Lawrence County Summer Preview

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer can be a little bit like a house guest.

Sure, it’s great to see them at first, and things get off to a great start. But before you know it, the days drag on, you run out of things together, and you just end up sweaty and staring at walls.

Thankfully, some local groups are offering alternatives to summer boredom, with a full slate of activities guaranteed to keep you from examining the wallpaper.

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Those who don’t feel at home without a putter in their hands shouldn’t miss the Ironton Golf Scramble, Tee Time 9:00 a.m. on June 16. The scramble, being hosted by the Bellefonte Country Club, will benefit the Ironton Port Authority and the Ironton Tanks Fund.

More information is available by calling Michael Carey at (740) 532-8418.

If you’d rather make a little green than play on the greens, hawk your wares at Trade Days and Flea Market, scheduled for June 17 through 19 at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds in Proctorville.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and features various vendors selling crafts, antiques, new/used items as well as farm animals.

For more information about the event, call Frank Call at (740) 646-2215.

Before you sell off that family heirloom though, be sure to check its value at the Appraisal Fair June 17 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. hosted by the Lawrence County Museum. There is a charge of $2 per item appraised, and Dayton Malleable memorabilia will also be shown.

That same weekend, the civic-minded will have a chance to use their Saturday to participate in one of the nation’s largest clean-up efforts. The River Sweep is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon June 17 at the boat ramps at Ironton and Indian Guyan near Chesapeake.

“Indian Guyan is in desperate need of attention,” said organizer Stephanie Helms. “We are hoping that we can get most of the trash and other items removed from down there. We’ve had several people call in about its condition. I’ve personally looked at it and know how bad it is. It’s just not usable.”

Those who want to lend a hand at either of the sites can call (740) 532-1231.

You can close your evening of hard work (or play) at the ZoneFest concerts at the End Zone, 211 Adams Street in Ironton. It will feature several new rock, classic rock and country bands from throughout the Tri-State and other areas of Ohio.

Gates open at 5 p.m. on June 16 and 17. Tickets are $4 if purchased before the event, and $6 at the gate.

The next weekend will see one of the biggest events of the summer … make that two events. The annual Ironmaster Days in Ironton will be held in conjunction with a new event, the Vesuvius Iron Furnace Festival on June 23 and 24.

“We’re trying to compliment each other,” said festival organizer Virginia Bryant. “We’re hoping it will bring people into town, then bring people from town out to Vesuvius.”

While Ironmaster Days will be downtown, the festival will be held at the Wayne National Forest Vesuvius Recreation Area.

The focus of the activities at the festival will be historical, like being able to watch how soap was made a century ago, an authentic blacksmith and even re-enactor Richard Pawling’s performance of an ironmaster.

The intent isn’t just education, Bryant said, but also to raise awareness of the rich history entwined within all of the extant furnaces.

“We’re concerned about the furnaces and what’s going to happen to them,” Bryant said. “We don’t want people to forget about the furnace era, which really built Ironton and this area.”


This month starts off with a bang on July 1 with Summer Motion at Ashland, Ky.’s Central Park. The festival, celebrating its 18th year, features plenty of activities from carnival rides and a craft show to Independence Day fireworks and an auto show.

But, of course, Summer Motion is known for nothing if not music, and this year’s edition has it in spades. July 3 at 9:30 p.m., the Oak Ridge Boys with play with guest performer Ricochet, and country sirens SheDaisy will ring in Independence Day. The series closes out on July 5 with the Bellamy Bros. and British Invasion superstars The Guess Who.

All of the shows take place at the Ashland Boat Ramp and are free.

Also July 1,2 and 3 will be Coal Grove’s Family Fun Days at Paul Porter Park. In it’s 28th year, the festival will feature local music, with an all gospel on Sunday and, of course, fireworks.

“I love getting to see everybody, seeing old friends and acquaintances,” said organizer Carol Gould. “It’s just like a big family reunion. People from all three states all around to see the fireworks.”

The festival will also feature an auction of baked goods. The Family Fun Days go until 10 p.m. every night, and begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Monday, and the gospel sing kicks off at 1:30 on Sunday.

The biggest July event almost goes without saying. The Lawrence County Fair will kick off again July 8 and last until July 15. In addition to all the livestock and farming competitions, visitors to the Proctorville fairgrounds can take part in all the musical entertainment, rides and crafts they can handle.

And that’s to say nothing of the bull riding, demolition derby, wrestling, and, lest we forget, funnel cakes.

More information is available by calling Frank Call at (740) 646-2215.

For a slightly more restrained celebration, July 15 will also be the date of a recipe swap hosted by the Lawrence County Museum. Cooks are asked to bring their jellies and jams as well as the recipes. They’ll provide the biscuits, so visitors can sample one another’s wares.


You may hear some engines revving in downtown Ironton August 17-20, but don’t be alarmed, it’s just the Rally on the River, an event which draws in bikers and fun-seekers of all stripes into Ironton by the thousands.

In addition to the activities for motorcycle enthusiasts, there will also be local vendors, car shows, bike shows, and a series of concerts. It’s all organized by grassroots civic improvement group The Friends of Ironton. More information is available by calling Rick Jansen (304) 634-5956.

On August 19, you can take a break from the modern machines to enjoy a simpler

time as you can meet the characters of the cemetery walk from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lawrence County Museum.

Characters from throughout Ironton’s history will be recreated to provide a little insight, not just into their lives, but into Ironton’s past.

September and Ongoing:

September begins not with a bang, but with the plink of a lure being cast into the Izaac Walton Lake for the annual fishing derby on September 2. The event is free.

The following weekend, Ohio University Southern will play host to the Festival of the Hills September 9-10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The arts and crafts fair is back with all its handmade goodies.

Kid’s get the royal treatment on Saturday with pony rides and a petting zoo, and a church service is scheduled for Sunday. All exhibits and demonstrations are free. For information call: Ohio University Southern (740) 533-4600

Through the summer, the Briggs Lawrence County public Library will be continuing their summer reading program until July 20. As a part of the program, called “Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales,” Petland will donate items to the county animal shelter for every 1,000 books that children read. Children from toddlers to preteens are invited to take part.

As you can see, there’s plenty to fill your calendar, and Lawrence County groups aren’t done yet! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other events as they’re announced, because you never know when your next chance to beat the summer doldrums might pop up.

Justin McElroy is the news editor for The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 x. 14.