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Festival of Hills kicks-off Saturday

Just a few days remain until Ironton's Festival of the Hills kicks off at the Ohio University Southern campus, but volunteer Dott Mayne isn't phased.

"I'm tickled to death with all the volunteers and with the weather, the forecast couldn't be any better," Mayne said. "Everybody is coming along great, I don't know of anything that's going to hold us up, we'll be all ready to go at 9:45 on Saturday morning."

The festival will take place at Ohio University Southern from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a slate that's chock full of activities.

Mr. Wizard will be on hand with some scientific magic for the kids, who'll also get to enjoy a live petting zoo and face painting.

The Briggs Lawrence County Library will provide children's games and King's Daughters Medical Center will provide a slightly more practical attraction with their health screenings on Saturday.

Huntington's St. Mary's Hospital, a first-time festival participant will also be providing screenings on Sunday.

As usual, the festival will offer themed days. Saturday will be Children's Day, where little ones under 12 will be admitted free and receive a bag of popcorn and ticket for a pony ride.

Children won't be the only ones having a good time. History buffs will be happy to hear that the festival will feature Civil War memorabilia, a refurbished hearse belonging to Tom Phillips and Boy Scout troop 106 with their Boy Scout village.

Crafters will also find a lot of fun at the festival as several Tri-State craftsmen and women, exhibitors and demonstrators display their handiwork.

The festival will also offer some non-traditional fair for concessions, forgoing elephant ears and cotton candy for homemade chicken and noodles, beans and cornbread and even ostrich burgers.

Music fans are in for a special treat with featured musical artists like Bush Hog, The Joe Freeman Band, Wylie Dew, Rich Collins, Three 30, and The Brandon DePreist Band.

Volunteers have worked since January to produce the festival, which celebrates the cultural heritage of Lawrence County. Mayne estimated that over 100 volunteers would put their noses to the grindstone to continue the festival tradition, now in its 19th year.

It's a lot of work, but Mayne said it's all worth it when she sees everything come together.

"When I look out from where are headquarters are during the festival it's just really thrilling to see all the people coming in and participating and enjoying all the things that we provide for them," Mayne said.