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Crafty Irontonian helps put finishing touches on festival

With little more than two weeks until the beginning of Ironton's Festival of the Hills, volunteers are finally in the home stretch.

Volunteers such as Ironton resident Kay Rader have been meeting since January to help make this the best festival yet.

Rader, who has participated in the event for all of its 19 years, coordinates crafts for the festival, which attempts to give visitors a taste of, "the good old days."

"We just want to have this for the community so that they'll have a decent place to go for entertainment," Rader said.

The festival will take place at Ohio University Southern from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11.

Thanks to Rader's work, craft fans will find the festival to be a little slice of heaven with several Tri-State craftsmen and women, exhibitors and demonstrators displaying their handiwork.

Those who want to be involved with the hand-made crafting may still submit applications to Rader, craft chair, by calling her at (740) 532-7897.

In addition to the sights of the hills, the festival will be alive with the sounds of the hills with featured musical artists like Bush Hog, The Joe Freeman Band, Wylie Dew, Rich Collins, Three 30, and The Brandon DePreist Band.

The taste of the hills will be available too, with non-traditional fare like chicken and noodles, beans and cornbread and Rader's favoriteŠostrich burgers.

"You never get it any other time of the year," Rader said. "They're delicious! They taste just like beef, only there's no fat to them. They are good."

The festival's organizers always try to offer activities for the young ones as well, if crafts and ostrich burgers aren't their speed.

"We try to have an atmosphere that is friendly to children," Rader said. "We have a petting zoo, pony rides, puppets, we always have a clown on the grounds and the bookmobile will be there, and they always have a lot of things for children."

Each day, visitors will have to pay $1 admission to the Festival of the Hills, but children under 12 will be admitted free with a parent.