Parade Marshall and longtime Canal Days Coordinator Diane Sterling, third from right, leads the 2022 anal Days Grand parade on Sunday with the help of Canal Days Committee heads. This float also won “Best in Show.” (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Parade Marshall and longtime Canal Days Coordinator Diane Sterling, third from right, leads the 2022 anal Days Grand parade on Sunday with the help of Canal Days Committee heads. This float also won “Best in Show.” (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)

DELPHOS — From start to finish, the 2022 Delphos Canal Days celebration exceeded all expectations.

From the record 500-plus crowd at the Toast to the City on Thursday to the six and seven deep crowd lining the parade route on Sunday, this year’s event saw huge support from the community and surrounding area.

“Everything was a success for the 65th Delphos Canal Days. The support from the community and businesses was wonderful,” Coordinator Maria Diltz said. “Our goal was to bring something to Canal Days for everyone and I think we were able to make that happen this year. The whole weekend was great we could not have asked for a better weekend. The volunteers and the committees for Canal Days definitely ‘rocked it’ this year.”

Perhaps the most talked about change was the new ride company, Jessop Amusement Rides. Parents and children were very complementary on the new and increased rides for all ages. More food trucks were also on hand to satisfy the huge crowds. Many vendors sold out before the event concluded.

The new events were well-received, also, from the Bourbon Tasting Friday evening to the Canal Days Golf Outing Saturday morning to the BMX show Sunday after the parade, participation was above and beyond.

The event started Thursday with the Toast to the City, emceed by PBR in the Morning.

The Entertainment Tent was bursting at the seams with the 500-plus crowd, who heard from several speakers.

Canal Commission Trustee Lou Hohman spoke first.

“With the generous support of the community, the Canal Museum has been able to create several new exhibits, keeping the museum evolving and fresh,” Hohman said. “Last November we dedicated the new Leslie Peltier exhibit highlighting the merry-go-round observatory and we honored Delphos resident Ida Holdgreve, who was recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as the first female aviation worker.”

Other new exhibits include a Nifty Fifties room and for Canal Days, photos and memorabilia of the Landeck Raceway.

The museum was busy all weekend with the Buckeye Trail Town dedication, a pie-baking demonstration, author Mike Binkley and a quilt-making demonstration.

Former Canal Days Coordinator Diane Sterling was recognized for the more than 20 years she has given to the celebration, making sure everything came together for festival.

The Toast Committee presented her with a quilt made from Toast T-shirts of years past and she was also presented with a wreath, thanking her for her many years of service.

Friday brought the annual Battle of the Businesses. Games included T-shirt Slinky, 3 Shooters & and a Catcher, Whistle Blower, Pour Some Water on Me, Knock ‘Em Down, Just the Tips, Come & Get It and Pop You All Night Long. The Union Bank Company was the winner of that traveling trophy. Thirty teams competed.

Saturday morning came with sunshine and mild temperatures for the children’s events, including the Delphos Bass Club Fishing Derby, Chalk Art Contest, Pet Parade and Children’s Tent manned by the Delphos Public Library.

The Basket Bingo drew a large crowd to the Entertainment Tent followed by the Golf Cart Poker Run and Cruise-In.

Saturday concluded with Thurnderstruck, an AC/DC cover band.

Sunday dawned with the 5K. Winners were Gina Crain and Conner Baldauf.

The Grand Parade stepped off at 2 p.m. with more than 80 entries and Sterling in the lead as Grand Parade Marshal.

Grand Parade winners included, Parade Marshal Diane Sterling - Best in Show; Commercial Division first place Technical Roofing of St. Henry; Commercial Division second Place Dancer by Gina; Commercial Division third place Unverferth; Civic Division first place Delphos Wesleyan Church; Civic Division second place Delphos Farmers; and Civic Division third place Tender Times.

The BMX Show followed with the Grand Prize Drawing to conclude the event. Winners were: $10,000 - Jeff Caputo; $2,500 - Dave Klaus; and $1,400 - Andy Redd.

Proceeds from the event will be used for improvements to the The Lot at Main and Fourth streets.

The lot was purchased by the Delphos Area Chamber of Commerce, Canal Days and the Delphian Social Club in January 2018. Funding for the property and upcoming projects comes directly from fundraising efforts such as the Delphian Social Club’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament and Purse Bingo, Canal Days events, local volunteers, local charities and private donations. The groups also received several Arnold C. Dienstberger Foundation Grants.

The facility, which will cost roughly $350,000 total, will in the future include restrooms, a full kitchen, concession stand, a pavilion and a storage facility at the south end of the lot for Canal Days and Delphian Club items once the property is fully developed.

The property will be offered for use by other groups.

For information on being part of this project through volunteering or donating, visit the Delphian Social Club or Delphos Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages or call the chamber at 419-695-1771.