By Christine Bryant
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hilltop Bean Dinner is returning to Westgate Park this summer.
This year’s event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25 at Westgate Park, 455 S. Westgate Ave. There is no cost to attend the public event.
“While we canceled for safety purposes in 2020 and 2021, we are grateful to host the 2022 Hilltop Bean Dinner Festival,” said Nancy Rhynard, one of the event’s organizers. “Each year, we received hundreds of calls asking for the event to come back. We love our patrons and everyone is like family.”
This year, organizers say they expect a large crowd. They’ll be ready with 180 cans of beans, a thousand hot dogs and many more specialty food items to devour including Blue Bunny ice cream, special sandwiches from Tynees Sweet Parlor and a special surprise grill cook from Otie’s Hilliard.
Activities include a large children’s section hosted by the Hilltop YMCA and Faith Community Alliance Church, arts and craft vendors, and special displays from Homes on the Hill CDC, Franklin County Engineer Cornell Robertson, Mid Ohio Food Collective, Mount Carmel Health Systems, Ohio Health Systems and others.
The Third Generation, a rhythm and blues band will perform live on stage from 1 to 4 p.m.
Chuck Douglas Patterson, a life-long resident of the Westside, will serve as master of ceremonies.
“Creating a family-friendly community event that welcomes everyone and brings out smiles, music and a happy social activity is a real joy to us,” Rhynard said.
Also returning this year is the popular car show. Hosted by Shifflet Auto Care, the event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Preregistration is available now through June 13 online at hilltopbusinessassociation.org. After June 13, those entering their vehicles will need to do so at the event. Registration ends at 11 a.m. the day of the Bean Dinner, with judging to begin shortly after. Judging should wrap up by 3 to 4 p.m., organizers say.
Mike Shifflet, who is managing the car show, says he expects a large group of vehicles this year. All makes and models are invited to enter the car show, as well as motorcycles, he said.
“We will have door prizes and drawings, as well as DJ Ronnie Wenika,” he said.
For more information on this year’s Hilltop Bean Dinner, go to hilltopbusinessassociation.org/hilltop-bean-festival.