By AMANDA KIMBLE
DUBLIN (June 8, 2016) – The welcome signs are out. The festivities are planned. The city’s merchants, docents and residents are ready to welcome a crowd to Dublin Fun Day on Saturday.
For 125 years Dublin Bottling Works has been rooted in the heart of the city and the annual summertime celebration, once known as the birthday party of Dublin Dr Pepper, has invited area residents, day trippers and vacationers to stop in for fun, fellowship, food and locally bottled sweetness for years.
While a few things have changed over time, some have not. There is plenty of ice cold bottled sweetness to go around, and there’s plenty of ways to celebrate.
“We have a little bit of something for everyone,” Luanne Schexnider, director of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said.
The fun gets moving with a run and walk for participants of all ages and fitness levels – the Dublin Irish Stamped 10-5-2K and the Tour De Agua.
The stampede is marking its 15th year with a 5 and 10K that takes participants through Dublin City Park and the city’s streets. A shorter version 2K fun run/walk offers a course for those who prefer a slower pace and youngsters and old timers who aren’t ready to take on the chip-timed courses.
Entry fees for the race are $30 for the longer races and $20 for the 2K. Proceeds benefit Dublin Lions Club and its annual projects. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Saturday at Dublin Public Library and the race begins at 7:30.
Formerly known at the Tour De Pepper, the Tour De Agua Bicycle Ride for the Change begins at 8 a.m.
The ride benefits Kids Across Cultures At Kids Across Cultures with proceeds being used to bring clean water to children and families around the world.
“Loving and serving kids around the world is our primary goal,” the event website, says. “So kids and families were in the forefront of our minds when we created the Tour de Agua. From the ride itself to all the free Dublin Bottling Works soda you can drink, and the fun of Dublin Days, we hope that riders will make great family memories while they help change the lives of kids and families all over the world.”
Check out the ride’s website for more information on registration, which includes a $40 fee on race day.
From natives who never left the city to one-time residents who have since moved on, the annual Hearts Home Reunion offers a place to reconnect with lifelong friends and reflect on the the good old days.
“It’s something people of all ages really look forward to each year,” Schexnider said.
The reunion will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Dublin High School.
While the reunion, race and bicycle ride are a few things expected – and anticipated – each June, Schexnider said new tours, events and vendors have been added to the Fun Day lineup.
The historic Trinity Church, located at the corner Patrick and Harris streets – the rock church with the red door greeting motorists along US Highway 377 – will hold a free open house.
“It is one of those places a lot of people have driven past and said they would love to see inside,” Schexnider said. “They will have that opportunity.”
The open house will be held 1-3 p.m.
Meanwhile, South Charm, located at 109 S. Patrick joins the celebration offering free frozen yogurt 1-3 p.m. with a friendly meet and greet.
“That is in honor of dairy appreciation month,” Schexnider said, adding the treat is for everyone, not just dairymen and their families.
The history packed into the little Erath County town is just one of the reason people love to visit Dublin, and the city’s museums – Ben Hogan Museum, Dublin Bottling Works, Dublin Historical Museum and Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum – will open at 10 a.m. and be open throughout the day. The offer a look into the past, people and events that have shaped the community.
A new art gallery, the Warhorse Art Studio & Gallery, featuring national and local artists and located at 118 E. Blackjack Street, will open at 9 a.m., and merchants that are mainstays in the city will be open to shoppers as well.
Meanwhile, several vendors from across the state will set up shop at a Treasure Haul. Schexnider said she recruited vendors for the event to attract more shoppers to Dublin. The vendors will set up inside of the vacant building formerly occupied by Barbed Wire and Lace, offering goods not found in other locally owned businesses. Shoppers will find leather works from Espuela Designs from Lubbock, a custom sign maker, Layla Mae Home and more.
Meanwhile, a Traveler Treasures Iron Works and Nursery will be set up at the corner lot, offering an array of items for gardens and patios.
Dublin Public Library will get in on the fun, offering a selection of summer reads at its Scholastic Book Fair. The library will also invite kiddos to escape the heat with a free trip down a waterslide.
The fun doesn’t stop there. KnockerBall of Abilene will allow lovers of fun of all ages to take a free roll and battle it out in its human-sized padded bubbles.
“There will be a lot of good times and free fun in Dublin this Saturday,” Schexnider said. “We are all looking forward to beautiful weather and a big weekend.”
She also said local restaurant will have their grills fired up and ready to serve a taste of Dublin.