It was another Rockin' good time at Springfield Lake from June 23-25 for the 10th annual Rock the Docks Festival.
Festival goers not only enjoyed the activities, but also took time to relax along the lake - having a snack at a picnic table, taking a walk along the Spartan Trail, letting the kids play on the playground and pirate ship or just sitting back relaxing.
"Friday kicked off with a birthday party for the kids to celebrate Rock the Docks' 10th anniversary complete with princesses and super heroes," said Rock the Docks Committee Chariman Jerry Michael. "Except for a few sprinkles, the rain held off and we were able to proceed as planned with rides, games and food."
Festival goers came in record breaking numbers June 24 and it was obvious to see the fun that people of all ages were having. The kids enjoyed Outback Ray and families were seen rockin' lakeside to the Legends and Xtra Cispy bands. The crowd then turned their eyes to the sky for the fireworks display, and with lots of "ohhs and ahhs" the exploding colors bounced off the water of Springfield Lake making the display even more spectacular.
Michaels said the winds were incredible Sunday but that didn't dampen the mood of the festival attendees who were treated to an encore of Outback Ray as well as ice cream making complements of T's N Things, the annual wing eating contest and more live music.
Outback Ray is always a highlight for families with his exotic animals. Amusement rides attract the kids as well as the kids crafts, provided by Home Depot, and teens love the human foosball game. Many could not pass up the carnival food including waffles, funnel cakes, corn dogs, cotton candy, fresh cut fries, and much more. Festival goers lined up for the free pontoon boat rides for a tour of Springfield Lake.
The event is presented by the Springfield Lakemore Festival Committee (SLFC). It was formed in 2003 with the Community Days event, which grew into the popular Rock the Docks Festival. It is organized by representatives from both Springfield Township and the village of Lakemore.
"One of the best things about Rock the Docks is the people that help to pull this festival together year after year," said Michaels, who thanked Springfield trustees, Dean Young, Debbie Davis and Joe DiLauro, as well as Springfield Police Chief Dave Hoover, Sgt. Eric East, Springfield Fire Chief Vic Wincek and Fire Capt. Steve Simich.
The weekend of fun could not be done, Michael added, without Ted Weinsheimer and the road crew and Doug Foltz and the parks crew that "help to make all the cogs in the machinery turn daily. And last but not least, festival committee members who work for months planning and organizing to make sure our event goes off without a hitch - Cindy Michael, Ed and Penny Brown, Sharon Harms and her husband Tom, Laurie Greer, Laurie Hysell, Emery Pitman and the (Volunteer Auxiliary Springfied Police) VASP officers, Gus Fakelis, myself and a host of volunteers."
The Lakemore Lions Club helped to park cars.
"Each and every one of these people play a very important part in bringing Rock the Docks to this community and we couldn't do it without them," Michael said.
East has been coordinating the security for the festival since it began. During those 10 years, he said there have only been a few minor incidents that required attention.
"Our goal is to provide a fun and safe family environment," East said. "Our officers and VASP being very visible during the festivities has helped ensure that. Most of our time is spent assisting guests and reuniting lost children."
East and Officer Vance Brothers had the opportunity this year at the festival to bring a smile to a little girl who they made return a stuffed animal that she had been carrying around that was determined to be lost by somebody else.
"It was nothing more than the right thing to do," East said. "Unfortunately, as police officers, we sometimes have to make decisions that we don't necessarily want to make but are bound by the rules to make. That was one of those times. After that, I think we just did what anyone would do, won her a bigger one. I think the smile she gave us was much more then what we gave her."