CHESTER — The Meigs Heritage Festival, originally scheduled for July 21 has been rescheduled for Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on “The Commons” on State Route 248 in Chester, Ohio.
The outdoor Festival was postponed due to a forecast of extremely unfavorable conditions for both set up on Friday and the Festival on Saturday. Although the inclement weather did not materialize, organizers said it was best to “err on the side of caution”.
Most activities planned for July will take place on the 20th; absent will be the traditional Ohio State Harmonica Contest and the Family Photos in the Courthouse.
The focus of the Heritage Festival will be exhibits and demonstrations of things of by-gone days, with featured activities that include: Classic Car Show and Swap Meet, 7th OVC Civil War Re-enactment Group camp and demonstrations, music, and a stringed instrument display by Roger and Mary Gilmore of Sweet Mountain Sound, “Meigs Finest”, a recognition of oldest Meigs male and female residents in attendance, pie baking contest and auction, exhibits of rural “old-time” activities such as honey and maple syrup production, corn shelling and grinding, apple butter making, blacksmithing, cider making, soap making, Old Coins and Pictures exhibit by Bob Graham and John Bentley, and informational booths by both the Chester Shade Historical Association and the Meigs County Historical Society, with the latter providing a craft-making opportunity for kids.
Festival guests will have an opportunity to meet and view an exhibit by Meigs County native Ron McDole, a retired NFL who spent his 18 year professional football career with the Houston Oilers, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins in the 60’s and 70’s.
Tours of the Courthouse are also on the schedule, with, shuttle service provided between the Courthouse and Commons.
Guests will find a variety of foods, including bean soup being cooked over an open fire, along with cornbread, chicken and noodles, hot dogs and sauce, homemade pie, ice cream and beverages.
Thanks to generous community donations, raffles and door prizes will be given through the day.
Just a few hundred feet down from the Commons is an added attraction, a craft show at the former Chester Elementary School, sponsored by Bethel Worship Center.
The Festival is one of two major annual events sponsored by the Chester Shade Historical Association; the second is the CSHA Auction. Proceeds and donations assist in maintaining and operating the restored Courthouse and Academy Buildings.
This event is free and open to other non-profit organizations, crafters, artisans, and non-food vendors (no flea-markets), newly formed businesses wanting to promote their presence in the area, as well as anyone willing to display and or demonstrate an old-time rural activity that has not yet been registered with the CSHA. There is no charge for the space; however, if you do not have your own table and/or tent, that service will be available for $10.
For more information or to reserve a place on the Commons, contact Rachael Schultz at (740) 440-0127 or Dan Will (740) 416-8304. There is no admission to the festival and parking is free. Check us out on Facebook or at www.chestercourthouse.com.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.