JACKSON TWP.  The 2017 Jackson Township Community Celebration opened with big crowds, lots of rides, amazing food and family-friendly fun. 

Township Parks and Recreation Director Dave Ruwadi said the festival is always a great place for friends and family to enjoy time together. 

"We offer it all from food and rides to live entertainment, a car show and a 5K race," Ruwadi said. "The success we’ve had with the Community Celebration over the years and the turnout so far this year, show that Jackson Township knows how to make things happen."

One of the newer food vendors was Redbeard’s Family BBQ from Canal Fulton. Cole Ruthrauff was at the large smoker cooking up ribs and other favorite foods.

"We have brisket, ribs, mild Italian sausage and our signature sandwich is smoked sausage slit down the middle and piled high with pulled pork and topped off with a barbeque sauce," Ruthrauff said.

Another vendor was LaDow’s Concessions. It’s a family owned business that includes a food trailer, an Italian ice stand and a fresh made lemonade stand.

"We’ve been coming to the Community Celebration for five years and we love it," said Lianne LaDow. "It’s a family business that my husband always wanted to start and so we work a number of festivals around the county."

Tonya and Matt Gillette are teachers from Jackson Local Schools. They were playing the games with their kids, Henry and Anna.

"We come every year, the kids know they get a certain number of rides and they get to play a certain number of games," Anna said.

As with every year, the festival offered live entertainment, a car show with over 250 cars and an annual 5K Night Glow race. And, it’s always topped with a fireworks show on the last night.