Plans firm for festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2000

Visitors to Ironton’s Festival of the Hills will find reasonable ticket prices at the Sept.

Thursday, August 24, 2000

Visitors to Ironton’s Festival of the Hills will find reasonable ticket prices at the Sept. 9-10 event thanks to two area grants.

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The grants help the non-profit Appalachian festival absorb operating costs, allowing them to hold down the price of admission, said Dott Mayne, committee chairwoman for the festival.

The first grant comes from the Ohio River Border Initiative, a joint project of the Ohio Arts Council and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

"We’ve applied for this grant for several years, but this is the first year that we’ve received it." Mrs. Mayne said.

She said that the festival had to compete against projects on both sides of the Ohio River to get the money.

A second grant, which came from the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, is actually one that had been promised to the festival in the past.

"The money comes through Ashland Oil," Mrs. Mayne said. "We were granted it for a set number of years, with a little less money each year."

Mrs. Mayne said the festival would receive the grant money from the Tri-State Community for one more year.

The festival will take place at Ohio University Southern Campus Sept. 9-10. Admission to the festival is $1 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

The festival features a craft fair, demonstrations and entertainment with an Appalachian flair.

Child-oriented entertainment is planned for the festival, including pony rides, clowns, a magician, a storyteller, balloon animals, face painting and puppet shows.

Other entertainment will include old-time singing and playing, trolley rides, exhibits from the Lawrence County Museum, the Wayne National Forest, the Ironton Fire Department, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the Ironton Police Department, the Ohio Highway Patrol and a Civil War memorabilia exhibit by Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas Judge Frank McCown. There will also be a restored horse-drawn hearse, which will be brought to the festival by Phillips Funeral Home.

The festival starts Saturday at 10 a.m. with Magician Mike Hemmelgarn of Dayton. Hemmelgarn will perform strolling shows in between his two stage performances.

Also performing on the outside stage later in the day will be the Heritage Minstrels of Tiffin.

Inside on the patio at noon will be Briggs Lawrence County Public Library storyteller Cheryl Blankenship. Meanwhile, at 12:30, the Jim Wills Puppet Family will perform in the Collins Center.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, the festival will offer a church service. The service will be dedicated to the memory of Bill Douglas, a longtime festival volunteer. Dave Lucas will deliver an Appalachian sermon and lead traditional hymns to the accompaniment of guitarist Jim Wilson. Following the church service will be traditional gospel singing by the First Baptist Church of Ironton.

Later that day, festivalgoers can enjoy a mixture of gospel and traditional Appalachian tunes by the Heritage Minstrels, the Advance Four Quartet from Advance Methodist Church of Flatwoods, Ky., and clogging by the Porter Creek Cloggers.

The evening will close with the Brass Band of the Tri State.