Holidays are all about traditions new and old. Few organizations know this better than the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, an active host of many community events throughout its 70-year history. On Saturday the Chamber hosted their first Hog Roast and Family Fun Day, an event that resurrects events from Hobart’s past to establish a new community tradition.
Hosted at the Hobart Chamber located right in the tucked away Pennsy Park, the Chamber celebrated the upcoming Independence Day with a bike parade, cake walks, pie and hot dog eating contests, and more. At the heart of the event, the Hog Roast served up pulled pork sandwiches, beans, and other cookout favorites. In the past, the Chamber hosted Hobart’s annual Fourth of July parade, but changing plans gave the team a chance to build something new out of the city’s history of events leading up to the holiday.
“Hobart is definitely known for a fun Fourth of July, people come home for it even if they’ve moved away,” said Lisa Winstead, Executive Director at the Hobart Chamber of Commerce. “I grew up in Hobart, so I’ve always been around those events. When I first started here, there was a woman named Virginia Curtis, who has since passed away, and she ran all of the events. She was very passionate and thought they were important for the Hobart families and community.”
The city has plenty of events that cater to adults, so the Chamber wanted to create something for kids and their families to enjoy.
“We wanted to bring all generations of the family unit together,” said Angela Grabczak, Event Chair. “This brings people young and old out like we used to at the annual hog roast at Festival Park.”
The dunk tank proved to be the most popular attraction, as kids and parents alike delighted in sending Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor plunging into its depths. For his part, Snedecor enjoyed the chance to cool down and meet families from around the city.
“I’m just here to support the Chamber and all other programs that are going to benefit, like the food pantry,” Snedecor said. “It’s just a great event, and of course the Chamber and city work closely together and I appreciate everything they do. With the holiday coming up, everyone’s in the best of moods and this is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together.”
The temperatures, reaching nearly 100 degrees and feeling closer to 105 thanks to humidity, forced the postponement of the planned pet parade, but families braved the heat to enjoy the food, fun, and vendors.
“Coming out to Hobart’s Fourth of July events is a family tradition,” said Erica Wojihoski, who brought her three sons. “I think this new event is such a good idea. We don’t really utilize Pennsy Park much, so it’s nice to have a little festival close to home. Getting out and having some quality time with family during the summer is great.”
To learn more about the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, visit www.hobartchamber.com.