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Festival of the Hills continues

Bigger and better than ever, the 13th annual Festival of the Hills promises to have an activity for everyone, no matter what their age.

Tuesday, September 07, 1999

Bigger and better than ever, the 13th annual Festival of the Hills promises to have an activity for everyone, no matter what their age.

"We have more of everything this year," said Dott Mayne, festival chairwoman. "We have more for kids and we have some entertainers we haven’t had before. We just about have the entire campus covered with all the activities and booths."

In honor of Ironton’s sesquicentennial celebration, the festival will open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with an address by Mayor Bob Cleary, and a flag raising by Central Christian Church Boy Scout Troop 106 under the flag pole on the Ohio University Southern Campus and continue until 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Usually Saturday is our biggest day because we emphasize the things for children," Mrs. Mayne said. "And we give the first 500 children age 12 and under a coupon for a free popcorn and drink."

Organizers are expecting many people to come throughout both days of the festival to view a quilt show set up in the Collins building, said Jill Dean, quilt display director.

"Quilting is an Appalachian craft," Mrs. Dean said. "It’s alive and well in the area and there are a lot of women and men in the area that quilt. I don’t think a lot of people realize that quilting is an art form."

Types of quilts displayed will include the Yo-Yo quilt, Signature quilt, Southwestern quilt, Colorado Log Cabin quilt, Federal Star quilt, Smokey Mountain quilt and a Kentucky Wildcats quilt.

Quilting will not be the only old-fashioned art displayed on the campus this weekend, Mrs. Mayne said.

"We try to emphasize the cultural heritage of the area, which is, of course, Appalachian," she said. "The Festival of the Hills Committee is just a dedicated group of people who believe in trying to perpetuate the cultural heritage of the area."

Many members of the younger generation often do not have the opportunity to learn about the area’s past, Mrs. Mayne said.

"A lot of children growing up are not aware of what happened in the good old days, in our great-grandparents’ time," she said. "My generation is proud of what went on back there, and we owe it to the children to let them know what went on back then."

And the group will continue to share the area’s history to visitors for as long as it can, Mrs. Mayne said.

"We will begin planning for next year’s festival after this one is over," she said. "And we will continue to have the festival for as long as we can. There are not a lot of new people coming in, especially the younger ones. But I expect that as long as Ohio University allows us to use their facilities there will be a Festival of the Hills in some form."

Money raised during the event will be used to fund next year’s festival, Mrs. Mayne said. Admission to the festival is $1 for adults and free for children age 12 and under.

Other events scheduled include the Mike Hemmelgarn show, a magician who will perform at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday on the stage; story-telling by Cheryl Blankenship of the Briggs Lawrence County Library on the outside patio at noon; Jim Willis Family Puppets at the Collins Center at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; musical group Elixir at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on stage; the Indian Red Road Performers at 2 p.m.; the Ironton High School I-Town Soldiers at 2 p.m.; and senior line dancers, the Boot Scooters, at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, festival goers are welcome to attend a church service on stage at 11 a.m. Other activities will include the Indian Red Road Performers at 1 p.m.; the Foot In the Air String Band on stage at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; and the Porter Creek Cloggers at 2:30 p.m.

Other activities will include free pony rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday for children ages 12 and under, and trolley rides by the Sugarbush Hitch Co. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Other craft, food and informational displays will include ostrich burgers, a Conestoga wagon, beans and cornbread, apple butter, honey, concessions, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Ironton Fire Department, Ohio Highway Patrol, Wayne National Forest, Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service, River Valley Health System, a black history display, face painting, Peppy the Clown, games, petting zoo, pie contest, Lawrence County Museum’s historical display, a Civil War exhibit, Society for Creative Anachronism and the Lawrence County 4-H. The Local Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons will welcome visitors at the hospitality booth.

In addition, a beauty pageant is scheduled Sept. 11, and the senior miss winner will be crowned Sesquicentennial Queen during Festival of the Hills. There also will be a baby pageant.