When I moved to Perrysburg in February to start working for The Blade, covering Perrysburg, I heard pretty quickly people talking about the Harrison Rally Day in September.
I kept blowing it off, because it seemed so far away and I was focused on whatever story I was working on.
Saturday, I realized what all the fuss was about.
Louisiana Avenue was shut down for the majority of the day as vendors came in when the sun was rising to prepare for thousands of area residents to walk through and possibly buy some art. A parade ripped through the town at 10 a.m., with candidates, businesses, churches, bands, fire trucks, and everything else.
Then, after the parade, my wife Sarah and I walked around, met some pastors, candidates, and others, and had some good food from the vendors.
What stood out was the fact so many people I've covered and worked with in the past eight months were in one place. From people in the township, to city officials, schools, and most organizations in and around Perrysburg.
The parade was full of students, some were karate black belts, others played the violin, or band members. The proud families watched, parents took photos, and youngsters scrambled to get candy tossed out from parade participants.
Sarah was able to pick up a bag of books from the used-book sale at Way Public Library, after the huge rush when the door opened. There were 70 people waiting in a line like it was Black Friday shopping day.
What made Harrison Rally Day special was the people. That's the same that makes any hometown event special. Yes, it is always great to have good food. But seeing friends and socializing with others in the community is what stood out for me.
It was the three-week anniversary of my wedding, and I was able to show off my awesome wife Sarah to people I've been interviewing since I moved here.
But I think my favorite part of Harrison Rally Day is everyone else's too -- socializing with people you know in the community. Whether it is other parents in the same club as their children, students hanging out with friends, or candidates trying to meet as many voters as they can.
Contact Matt Thompson at: [email protected], 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.