Festival of Hills set to celebrate 20 years

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

For the past two decades, the Festival of the Hills has been a fall tradition that draws hundreds to Ohio University Southern. Organizers say this year will be no different and will be one of the biggest and best ever.

The festival at OUS is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 9, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 10.

Dott Mayne, festival chairwoman, said the event has been a popular mainstay in the community because it continues to evolve. Each year, she said, the event committee tries to bring in more and more entertainment and activities to attract a wide variety of people.

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“We plan each of our festival activities so that we offer something for everyone — all with the purpose of celebrating the rich tradition of the historical Hanging Rock iron furnace region,” said Mayne, who has served as chair for the past 18 years.

This year, the traditional arts and craft show, story-telling and museum’s historical exhibit will be merged with the sounds of the popular local band The Fugitives and other performances by the Ironton High School Singers, Jim Lundy, Katie Owen, the I-Town Dancers, The Harmonica Band and the Porter Creek Cloggers. There will be numerous other displays from local groups and organizations and a variety of food vendors.

“We have so many different things. From kids to their grandparents and all ages in between, we have things that will be interesting for everyone,” she said.

Mayne said The Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, a hands-on museum and science center, will be one of the highlights of the festival. For the first time, COSI will bring its traveling exhibit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of Kids Day.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while. We’ve never had it before, so we think it will be a great addition. The kids will really enjoy it,” she said.

Although entertainment and displays may draw in festivalgoers, the volunteers are what make the event run smoothly, according to Mayne. An army of volunteers has been a key part of keeping the festival going the past two decades, Mayne said.

“We would not be able to bring this event to the area residents without the support of our sponsors and tireless efforts of our volunteers,” she said. “Many of these people have been with us since the very first festival. This year even more volunteers have helped us put together a really exciting group of entertainers along with the many crafters, exhibitors and demonstrators.”

The staff of OUS also pitches in, she said.

Admission to the festival is $1 for adults. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.

What: 20th Annual Festival of the Hills

Where: Ohio University Southern

Saturday, Sept. 9: 9:45 a.m — Ironton Mayor John Elam - Opening remarks

Flag presentation and Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop #106

Chris Laber - National Anthem

Rick Mayne - Master of Ceremonies

10:30 a.m. —

Appalachian Stories by Ed Meyers; Science Wizard demonstrations

11 a.m.- 3 p.m. — Center of Science and Industry (COSI) kids activities

11 a.m. — Katie Owens

11:30 a.m. — Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library story teller, Cheryl Blankenship; Bookmobile outside

Noon — Ironton High School Singers

1 p.m.

— Rich Collins 3-0

1:30 p.m. — Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library story teller, Cheryl Blankenship; Bookmobile outside; I-Town Dancers

2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. The Fugitives

Sunday, Sept. 10: 11 a.m.

Church service with Dave Lucas and Ray Wilson

Noon — Snakes from the OUS Nature Center; Harmonica Band

2 to 2:15 p.m. — Jim Lundy

3:30 p.m. — Porter Creek Cloggers

— From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday — free pony rides for children under 12.

From 11 a.m.-3p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Sunday Trolley rides: Cost is $1.