Festivities set for Mt. Sterling’s Summer Jam

Children and adults alike hang on as the Noah’s Ark amusement ride takes them high into the sky at last year’s Summer Jam Festival in Mount Sterling.

(Posted June 12, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce is hosting three days of family-friendly fun with their annual Summer Jam Festival. Dates and times are: June 15, 5-10 p.m.; June 16, 5-11 p.m.; and June 17, 12-11 p.m. For the full schedule of events, go to Summer Jam Schedule of Events.


Activities are taking place on London Street between Church and Columbus streets and on Main Street one block to the east and one block to the west of London Street. Visitors can enjoy rides, food, children’s activities, vendors, contests, and, of course, music.

“Each year, the festival grows,” said Barbie Wallace, one of the event organizers. “It’s such a community feeling, seeing everybody gathering, talking, walking around, and enjoying themselves.”


Live music is one of Summer Jam’s main attractions with two stages dishing up a variety of bands and musical genres.

The Hammertime Pub Stage, located on South London Street, will welcome For What It’s Worth on Thursday. The group plays a great mix of all kinds of music. Sean Poole & Buckin’ Crazy are set to perform on Friday, playing traditional country, ‘90s country, blues, and southern rock. On Saturday, The Firebird Band will bring their love of southern and classic rock to the festival.

The Masonic Lodge stage, located on North London Street near Chase Bank, has a full line-up, too. A deejay and dance music are planned for Thursday night. On Friday, solo act Bill Wilt will perform country and folk music. Free Candy follows, playing pop and rock tunes, then returns to the stage for the early evening slot on Saturday. Rounding out the weekend is soloist Laureen Phoeb performing originals and pop songs. A deejay will play a variety of music any time during the festival when the stage isn’t occupied by a contest or another band.

Children’s Activities and Rides

Mt. Sterling OH Rocks invites children ages 2-17 to search for rocks painted in a patriotic theme and hidden around downtown. Participants can report their finds to the festival information booth to redeem a prize. Twenty rocks will be hidden each day.

A children’s craft tent is planned for Saturday, 12-6 p.m.

The village of Mount Sterling’s parks and recreation committee will have a fishing, boating, and water safety-themed booth on Saturday, 3-5 p.m. They will hand out free life jackets to children ages 1-18 while supplies last. They also are holding a free drawing for two child-sized kayaks and three adult-size kayaks. The giveaways were made possible in part by Ohio Division of Wildlife aquatic education grants. At the same time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be set up alongside the parks and recreation booth, giving out water safety/fun items. They donated some of the life jackets that will be given away.

Amusement rides will be set up all three days. A $15 wristband will be good for unlimited rides 12-4 p.m. Saturday only. The rides will shut down from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday per state mandate.

Food and Shopping

Festival visitors will have plenty of food options, thanks to food trucks selling everything from pizza, tacos, and nachos to Philly cheesesteaks, fries, and bologna sandwiches. Additionally, the Masonic Lodge will be selling kettle corn, hot dogs, chips, and lemonade shake-ups.

A variety of vendors are signed up to sell their wares during the festival. Shoppers will find skin and beauty care products, women’s clothing and accessories, dog treats, home decor and repurposed furnishings, and hand-dipped ice cream.

Anyone would like to reserve a vendor space can contact Wallace at (614) 832-0796 or theurbanpineapple@yahoo.com. The cost is: $25 per day for Thursday/Friday; $40 for Saturday only; or $75 for all three days. Food trucks must set up all three days; the cost is $125.

Games and Contests

Youths in grades K-12 will compete for the titles of Little Mister, Little Miss, Young Mister, Young Miss, Junior Miss, and Miss in the royalty contest slated for Thursday night. On Sunday afternoon, it’s all about the even younger set; ages 0-24 will compete in the baby contest, and ages 25 months to 4 years old will vie for prince and princess titles.

A cornhole tournament is on the schedule for Friday night. The cost to enter is $10 per team. Winners will receive trophies and other prizes.

Any kind of pet is welcome in the pet costume contest. Trophies and Chamber bucks (good at participating stores) will go to the first-, second-, and third-place finishers. The contest is set for Saturday afternoon, as are the balloon toss and bike decorating contest. All are free to enter.

The Mount Sterling Community Center is hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Friday night at the center, 164 E. Main St. The entry fee is $100 per team. Registration and entry fees are due by 5 p.m. June 12. Go online to https://tourneymachine.com/E127523 to sign up. For details, call (740) 869-2453 or email msccdir@gmail.com.

The Community Center also is putting on a car, truck, and bike show on Saturday at the center. Registration runs 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Awards are set for 3 p.m. The entry fee is $20. Cash prizes, games, music, and raffles are planned. For details and to register, contact Tony Mercurio at (614) 668-3070 or centralohioflight@gmail.com. Proceeds go to the community center and Central Ohio Flight Basketball.

General Info

Festival organizers will man an information booth at the intersection of London and Main streets. Mount Sterling Church of the Nazarene will set up a cooling station all three days of the festival.

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