It has become an Ashland tradition since 2000, Wifflefest. The annual event started by Pastor Mark Abel has teams coming in from all over the area state, and out of state. “We have had them come from as far away as St.Louis, Missouri. We have them come in from Wadsworth, Mansfield, Wooster, Akron, Canton and each year it seems like we get a new team from a new area. It’s really amazing to see how far people will come just to be a part of Wifflefest.”
Wifflefest is played on nine different fields all built around Southview Grace Brethren Church. All the diamonds are named after past and present major league ball parks and all are built to scale. But sixteen years ago Abel, the youth pastor at the time, thought the event would go away after only one year. “First year we had 17 teams. I can remember the Sunday before Wifflefest we had three teams and I thought it would be a one year flop. But between the Sunday and the Tuesday before Wifflefest we ended up with 14 more. Over the years our max has been 138 teams. We kinda got caught up in a numbers game, now we focus more on making sure everything is being done right instead of promoting numbers, but God is still bringing them.”
Click here to read the complete article and to view an interview with Pastor Mark Abel.
More coverage is available on the Southview’s Wifflefest Facebook page.