Lilacs are blooming all around the Defiance community just in time for the 16th annual Lilac Festival. The event will be held in downtown Defiance from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. This year’s event features art and craft vendors from the tri-state area, children’s activities and food. Downtown businesses will be open for all Mother’s Day shopping needs. This event is presented by the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau (DDVB) and sponsored by State Bank.

In addition to the 10 a.m.–4 p.m. event, other activities preceding the event include the Purple 5K/2 Mile Fun Run and the Defiance Lions Club pancake breakfast.

The Purple 5K is organized by the Defiance Area YMCA and kicks off activities in downtown Defiance beginning at 8 a.m. with registration. Registration will be located on Third Street near the DDVB building. Pre-registration is over, but day of race registration is available. The race begins with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. as runners and walkers follow the course through downtown Defiance and back to Third Street. Any questions can be directed to the Defiance Area YMCA at 419-784-4747.

The Defiance Lions Club pancake breakfast will be held at Triangle Park in drive-thru format from 7:30 a.m.–10 a.m. for a freewill donation. Enter the area off Clinton Street onto Arabella and follow the road next to Triangle Park. Breakfast will consist of pancakes and sausage and milk cartons. Cinnamon rolls will also be available while supplies last.

One of the most unique pieces of the event is the free lilac seedlings provided by the DDVB and supported by volunteers through the State Bank GIVES program. 750 lilac seedlings will be available this year beginning no earlier than 10 a.m. These seedlings are on a first come, first served basis.

A variety of more than 80 art and craft vendors will be lined up on Clinton Street displaying their items. This year’s group is the largest this event has seen and will be bringing something for everyone. This event will be perfect to find that special something for mom.

In addition to the art/craft vendors, there will be six food vendors to enjoy while roaming the area. Lunch options would include items from Frank’s Frys and Linda’s Cocina. Dessert options will be provided by Eric’s All American Ice Cream, Snowie of Upper Sandusky, and Pence’s. Joe’s Juice truck will also be on hand. Downtown Defiance restaurants will be open as well.

While you are strolling the downtown be sure to stop into the downtown businesses and check out great deals and specials.

Again for 2021, the children may enjoy pony rides and the Big Blue Blocks will be available for free and the Lil’ Rascal Xpress train will be chugging through the area for a small cost as well as a face painter partnering with one of the downtown businesses.

The 2021 Catch a Moment and Photograph It contest had great response. More than 50 photos were submitted and judged by a panel of local artists and photographers. The top 10 photos were chosen by the judges and will be on display at the event in the DDVB Office, 325 Clinton St. The community now can vote on the photos and choose the top four. Stop in and cast your vote and help local amateur photographers win great prizes.

In accordance with the Defiance County Health Department and the CDC, all current health orders must be followed.

For more information be sure to check out VisitDefianceOhio.com or Social Media avenues by searching Visit Defiance OH.

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