HOF City

For two weeks this summer, hundreds of thousands of people will celebrate some of the greatest players in the history of football. The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival begins July 22 and runs through August 6, with 17 major events scheduled throughout Stark County.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival runs July 22 through August 6

For two weeks this summer, hundreds of thousands of people will celebrate some of the greatest players in the history of football.

The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival begins July 22 and runs through August 6, with 17 major events scheduled throughout Stark County. This year marks one of the first years in several that there isn’t a new event or a change to the schedule.

The festival, which includes the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls, is a partnership between the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Gumpp, director of community events and sponsorships for the chamber and festival, said the most popular event outside of enshrinement week is the Balloon Classic and fireworks. The Jackson-Belden Food Fest name has been removed from the festival—the Jackson-Belden chamber has merged with Canton’s chamber—but the format will be the same as in years past, with many food vendors to choose from.

“It’s a great family event that offers hot air balloons, fireworks, a night glow, balloon education area, tons of food and beverages, inflatables for the kids, live musical entertainment and mobile tours,” Gumpp said.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
July 22, 2:30 p.m.
Community Parade, begins at Market Avenue at 11th Street N in downtown Canton
Enshrinement events kick off with the Community Parade, which will feature 100 parade units, including marching bands and antique vehicles.

July 27, 4 p.m.
Balloon Classic and Night Glow, Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College campuses

July 28
8 a.m.: Up, Up and Away 5K, Kent State University at Stark campus
This is the second year for the 5K, and this year, there will be a free kids’ fun run after the 5K concludes.

4 p.m. Balloon Classic continues, and the evening finishes with fireworks at 10 p.m.

July 29, 6:30 a.m.
Balloon Classic, Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College campuses

Aug. 1
10 a.m. Play Football First Play, downtown Canton

6 p.m. Play Football Skills Camp, youth sports complex at the Hall
Twelve Gold Jackets and 600 kids will work on skills and character development during this event.

Aug. 2
Noon to 7 p.m. Hall of Fame Fun Fest and Beer Fest at the Hall

3:30 p.m. Class of 2018 autograph session presented by Panini at the Hall

8 p.m. Hall of Fame Game, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
The Chicago Bears (visitor) will play the Baltimore Ravens (home) in the Thursday-night game, which is the official kickoff to the NFL’s preseason.

Aug. 3
11:15 a.m. Gold Jacket Photo Op at the Hall
More than 130 Gold Jackets are expected to return to Canton for this year’s festival.

11:30 a.m. Fashion show luncheon, Canton Memorial Civic Center

Noon to 4 p.m. Hall of Fame Fun Fest and Beer Fest at the Hall

5 p.m. Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, Canton Memorial Civic Center

Aug. 4
8 a.m. The Canton Repository Grand Parade, downtown Canton

Noon Returning Gold Jackets autograph session presented by Panini at the Hall

Noon to 6 p.m. Hall of Fame Fun Fest and Beer Fest at the Hall

7 p.m. Enshrinement, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
This year’s enshrinement sold out quickly, so the Hall added more seats in May, which also sold. Seven of the eight enshrinees will be present to give speeches. Enshrinee Terrell Owens has announced he won’t attend.

Aug. 5
12:30 p.m. Enshrinees’ Roundtable, Canton Memorial Civic Center

Noon to 7 p.m. Hall of Fame Fun Fest and Beer Fest at the Hall

8 p.m. Concert for Legends, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Country singer Lee Brice will open for pop rock band Maroon 5.

Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Drum Corps International Competition Tour of Champions, Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass