The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the following key committee chairs: Randy Reed, Balloon Classic and Todd Hawke, Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks; Brian Harbert, Ribs Burnoff.
Reed is an escrow officer at Title One Agency and is a long-time Enshrinement Festival volunteer, previously serving on the Ribs Burnoff committee for 21 years, including two years as chairman. A graduate of East Canton High School and the former Stark Technical College, he is married to Jay. He is a past president and chairman of the board of Canton Jaycees, JCI Senatorship, and WCR Affiliate of the Year. In addition to his support of the Jaycees, he has been an active member of East Canton Rotary and Stark County Association of Realtors.
Assisting Reed as vice-chairman of the event committee is Casey Weisend, as the event proudly celebrates its 28th anniversary this year. What started in 1986 with 25 balloons at Weis Park has grown to a capacity field of nearly 70 balloons on the campuses of Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College, with nearly 125,000 people enjoying the two-and-a-half day event.
The Balloon Luminary was added in 1993 and is currently known as the Night Glow, and a further milestone was marked in 1995 when the Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks came under the umbrella of the Enshrinement Festival and joined forces with the Balloon Classic, a great partnership that continues still today.
The Food Fest Committee is chaired this year by Todd Hawke, principal at GDK & Company, and also currently serving as a Jackson Township Trustee. He is a graduate of Kenton Ridge High School and Ohio Wesleyan University and has served in various capacities on the Food Fest Committee since 2002. He is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, and American Cancer Society of Stark County. Todd and wife Tricia have one son and one daughter.
Hawke will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Food Fest by vice chairman Carles Moore.
It’s important to remember that the Balloon Classic and Food Fest activities will take place once again one week earlier than was tradition for many years, and will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 18, 19 and 20 so as not to be in conflict with several other major ballooning events throughout the country.
The combined Balloon Classic/Food Fest event will include a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, children’s activity area, musical entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display.
Harbert, director of Aultman Management Services Organization, is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Walsh University. A long-time Ribs Burnoff Committee volunteer, this is his second year as chairman, and he previously chaired the Parking, Facilities, and Vendors sub-committees. He is vice president of Our Lady of Peace Men’s Club and past finance chair for the American Cancer Society Canton Relay for Life. He and wife Laurie are the proud parents of two daughters.
Another long-time Ribs Burnoff Committee volunteer, Darren Faye, is serving as vice-chairman of the committee. Together, they will oversee all aspects of the Ribs Burnoff, which will take place July 30, 31 and August 1 at Stark County Fairgrounds. Special attractions include a wide variety of rib and specialty food vendors, beverages, children’s entertainment area, fantasy football zone of interactive inflatables, enormous sand sculpture, and musical entertainment.