For more than 70 years, the annual Bryan Jubilee has been bringing fun and families together each summer in downtown Bryan. That tradition continues this year with a few new twists, including a Jubilee that’s three days long — June 13-15 — rather than the five-day event it’s been in the past.
It’s three days that packs in as much or more fun than the five-day event, promises Dan Yahraus, executive director of the Bryan Area Chamber of Commerce, the Jubilee presenter.
“We have new rides, a new convenience tent, a new time for the parade, even a new portable restroom. It’s a whole new look,” Yahraus said of the Jubilee, which centers around downtown Bryan’s courthouse square.
The theme this year is “Together We Can,” which, Yahraus said, emphasizes the community collaborations that make Bryan and the Jubilee such a success.
New this year, the parade, a Jubilee favorite, begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. As in past years, the lineup is in the parking lot of the Parkview Physicians Group offices, 442 W. High St. Participants are advised to enter the parking lot from West Bryan Street, and not to line up before 1 p.m.
Yahraus said he expects at least 75-100 parade units this year for the parade, which travels from East High and Portland streets down East High to Toy Street.
Besides a new time, the parade this year features two grand marshals: Bryan’s Charles E. Arnold American Legion Post 284, which is celebrating its centennial this year; and the Bryan Area Foundation, which is celebrating 50 years. Members of both organizations will be riding in multiple vehicles to lead off this year’s parade, Yahraus said.
The parade is presented by the chamber and The Bryan Times newspaper.
And look for all new rides from Durant Enterprise Inc., that have never been at the Jubilee before, including: Pharaoh’s Fury, the Super Shot, the Typhoon, the Super Slide (which has been at the Jubilee but not for several years) and Das Fun Haus.
“We’re trying some different rides this year and see how they do over the three days. It’s kind of a trial run. We’ll find out if these are popular, if we need to make any changes or keep everything the same,” Yahraus said.
Another new feature this year is the 20-by-60-foot convenience tent, where patrons can relax and enjoy refreshments, or watch the entertainment on the main stage on the southwest corner of the midway.
The Jubilee is a family tradition for Yahraus. It was Yahraus’ grandfather, Al Yahraus, then-director of the Bryan Chamber, who started the Bryan Jubilee carnival in 1946 as a way to raise money for the creation of Recreation Park. Later, Dan’s father, Bill, was intricately involved with the Jubilee, and it was Dan who revived the event after it was disbanded for several years.
As always, the midway features a host of popular food vendors, along with the chamber’s new portable restroom. And while the ride and food costs vary, there is no fee to walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the 2019 Bryan Jubilee.
Jubilee scheduled events:
• Thursday (June 13) — The midway is open 5-11 p.m. and it’s Wrist Band Night — ride all night for one low price. The classic car cruise-in on Beech Street runs from 6-8 p.m.
• Friday (June 14) — The midway is open noon to 11 p.m. and it’s Williams County Humane Society Day from noon to 5 p.m. Bring an item from the Humane Society website and receive a chance to win four free tickets to Black Beard’s Bay Water Park, in Edgerton. From 7-11 p.m. on the big stage is ‘80s cover band All Fired Up, from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
• Saturday (June 15) — The midway is open noon to 11 p.m. and it’s United Way of Williams County Day from noon to 5 p.m. Bring an item from the Williams County United Way website and receive a chance to win four free tickets to Black Beard Bay Water Park.
Also Saturday, from 1-5 p.m. various musical acts will be on the big stage downtown on the square, brought to you by Kora Brew House & Wine Bar (with a break around 2 p.m. for the parade). Karaoke will take place at the stage on the southwest corner of the square at 6 p.m. There is a $5 entry fee and the winner receives $100 and there are cash prizes for second and third places. DJ Chico Entertainment will spin tunes from the stage.