Sunfish Festival

CLARINGTON has existed since the late 1790s, but this weekend probably will be the first time in its more than 200-year history that a celebration will focus on a ball field and a boat in a book.

The boat, however, was in an attic, and that’s part of the story.

The ball field comes into play in a different way. Proceeds from the Clarington Sunfish Creek Festival, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, will go toward costs for the ball field now under construction.

FESTIVAL attendees will be able to view that boat that had been in the attic if they visit the Ohio River Valley Museum during the festival, which will open Saturday for the season.

Available for purchase at a special price will be “The Boat in the Attic” by Barbara Rush and Jane Stratton. The book was inspired by a dream that Rush had in which her deceased husband told her about a boat in the attic.

She was mystified as there was not a boat in the attic of her home. The boat, however, was discovered in the attic of her barn when repairs were being done.

The attic wasn’t readily visible, and she hadn’t been aware that the attic existed.

Recently published, the book geared for third- and fourth-graders includes both history and mystery with photos and information related to boats, the town and the Ohio River.

The weekend celebration will include features and activities such as antique tractors, a quilt show, a bike show, a parade, a variety of food, crafts, wagon rides, a dunk tank, a custom car cruise, children’s games, a water slide, musical entertainment and museum tours.

THEN, too, there’s a painting, “Sunfish,” in the museum, and it’s on loan from the Ohio Historical Society. It was painted by Charles Sullivan, who concentrated on Ohio River scenes in the 1800s.

Rush said, “We may be a little town and may have a little festival, but we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

IT also appears the festival offerings are not only varied, but unusual.