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Annual Wilgus festival to be held next weekend

You have one week to get your taste buds ready – it’s sorghum making time.

Sunday, September 23, 2001

You have one week to get your taste buds ready – it’s sorghum making time.

The 17th annual Sorghum Festival will kick off Saturday, Sept. 29, at Wilgus on Ohio 141, with old fashioned sorghum-making, apple butter making, crafts, food, free entertainment, including a draft horse plowing contest, and much more.

The free event, sponsored by the Lawrence County Draft Horse Association, continues Sunday, Sept. 30 with more sorghum for your sweet tooth, and many more events.

"The baking contests and pumpkin decorating contests are always a lot of fun," said Judy Balmer, spokesperson for the event.

Making sorghum, that sticky sweet sugary concoction made from the sap of sugar cane, is something of a dying art these days.

Juice squeezed form the cane is boiled down into a thick brown syrup, which many know as molasses. The Sorghum Festival offers visitors a chance to watch it made firsthand.

The festival is held daylight to dark, and is sure to attract lots of visitors, many of whom look forward to it each year, Mrs. Balmer said.

"The phone’s been ringing off the hook," she said, with a laugh. "If we have half the people who say they’re coming, we’ll be stepping on each other."

People who come to the festival not only enjoy the old fashioned sorghum, but also get a chance to catch up with each other, Mrs. Balmer said.

"A lot of it’s just about getting to meet people you haven’t seen in a while getting together and listening to music," she said. "Plus, everybody likes the horses."

In addition to the free entertainment, crafts and homemade food, there will be a draft horse colt raffle at the Sorghum Festival. Also, the Balmers will have pumpkins and other goods that they have at their Pumpkin Store.

<I>Watch the Tribune this week for an expanded schedule and more news about the upcoming Sorghum Festival.