Under the terms reached May 3 with Pickerington Schools, Panger Productions will have access to outdoor areas of the high school from July 12-19, and the group will donate $3,000 to be split evenly for programming at Central and Pickerington High School North. According to Chris Stein, president of the nonprofit Panger Productions, the move was made primarily to accommodate continued growth of the event, which draws about 18,000 over the three days. The new site also provides on-site parking, which the Olde Pickerington Village location didn’t.
Additionally, he said, the Olde Pickerington Village site in the middle of a residential neighborhood. “The carnival rides, midway games and the beer garden will all be on Opportunity Way,” Stein said. “People can access it from Hill Road.”
Through-traffic on Opportunity Way will be cut off at the entryway to the Palooza. However, patrons still will have access the Pickerington Public Library Main Branch, 201 Opportunity Way, during business hours. Other than the change in location, Stein said, the fourth installment of the Palooza will be in line with past events.
Panger Productions announced March 25 it would bring the Palooza back after it was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. “Keep in mind that Pickerington High School Central isn’t that far away from the Olde Village, but it makes a big difference with the parking and the overall impact to the surrounding neighborhood,” Stein said.
“The Pickerington School District encourages broad community use of its premises by various community groups and organizations,” said Ryan Jenkins, district treasurer. “We are pleased to partner with Panger Productions, the city of Pickerington and Violet Township in making this a fantastic event for our community.” In addition to rides, games, food and drink, it will feature three nights of live music. The bill includes a July 15 “POP Night,” with performances by C & C Music Factory, Color Me Badd and All-4-One; a “Country Night” headlined by David Lee Murphy on July 16; and “Rock Night” on July 17, headlined by Firehouse and Jack Russell’s Great White.
“A lot of people have shown interest this year, and we’ve grown each year,” Stein said. “I think people are itching to get out.” Event and ticket information is available at picktownpalooza.org. A three-day pass is $10, with single-day passes $5. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free. Parking also is free. Although the agreement is only for 2021, Stein said hopes Central could be the festival’s home “for years to come.”
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