The schedule of events has been set for the third Made in Ada Football Festival on Aug. 25. The festival both celebrates Ada’s connection to the sport, as all footballs used in the National Football League are made in Ada’s Wilson Football Factory, and helps kick off the 2018 football season. The festival is sponsored by the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Wilson.
The day begins with Ohio Northern University’s intra-squad football practice at 9 a.m. and concludes with the now-famous football drop at 10 p.m. The kickoff ceremony is slated for noon and will include a pep rally featuring a color guard and the ONU and Ada High School (AHS) marching bands. In addition, ONU football coach Dean Paul and AHS football coach Shawn Christopher will speak.
A highlight of this year’s festival, which has been moved from Super Bowl eve, is an opportunity for people to watch the Wilson footballs being made. A total of 60 commemorative footballs will be on sale for $75 each during the festival.
Grand prizes for the raffle will be announced at 9:30 p.m. Tickets will be drawn every 30 minutes starting at 7 p.m. for all other prizes. The top prize is a Big Green Egg grill/smoker donated by Jim Beam, a $25 gift card to Community Market of Ada and a Wilson football. Second prize is an overnight stay at The Inn of ONU and a gift basket from Hempy Water of Forest, Ohio.
Following is the schedule. All events will be at the Ada Railroad Depot Park, unless otherwise noted.
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ONU intra-squad practice. ONU Dial-Robertson Stadium
11 a.m. Ticket sales begin for 60 Wilson commemorative footballs
11 a.m. Outdoor tailgating begins
Noon. Kickoff ceremony
1 p.m. Football U for You with ONU coaches
1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Watch Wilson footballs being made
2 p.m. Free movie, “The Blind Side,” Ada Theatre, 215 S. Main St.
3 p.m. Passing challenge for youth
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tailgating games; Dusty Donley, emcee; Football piñata for youth
5 p.m. Football design and technology program by Wilson engineers
7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Raffle prize drawings and entertainment by Chantel and the Thirsty Monkeys
10 p.m. Football drop
Sponsors include Liberty National Bank, Lewis Family McDonald’s, Ohio Northern University, Quest Federal Credit Union, Vancrest of Ada, Wilson, Bluffton Hospital, Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, Jim Beam, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, Ada Icon, Ada VFW, Bass Trucking, Tavern 101, Viva Maria, Amburgey Construction, Cole-Humphrey Insurance, Don Traxler-Watkins Products, Gallery for the Arts, Hanson-Neely Funeral Home, Interim Healthcare Hospice, Jalapenos Mexican Grill, Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative, attorney Peter Previte, The Inn at ONU and U.S. Bank.