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Waynedale is about to “EMBARK” on something new. In celebration of the new Bluffton Road Trails and Sidewalks, area businesses are uniting to bring about a unique family friendly event. On Saturday, July 21st from noon until 4 p.m., residents are invited to use the trails and sidewalks on Bluffton Road between Lower Huntington and Old Trail Roads. Whether walking, biking, in strollers or wagons, there will be opportunity to visit more than 18 businesses along the route who will be offering activities and giveaways. Mayor Tom Henry is scheduled to be on hand at noon next to Hair Affair to kick off the event.

Members of the community will be provided a “Passport” that will list the participating businesses along the route. Some companies will be in their normal location, other retailers that aren’t normally found along Bluffton Road will be positioned along the road under tents. Each will be hosting a fun activity and residents will have their “Passport” stamped at each stop.

Some activities scheduled include a spinning wheel to win a prize from Midwest America FCU, temporary tattoos and lemonade from GMI Insurance, free popcorn from Kingston Residence, corn hole at PNC, a ball toss from Umber’s, face painting at Wings Etc., a kids craft from the Waynedale Library, putting contest at 1st Source Bank and much more.

There will be three locations along the route to turn in completed Passports for a chance to win prizes based on number of stops fulfilled. For example, if someone turns in a Passport with 8 stamps they will be entered into the Bronze level. Those Passports submitted with 14 stamps will go into the Silver level and Passports with all squares completed will be entered into the Gold level drawing. Prize values grow larger with each level achieved. Gifts range from a dozen fresh baked cookies from Waynedale Bakery, to gift cards from Pizza Hut, Chucks Marathon, China Palace and Miami Grill, a range card from Bobick’s, a Nine Mile gift card, a $75 Gift Card from Kroger, a Bluetooth speaker from Partner’s 1st and a bicycle compliments of 3 Rivers Federal Credit Union, just to name a few.

Also available at the three Passport/Information centers will be a children’s scavenger hunt. Kids will search for clues along the route and show their completed paper for a prize. On the flip side of the scavenger hunt is a coupon from The Stand for a free kid’s cone during the event.
There are other exciting activities planned as well. Both Bravas Food Truck and Shigs in Pit will be on hand to sell delicious food such as hot dogs and BBQ. While dining, attendees can enjoy tunes spun by DJ Diamond Dave. You are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. These happenings can be found in the grassy area between Hair Affair and A-Z Embroidery. This is also where Mayor Henry will officially commence EMBARK.

Additionally, a chalk walk will be located at Star Bank. There will be two sizes of squares from which to showcase your creative talents. From 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. children and adults are encouraged to decorate a square with colored chalk. A limited supply of chalk will be available so if you are a serious artist, it is recommended you bring your own. There will be judging based in both children and adult categories with first and second places to be awarded in three age brackets.

Guests are encouraged to walk or bike to the event, however, there are established areas where people may park vehicles. The Southwest Conservation Club at the intersection of Old Trail and Bluffton Road, the old BMV lot located behind Walgreen’s and the new BMV near the Bluffton Road Post Office will have limited parking following their business hours.

Hosted by the Waynedale Trails and Sidewalks Initiative and supported by the Waynedale Community Improvement Team and Waynedale Business Chamber, this event is a collaboration of over 25 local businesses sponsoring the event through their generous donations. Randy Keplinger, General Manager for Dignity owned Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Funeral Home, a major sponsor of the event, shares “Our funeral home has been part of the Waynedale community for over 100 years. We are excited about our new Trails and Sidewalks and are proud to help support this initiative.”

An event of this magnitude doesn’t come off without the planning of many people. The EMBARK committee is comprised of Gary Brennan, Winterset President; Beulah Matzak, Community Leader; Carissa Mitchell, Hair Affair; Amanda Vance, ACPL Waynedale Branch; Dawn Gilreath, Midwest America Federal Credit Union; Anita Kowalski, Winterset Resident; Dave Umber, Umber’s Do It Best; Alex Cornwell, The Waynedale News and Camille Garrison, Kingston Residence Assisted Living.

With summer in full swing, this is a perfect opportunity to inspire a healthy lifestyle, have fun on our new trails and sidewalks while supporting Waynedale local commerce. Businesses who are supporting the event will have EMBARK signs on display as well as copies of the Passport. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Waynedale News Staff
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The Waynedale News Staff

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