This past weekend was the Mogadore Community Festival held in the Lion’s Park. When we first moved to Mogadore 25 years ago, we went to two community events that first summer. We went to the Memorial Day Parade, which was small and perfect for Memorial Day (see previous post). And then we went to the Festival Parade, which was known as the Firemen’s Festival at the time. We couldn’t believe how big the parade was! There were more firetrucks than I have ever seen in one place. John, who was 18 months old at the time, loved the cement mixers – the village had cleaned up all the trucks owned by the village and included them in the parade! We have loved going to the community festival every year since.
This year there were a lot of familiar things at the Festival. We enjoyed the fireworks on Friday night. We ate the delicious pulled pork at the Mogadore UM Church booth. We sat on a friend’s front lawn to watch the parade and I collected lots of Tootsie Rolls (people in the parade throw candy at the spectators). We ate roasted corn on the cob made by the Lion’s Club. My sweet treat at the Festival was a chocolate covered frozen banana. We went to the historic car show on Sunday. I especially enjoyed the evolution of the Ford truck – here are some examples:
For us, the best part of the Festival is strolling along and talking to people who live nearby. We saw old neighbors, friends from the Mogadore Church, people we see at football games, people who grew up with John, Boy Scouts and former Boy Scouts, cheerleaders and the football team from the High School. When we were putting out our chairs for the parade a big cheer of “Dodgeball Tom” rang out across the street. Seated directly across from us were about 10 boys who had played dodgeball with Tom at church.
On Sunday we worshiped at the Community Service at the park. It is hosted by the Mogadore United Methodist and Christian Churches. Both pastors participate and communion is served to symbolize our unity in our Savior Jesus Christ. Rev. Elmer Johnson is the pastor at the Christian Church and he led the service. Rev. Pam Gable is the new pastor at the Mogadore UMC and she gave the children’s time and preached.
Her sermon was on the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13, but she called it the wheat and the weeds. This is a difficult passage for most pastors because it talks about the judgment of God and we don’t like to judge. Rev. Gable said the parable had three things to teach us: 1. Whether we are wheat or weeds, we all get the same blessings from God. 2. We don’t know if the things we consider weeds in our lives (pain, sorrow, conflict) will turn out to be wheat or weeds until the end. For instance, we can grow closer to God during our times of greatest suffering. 3. We don’t know if others are wheat or weeds so we need to show God’s love to all. It was a really interesting take on the parable and one that Tom and I talked about for a while.
There were other things going on during the worship service and I admit that my attention wandered sometimes. There was a nest of birds right over the “altar” in the picnic shelter. I’m sure they were wishing they had picked a quieter place for their nest. At 11:15, just as we were taking communion, a band started playing across the park. They were good – but loud – and it is the first time I have ever taken communion while listening to “Jailhouse Rock.”
Next year we are not planning on being in Ohio during the Festival, and we will certainly miss it.