The Duck Derby will return for the 5th annual Town Creek Live! Rubber duckies can be purchased until the time of the duck drop for a chance to win $1,500. (DHI Media/File Photo/Kirsten Barnhart)
The Duck Derby will return for the 5th annual Town Creek Live! Rubber duckies can be purchased until the time of the duck drop for a chance to win $1,500. (DHI Media/File Photo/Kirsten Barnhart)
VAN WERT – Get your ducks ready to race! Town Creek Live is returning to the Wassenberg Art Center on Saturday, July 13. The event will begin at 3 p.m. and go until midnight.

Town Creek Live is now in its fifth year and is a joint collaboration between Main Street Van Wert and the Wassenberg Art Center. As is tradition, the duck derby will return, but the festival will feature new activities and entertainment.

Town Creek Live begins at 3 p.m. with 11 gourmet food trucks and beverage stations, featuring Moeller Brew Barn, opening up. A variety of foods will be available during the event including Whip N Chill, Kings Arthurs Trolley, Ziffles Zip N Go, CJ’s Shaved ICE, Smash Dawgs, Floras & Lilys Mexican Kitchen, Hawkins Famous Fish and More, Sooz Trailer, Monterrico Food Truck, Deep Fried Sweets Trailer, and The Hungry Hut.

A corn hole tournament will take place at noon before Town Creek Live opens, with proceeds benefiting the United Way of Van Wert County.

New this year, event-goers will get to try their hand at ax throwing. UltraSound will provide a trailer that is custom-built.

“It’s really popular,” said Main Street Van Wert Director Mitch Price. “It’s the quickest-growing small entertainment around. Straley is sponsoring the trailer; it will be right by the stage.”

Around 6 p.m., ducks will be poured into Town Creek. Ducks can be purchased the day of the derby. The winner will win $1,500. A second-place prize is set for $400 and a third-place prize will be $100. Ducks are $25 for a 6-duck quack pack or $5 for an individual duck.

Musical performances for the evening include Matthew Keeler and Friends, who uses antique musical instruments like hurdy-gurdies, playing at 3 p.m. Vanity Crash, a punk band from Cleveland, will return to the Wassenberg at 6:30 p.m. Rounding up the entertainment, Jimmy Holbrook and the Holbrook Bros. Band will perform classic rock to end the evening from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

In addition to the musical entertainment, PuppetART Theatre from Detroit will be a new addition to this year’s Town Creek Live. PuppetART Theatre will perform at 3:30 p.m.

“This is a group that was created by a Russian puppeteer who came to the United States in the 70s,” said Wassenberg Art Center Director Hope Wallace. “They are going to do two performances of Kolobok, which is the Russian version of The Little Gingerbread Man. There’s a little bit of a plot twist in this one.”

PuppetART Theatre will also be doing make-and-take workshops where visitors can make a puppet to take home with them. PuppetART Theatre’s workshops will be at 4:45 and 6 p.m. (directly following the duck drop).

Each year, the Wassenberg features a new exhibit for Town Creek Live. This year’s exhibit is called “Town Creek Draw.”

“It’s a community-created art exhibit,” said Wallace. “There will be black paper on the walls and floor with giant pieces of chalk waiting for people to make the exhibit.”

This year the grass has grown into the ArtPark and Wallace said guests are more than welcome to bring blankets to sit in the lawn.

The Van Wert 4-Mile will also return for this year’s Town Creek Live! The 4-Mile will begin at 8 p.m. at Eggerss and will pass threw Town Creek Live before ending at the edge of the festival.

Town Creek Live is a joint collaboration between The Wassenberg Art Center and Main Street Van Wert.

“For Main Street, it makes more senses partnering up with other non-profits,” said Price. “We love working with Wassenberg and it’s easier to do one big event when more people are involved.”

Town Creek Live is free and open to the public.