By KIM LOCCISANO
Times Leader Staff Writer
Think there is nothing to do around here? Think again!
Handcrafted leather mugs are just one of the many unique displays at the Ohio Renaissance Festival located in Harveysburg, Ohio. The festival takes place every weekend from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, now through Oct. 16.
Grab your schedule book and make a point to find some openings because there are plenty of things to do within an easy drive and that will be light on your wallet as well, not to mention fun for all.
The upcoming Annual Smithfield Apple Festival is one of the most popular local events, and offers something for the enjoyment of just about everyone. The festival is slated to run Friday through Sunday, Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 2.
The annual family style event will include the princess competition among the opening highlights on Friday. It will be held in conjunction with the opening ceremonies for the festival, with the princess competition getting underway at about 4:30 p.m. The band, Rollback, will perform from 7-10 p.m.
Saturday, the slate of events will begin at 9 a.m. with a car show on Main Street. At 10 a.m. the pet parade will be held at the stage area. At 11 a.m., a bake-off competition will be held at the stage area. An apple peeling competition will be held at 12:30 p.m., also in the stage area. The fun of a magician will be enjoyed beginning at 1 p.m., a hot dog eating contest is set for 2:30 p.m. with Stone Street Stars performing from 3-5 p.m. The car show highlights will be announced at 3:30 p.m. The former northwest elementary building will serve as the starting point for the lineup of the grand parade to begin at 5 p.m., with lineup to be done at 4 p.m. The vocal stylings of Jessica Harr will be enjoyed from 6-7 p.m., with the Moodist Colony performing blues and rock selections from 8-10 p.m.
Sunday's slate will begin with a community church service from 11 a.m. until noon. From 1-2 p.m. Roz and Lynn will perform, and from 3-5 p.m. Twice as Nice will be entertaining.
The festival's most famed event will be held Sunday, beginning at 5 p.m.: The Great American Bed Race.
Historic Fort Steuben sits next to Ohio 7 as it skirts around the city of Steubenville on its eastern most border, just above the Ohio River it will be the central site for activities highlighting the signing of the Constitution of the United States. The exhibit will be open to the public through Sept. 24.
Details of the celebration can be confirmed by calling 740-283-1787. Group reservations for visits can be arranged by calling the same number. Old Fort Steuben is found at 120 South Third Street, Steubenville.
Moving from a downtown Steubenville venue at Old Fort Steuben to a more calm and rural environment and a more truly festive environment means heading to the home of the Switzerland of Ohio Black Walnut Festival at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Woodsfield.
The festival features antique tractors and equipment displays, antique tractor and kiddy tractor pulls, open kettle apple butter demonstration, antique auction, antique and classic car show, truck and tractor pull on Saturday night and a demolition derby on Sunday afternoon.
As always there will be a variety of food to enjoy-with something to tempt just about everyone with a wide inventory of three areas dedicated to the selling of craft items.
Entertainment and parking are available for free. A small daily admission charge will be required. Additional information is available by calling (740) 926-1466. Event hours will be Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
A gate admission fee of $3 will be charged. Children under age 12 get into the event free. A 2-day pass can be purchased at the cost of $5. Free parking will be available.
A favorite event enjoyed by those who are interested in taking their sightseeing day at a pace they control-and who really never have to go in search of a parking spot-should contact the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce to connect with the Mail Pouch Barn Tour sites. The established tour locations can be accessed via the main chamber website. The office can be reached by calling 740-472-5499.
If you prefer something with a more far reaching agenda consider heading to NASA's Glenn Research Center. Public tours of its research facilities are available on select Saturdays of each month through October. Each tour features one world-class facility and also will include a visit to the NASA Gift Shop where you can purchase a NASA souvenir.
Tours are free and offered to all ages. Reservations are required and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Access to the Saturday tour program is limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Additional restrictions apply. The NASA Glenn Research Center is found at 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland. Information and reservations are available by calling (216) 433-9653.
For those who want to take a very real step back into a very different time in history-and want to blend a little education with a fun-filled adventure head for Education Day at the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg, Ohio. Education Day at the Ohio Renaissance Festival is Thursday, Sept. 29. It will be filled with interactive projects, contests, and a loaded curriculum focusing on academic standards for all grade levels, according to festival organizers.
Students can spend time with the stars of the era such as Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, DaVinci, Shakespeare, and King Henry VIII. They will learn about the class system and what it was like to be a peasant, a noble, or a pirate at one of the history stations scattered throughout the village. Live demonstrations of stone carving, glassblowing, blacksmithing, leather tooling, jewelry making, candle making, and other time honored crafts can be witnessed.
Education support materials full of resources and classroom activities to prepare students for a full Renaissance experience are available to download under the Education Day tab at www.renfestival.com.
To make a reservation or obtain more information, visit the Education Day tab at www.renfestival.com. Links to informative and helpful web sites for students and teachers to visit before attending are also available. For more information on the program call (513) 897-7000 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.