Enshrinement Festival Wins IFEA Pinnacle Award

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival was recently recognized by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) with a prestigious Bronze Pinnacle Award for “Best Event Video” in the category of events with budgets over $1.5 million. 

Awards were presented in 68 different categories at the 2015 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards on September 21 – 23, 2015, during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the IFEA’s 60th Annual Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona.

Joanne Murray, vice president of community events & sponsorships, expressed appreciation to Larry Schock of PYEcom Home Video, who developed the event video from hundreds of hours of footage shot by the PYEcom team. Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival overview DVDs are available for purchase at $24.95 each, plus shipping, by calling Chris Gumpp at 330.458.2055 or e-mailing chrisg@cantonchamber.org.

The professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events.  Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the 500 Festival, Indianapolis, IN; the Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, IA; the National Archives, Washington, DC; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA; the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, WA; SunFest, West Palm Beach, FL and the Edmonton Heritage Festival in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

International contenders included such diverse event organizations as Destination NSW in Sydney, Australia; Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival in Krakow, Poland; the Singapore Garden Festival, Singapore; RedFilo Events in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Showtime Events; New Delhi, India; Festival Lent, Maribor, Slovenia and the Gimje Horizon Festival in Gimje City, South Korea.

“The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.  Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Enshrinement Festival Announces Top Leadership Roles for 2016

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Pro Football Hall of Fame have named two long-time community volunteers to the top leadership positions for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival.

CondeChip Conde, Stark County Property Tax Supervisor and long-time Enshrinement Festival volunteer, will serve as general chairman of the Enshrinement Festival activities planned by the Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Guy Ruda, account executive for Advantage Waypoint, will serve as general chairman of the Enshrinement Festival activities planned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Conde, a graduate of Canton Lincoln High School and the former Mount Union College (now University), has chaired many Enshrinement Festival committees including Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, Concert & Fireworks, and Drum Corps International, and he continues to serve as a member of each of those committees, as well as the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner Committee. In 2013, he served as co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Community Celebration Day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 2015, he was the Chamber’s General Vice Chairman for the Enshrinement Festival. He and wife Kathy are strong supporters of the Canton Palace Theatre, including his tenure as a former Board member and current Capital Campaign Chairman. He is a Board member and president of the Friends of the Children’s Network, member of the Canton Lincoln High Alumni Association, and member of the Spanish-American Center. 

RudaRuda begins his first year as general chairman of the Hall’s Enshrinement Festival committees. During the 2015 Enshrinement Festival, while serving in the leadership role as general vice chairman, Ruda also completed his 15th year as chairman of the Enshrinement Committee. He previously served 18 years as a member of the Enshrinement Committee, as well as three years as chairman of the former NFL Experience Committee. A very effective mentor, he provides leadership to his volunteer team by adhering to a favorite motto, “People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves.” Ruda and his wife Gail are the proud parents of David and Danielle.


Enshrinement Festival Announces Photo Contest Winners

In the 27th annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Photo Contest sponsored by Western Reserve Group, professional photographer Deb Penland of North Canton won the coveted $250 “Best of Show” award for her shot of the Night Glow at the Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks.

Penland Balloon ClassicPenland also earned $200 first place prizes for her photos of the Drum Corps International Competition Tour of Champions and the TimkenSteel Grand Parade:

Penland Drum CorpPenland Timken Grand ParadeThe non-professional category was led by Doug Froelich of North Canton who received $300 for his first place photos of the Community Parade, Canton Kickoff Celebration, and Gold Jacket 5K National Championship:

Froelich, Doug - Community Parade Froelich, Doug - Canton Kickoff Froelich, Doug - 5K Gold Jacket Series (1)

Brenda Stankich of North Jackson, Ohio, received $100 for her first place photo of the Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks:

Stankich, Brenda - Balloon Classic copy

The winning photos will be on display at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, located at 520 Cleveland Ave. N in downtown Canton, from Oct. 28 through Dec. 5. The photos will also be showcased on the Enshrinement Festival’s website at www.profootballhoffestival.com/photo-contest.

Entertainment and Food Lineup Announced for Canton Kickoff Celebration

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, has announced the food vendors (to date) and entertainment lineup for the all-new Canton Kickoff Celebration happening in downtown Canton this September 10-12, 2015.

The event includes two food areas, each with a distinct look and feel. The first is Taste of the Hall of Fame City, comprised of white tents which will feature small plates available for purchase ($2-$6 each) from a diverse array of area restaurants including Almost Heaven Ice Cream, Baja West Coast Kitchen, Basil, Kabab & Curry, Pancho’s Southwestern Grille, Peace, Love & Little Donuts, Sparta Steak House and Tim’s Tavern. These vendors will be located along Market Avenue North between Second and Third Streets.

