Hoodlebug Trail bike run kicks off annual Homer City festival
A bicycle poker run, a 5K foot race, a car cruise and a parade are among the highlights of Sunday’s annual Hoodlebug Festival in Homer City.
An 11:45 a.m. flag-raising ceremony at the Homer City fire hall signals the start of many festival activities, taking place through 7 p.m. at the adjacent Firemen’s Field, at 25 W. Church St. Kids’ rides and bingo will be featured, as well as booths offering food, crafts or games.
Those attending should bring lawn chairs to enjoy live performances by local bands: the Homer-Center High School Marching Band, at 1:15 p.m; PA Express, with polka music at 1:30 p.m.; Three of Hearts, playing party dance music at 3:45 p.m.; and 1970s tribute band Peace Sign, taking the stage at 5:30 p.m.
Crafts and activities tailored for children will be found in the Kids’ Zone, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the fire hall.
The festival parade, organized by the fire department, will begin at 12:30 p.m., proceeding north on Main Street from the high school.
Pre-registration isn’t required to display a car in the cruise, set for 1 to 5 p.m. at Floodway Park, off North Main Street. Dash plaques will be distributed to the first 50 participating vehicles.
Kicking off the festival, a bicycle poker run will get under way at 9:30 a.m. at Floodway Park and will proceed 6 miles south on the Hoodlebug Trail, toward the Center Township village of Graceton, before returning to the park. Same-day registration begins at 9 a.m. and includes a $20 entry fee.
At each of five checkpoints, each participant will draw a playing card from a deck, gradually building a poker hand. The best three hands will win prizes, ranging from a $25 gift card to a bicycle valued at more than $300.
The trail and the festival are named for a self-propelled rail car that once transported passengers along tracks between Homer City and Indiana. That rail line was abandoned and now provides much of the route for the trail.
The Homer-Center Historical Society will hold a rubber duck race at 3:30 p.m. at the bridge that carries North Main over Yellow Creek. The cost to enter is $5, with a top prize of $500. Details can be found on the society’s Facebook page.
The Indiana Road Runners Club is in charge of the Hoodlebug 5K Run and Fun Walk, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Floodway Park, where it will end. Same-day registration costs $23 and begins at 3 p.m. The course follows several Homer City streets and a portion of the Hoodlebug Trail.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in several age groups.
The festival is sponsored by the Homer City Area Business Association. Free parking is available at the MGK Technologies plant at 57 Cooper Ave.
More information can be found on the festival Facebook page.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .