Festival offers link to past and future

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 23, 2006

Is the community ready for a journey? A proverbial door will open this weekend, but it will be one of a unique nature that can offer those who step through a glimpse at the past as well as a look at what could be.

Two partnering events set for Saturday and Sunday will showcase southern Ohio’s heritage and historic past but will also offer a glimpse of the future if these events are successful.

Likewise, the weekend’s activities will center on something old and something new. The first-ever Vesuvius Furnace Festival and the long-running Ironmaster Days are both designed to showcase the iron furnaces, something that helped build this entire community.

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Activities include many things from music acts, historical interpretations, vendors, kids games, antique tractors, the science wizard, Nature Center exhibitions and much, much more.

We think the two events will offer a little something for everyone, and we hope to see the community come out and support these activities and have some fun in the process.

The biggest complaint residents have about Lawrence County is that there is never anything to do and never any family activities.

Well, thanks to the hard work of a handful of volunteers, that will not be the case at least this weekend. This dedicated group of men and women deserves much praise for organizing something new and working to boost attendance in a long-running attraction.

With proper community support, we could envision the Furnace Festival becoming an annual event that attracts hundreds of people from across the region. It may also allow Ironmaster Days to reinvent itself and feature some new offerings while still preserving its history.

So, grab the family and take a drive into Ironton and then out State Route 93 this weekend. You may be surprised at what you see.

It will be trip into the past, but one that could show you a glimpse of a bright future.