The second area is the EMP End Zone Tailgate, which will be a casual football-themed outdoor space. Everyone’s festival favorites like burgers, barbeque, brats, fried Oreos, and even Asian-inspired food truck fare will be available for purchase. The EMP End Zone Tailgate Lot, which is bordered by Cleveland and Court Avenues/Fourth and Fifth Streets, will include the following vendors: Destefano’s LLC, Hide-A-Way Buffalo Grill, Johns Gyro King Concessions, LaDow’s Concessions, Lil John Concessions, Old Carolina Barbecue Company and Smoke the Burger Joint, Snell Concessions, Umami Bites, Jack on the Bone and Island Delights.

The main entertainment stage will be located on Market Avenue North along Market Square, featuring a diverse lineup of local and regional musical acts. A second smaller stage will be located in the EMP Tailgate End Zone lot featuring solo artists and/or deejays.

Market Ave. Stage Lineup:
Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:00 p.m.:  Disco Inferno (1970s hits)
Friday, Sept. 11, 7:00 p.m.: New Wave Nation (1980s rock)
Saturday, Sept. 12, 8:00 p.m.: Chris Higbee (Rock/Country) 

On Saturday night following Higbee’s performance will be a breathtaking fireworks display at 10:00 p.m.

In addition to two distinct food areas, live music, and fireworks, the Canton Kickoff Celebration promises football-themed fun for the whole family, including kids’ activities, themed “selfie” stations, Arts District activities, craft beers/wine, a special appearance from two Gold Jackets/Hall of Famers on Thursday, and the Gold Jacket 5K National Championship on Sunday!

For more information visit:  www.ProFootballHOFEF.com or call Andrea Hartman, event manager, at 330-458-2054.


2015 TimkenSteel Grand Parade Float Award Winners

TimkenSteel Grand Parade Chairman, Joanna James, announced the 2015 float award winners as selected by the following panel of judges: Kevin Krauch, Diebold Incorporated,  Annapolis, Maryland; Maura Shibley, Executive Director, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation, Cleveland, OH; and Edward Morrison, Dawson Insurance, Akron, OH.

The following is a complete list of the 2015 TimkenSteel Grand Parade float award winners:

GRAND PRIZE – Best overall entry in the parade11866209_10153601205294170_6492748314788871762_n

Scouting… Taking Adventure to New Heights, Sponsored by: Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America

BUILDERS’ AWARD – Best professional builder entry

The 12th Man Float, Sponsored by: Akron Auto Auction

OHIO STATE AWARD – Best non-professional builder entry

Freedom Isn’t Free, Sponsored by: 5 Point United Methodist Parish

ENSHRINEES’ AWARD – Most effective use of color harmony

Ohio Lottery, Sponsored by: Ohio Lottery Commission

MAYOR’S AWARD – Best display of animation

Learning is Our Game Plan, Sponsored by: Brown Mackie College

HOF BOARD OF TRUSTEES’ AWARD – Most original concept

Wounded Warrior Project, Sponsored by: Wounded Warrior Project

NFL AWARD – Best use of flowers or natural covering

Louisville Constitution Day Queen & Court, Sponsored by Louisville Chamber of Commerce

JANICE C. MEYER AWARD – Best display of enthusiasm

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Queen & Court, Sponsored by: Malone University

EXCEPTIONAL MERIT AWARD – For exceptional merit

Woodlawn, Sponsored by: Pure Flix Entertainment

EXCEPTIONAL MERIT AWARD – For exceptional merit

Central Catholic State Champion Baseball Team- Division III State Champions, Sponsored by: Gervasi Vineyard

EXCEPTIONAL MERIT AWARD – For exceptional merit

HealthSpot, Sponsored by: HealthSpot

The Grand Parade has been a tradition since 1963 when 40,000 spectators attended the first parade. Since then, it has grown to a crowd of 200,000 lining the 2.2 mile parade route each year and millions more viewing it via television broadcast.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival TimkenSteel Grand Parade is one of the largest in the nation, and the Enshrinement Festival has been voted one of the top 100 attractions in North America by the American Bus Association. The parade typically features approximately 115 entries, including spectacular floats, marching bands, helium balloons, clowns and costume characters, unique specialty units, and the current class of Enshrinees and their presenters.

For more news and a complete schedule of the remaining Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival events, visit the Web site: www.profootballhofef.com.

51 Balloons Set to Fly This Weekend at the Balloon Classic

The 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks will be this Friday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College campuses.  
“The Enshrinement Festival’s Balloon Classic, in its 30th year, is highly regarded in the ballooning world as a premier event,” noted Maury Sullivan, long-time event director. “The quality of our event is evident by the dozens of pilots who return to fly Stark County’s skies year after year.” 
Sugardale Pig
Approximate times for scheduled flights, weather permitting, will be Friday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. There will be 51 sport, commercial and special shape hot air balloons, including The Pig, SnoBird, Puddy Tat, Tweety Bird, El Fonz, Little Pirate, and 3 Wise Monkeys.
The participating pilots have impressive credentials and hail from 10 different states, including 27 from Ohio. Canton is only one of the many locations participating pilots have seen from a bird’s-eye view. Many of these pilots have flown all over the world, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Soviet Union and Spain.Ballooning activities over the weekend include:

  • Some pilots will compete in a team format, while others will fly “fiesta” in a non-competitive format, with an available prize package of $17,500.
  • Spectators can marvel at the “Night Glow,” sponsored by Fresh Express/Fishers Foods, on Friday at 9:30 p.m. when they illuminate their balloon envelopes while tethered at the launch field.
  • The Balloon Education Area, sponsored by Smucker’s Uncrustables, will provide a special opportunity for adults and children to enter a fully inflated balloon envelope and learn about the envelope, balloon basket and burners.

