Taste of Spring-Ford moves outdoors for 2013

Spring-Ford’s Joe Sink serves up tacos at last year’s Taste of Spring-Ford fundraiser. This year’s event, dubbed Ram Country Fair, is being held outdoors at the 9th Grade Center on Sept. 22. Image provided by Taste of Spring-Ford

On Sunday, Sept. 22, the grounds of the Spring-Ford 9th Grade Center will serve as host to ‘Ram Country Fair’, the 4th annual installment of Taste of Spring-Ford - a fundraising event for Spring-Ford High School Football featuring dozens of area food vendors and hours of fun activities.

This year will be the first time that Taste of Spring-Ford is being held outdoors, and the outdoor ‘twist’ is why, according to event coordinator Denise Wiggins, the event has been dubbed with the Ram Country Fair moniker.

“This is wildly exciting (because) it is a win-win scenario,” she said. “More space means more activities and more opportunities to enjoy the day. We are offering the community the opportunity to come and taste the flavor of local businesses that have come together as an alliance to support the event.”

Dozens of vendors from the Spring-Ford, Phoenixville and Perkiomen Valley areas will be serving up food for the event, which will take place from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Unlike previous years, this event will have no admission cost. Attendees need only pay for the food and drinks they want and for tickets to those activities they, or their children, want to take part of – and there are plenty of free things to do as well. The parking is also free.

The events will be spread out across the different athletic fields of the 9th Grade Center, with the chief attraction being the peculiarly delightful Cow Plop Bingo, which starts at 3 p.m.

For the bingo, a series of indexed squares are marked off on one of the schools practice fields (squares can be bought now for $10 at by visiting www.Spring-FordFootball.mobi). At 3 p.m., a well-fed cow moseys out onto the field, picks a spot and, well… ‘plops’. The lucky owners of the square or squares which are marked by the ‘plop’ will be the winners. If all of the squares are sold, a single square winner will take home $1000. If enough tickets are purchased, a second bingo is expected at about 5 p.m.

“You do not have to be present to win, but there will be more joy if you’re present to watch and hear your assigned number called,” noted Wiggins.

There are two other highlight activities for the day. The first is a football activity called ‘Pros versus Joes’ where youngsters get to go out onto McNelly Stadium with Spring-Ford High School varsity football players and participate in a series throwing, punting and kicking exercises. There also is the Spring-Ford ‘celebrity’ ice cream eating contest, where coaches, school club leaders and other well-known personalities from the high school will face off to see who has the heartiest appetite.

Jen Welsh is the activities coordinator for the event, and also a parent of two Spring-Ford students who play football.

“The (fundraising) will help in many different areas,” she explained. “We have things like our pre and post-game meals for the players and coaches. Those really build a strong feeling of team unity. The (money raised) also helps with equipment costs.”

Welsh estimates that there will be about 20-25 ticketed activities, some geared for younger kids, others for older kids. Among those she named were carnival games with prizes, activities with inflatables – including a moon bounce, a rock climbing wall and dunk tank.

Free activities include ‘parachute and bubbles’ activities for young kids (groups get to sing songs and play with a large parachute), a look inside of fire trucks from the Limerick, Linfield and Royersford fire departments and a classic car show (expectations are that 10-12 cars will participate).

Welsh said that the Spring-Ford football players will be in attendance from start to finish - setting up, running activities and cleaning up at the end of the day.

“The players really enjoy the opportunity to help out – especially when they get to interact with the younger kids,” she stated.

A van from the country music station WXTU 92.5 FM will be on site playing music for most of the day. A balloon artist will also be on the premises entertaining guests.

“This event is great because it brings everyone together,” Welsh said. “Not just the kids, but also adults with and without kids. Everyone gets the opportunity to patronize all of the great vendors that come out and introduce themselves and their businesses to the community.”

Both she and Wiggins offered thanks to the many people and businesses who played a role in bringing the event together.

“I cannot express enough how important the help from the parents has been. They give countless hours of their time to make this happen and it truly would not be possible without them,” Welsh stated.

“Thanks to everyone involved, because it truly takes a village. The teamwork has been great and that is why people like living in this community… …everyone comes together and everyone appreciates one another,” said Wiggins.

For more information on Taste of Spring-Ford visit https://www.facebook.com/tasteofspringford

The rain date for the Ram Country Fair is October 6.

The 2013 Taste of Spring-Ford sponsors (to date) are:

Bruster’s Ice Cream, Corropolese Bakery and Deli, Dallas Fries, Elevation Burger, Giovanni’s Restaurant, Iced by Betsy, Kona Ice, Railroad Street Bar & Grill, Rossi’s, Rita’s Water Ice, Uncle Bob’s BBQ Shack, Beanie Bounce , Bounce U , Bruster’s Rockwall, C&C Landscaping, Colonial Gardens, Gymboree of Collegeville, Linfield, Limerick & Royersford Fire Truck Companies, Montco. Tent Company, Party Magic Plus, Pizzico Signs, Port-a-Bowl Rentals, Rental World/Limerick - Moon Bounce & Games, SFYAL Baseball/Softball Association, Spring-Ford Sports Boosters , Spring-Ford Touchdown Club , Western Montgomery Career Technology Center (WMCTC) Cosmetology Class, Wojton’s Nursery and WXTU Radio Station 92.5.