Covington neighbors and friends makes it even better,” Fette said.
The pies were not full-sized last year, but this year contestants were given full-size pies. The partially eaten pies were scrutinized and Tyson Hermes was declared the winner.
Many of the contestants were laughing too hard to eat. Reinersman said he had so much chocolate up his nose he would be blowing his nose all week.
In a surprise move, Fette said that Bill Wulfeck, who will be announced as the new Erlanger CAO, would judge the pie eating contest, his first official task for the city.