Balloons_FroelichResidents of Stark County can participate in the ballooning excitement by allowing a balloon to land on their property. To signal pilots for landing, place a white sheet in a 200’ x 200’ grassy area. The landing area must be clear of trees and power lines, as well as allow enough space for the balloon to land. The pilots offer landowners the chance to win a $100 U.S. Savings Bond in appreciation of land use.

Great food and entertainment are also on tap at the Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks on Friday and Saturday evenings. There will be a variety of food vendors,  playground of inflatables for children, musical concerts, and of course fireworks on Saturday night at 10:00 p.m.
Friday night musical entertainment lineup:
Blues in School – 4:30 p.m.
Hey Monea! – 6:00 p.m. – 6:40 p.m.
Joe Vitale Jr. – 7:10 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Chris Higbee – 8:15 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers – 9:45 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.
Saturday night musical entertainment lineup:
Tom Frietchen Band – 5:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Phillip Fox Band – 8:15 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Phillip Fox Band – 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks event is presented through a cooperative effort between the Canton Regional and Jackson-Belden Chambers of Commerce. For more information, call Andrea Hartman at (330) 458-2054, or visit the Enshrinement Festival Web site at www.profootballhofef.com

Chamber and Hall Announce Key Enshrinement Committee Chairs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have named the following key committee chairs:  Rose Ann Manzella, Appreciation Party; Casey Weisend, Balloon Classic and Todd Hawke, Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks; Mark Prosise, NFL/Hall of Fame Game; and Dean Kahler, Food.
Rose Ann Manzella

Manzella is a graduate of Bishop McDonnell High School and St. Joseph College, both in Brooklyn, New York, and spent 20 years as a medical receptionist. She has been a member of the Appreciation Party Committee for 18 years, and this is her second as chairman. Last year, she served as a volunteer for the Hall of Fame Fan Fest at the Cleveland IX Center. A Eucharistic minister at St. Michael’s Catholic Church for 19 years, she is married to husband Dennis.

The Appreciation Party is a non-public event held to show gratitude to the generous sponsors and team of more than 4,500 dedicated community volunteers who provide the resources and support to make the annual Enshrinement Festival such a huge success. Chris Scarpino is serving as committee vice-chair.

Casey WeisendWeisend, owner of Salon Mystique and Salon Suites located in Canton, Ohio, is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and National Beauty College. This is his first year as Chairman of the Balloon Classic committee. Before becoming Chairman of the Balloon Classic committee, Weisend served as the sub-committee chairman for vendors. He and wife Jennifer are the proud parents of three children.

Weisend will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Balloon Classic by vice chairman Keith Bennett. This year the Balloon Classic and Jackson-Belden Music Fest activities will take place a week later than last year, with the event being held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 31, August 1 and 2.

Todd HawkeThe Music 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 by vice chairman Carles Moore, and there will be a wide variety of food and beverages, accompanied by a stronger emphasis on music at the event, thus the name change from Food Fest to Music Fest. As always, there will be a Balloon Glow on Friday night and a spectacular fireworks show to conclude Saturday’s activities.

Mark ProsiseProsise is a graduate of Jackson High School, Bowling Green State University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He has served on the Game committee since 1999, and this is his fifth consecutive year as chairman. An active Hall of Fame volunteer for the past 22 years, he has also served on the Autograph and Enshrinement committees. Prosise is past-president of the Jackson Township Community Improvement Corporation. He and wife Sandra have two sons.

Under the direction of Prosise, with assistance from vice chairman Traci Tsai, the Game Committee is responsible for timing and coordination of the pre-game and halftime activities during the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, to be held at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, featuring the Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers before a sold-out stadium and national television audience on NBC “Sunday Night Football.” The game also will be broadcast on Westwood One.

Dean KahlerKahler is a graduate of East Canton High School and Kent State University and also studied at Ohio University. He is retired but stays active by participating in many area running events, including the Enshrinement Festival’s 5-Mile Race in the wheelchair division. He has been active with the Ohio Education Association, as former treasurer of the Tri-County Teachers Association, and with the Hocking Watershed District. In 1987, he was named the Athens County Elected Official of the Year.

The Food Committee oversees the menu and wine selections and works closely with caterers to ensure the success of the food service to 12,000 guests at the Enshrinement Festival’s Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, Fashion Show Luncheon, and Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable. Serving as vice-chairman of the committee is Pete Carbone.