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Autumn set to be busy, colorful in Lawrence County

September-November offerings include boxing kangaroos,sorghum, ghosts


Ah, it is almost fall. While the calendar might say the year is winding to a close, the autumn months promise activity from one end of the county to another.

From the yummy to the creepy, Lawrence Countians are in luck.

Sorghum making

Yearning for a simpler pace of life and the aroma of homemade sorghum and apple butter? You’re in luck. The 11th annual sorghum making and bluegrass music festival will be Sept. 17 on property on Willow Hollow, off Sand Road near South Point High School and the Ohio State Highway Patrol post.

The property is owned by Bill Enyart and Ivan Smith. Their friend, Lowell Moon who can honestly say that sorghum making is in his blood, brings in his expertise each year.

“My dad made sorghum all his life,” Moon explained. And he learned the trade from Dad.

The festival is 10 a.m. until dark. The music begins at 11:30 a.m. with cloggers, followed by local bluegrass and country artists. There will also be folks making apple butter, hay rides for the children and horseshoe games.

“It’s an old-fashioned day,” Moon said. “It’s family fun. We don’t allow no alcohol and everyone is welcome.”

The events are free but donations are appreciated. An estimated 200-300 people attend the festival each year.

Shadows at twilight

Again this year, the Lawrence County Historical Society will present its Historical Woodland Cemetery Walk at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

The self-guided tour allows participants to wind their way through the cemetery and stop to hear the stories of long departed notable people who lie in final rest there.

“This started out as a walking tour and (historical society member) Naomi Deer would tell the stories as everyone walked along,” historical society member Debbie Rogers explained. “But then she and Bob (the late Robert Price) and I were talking one day that it would be great if we got people to dress us and tell the stories.”

Rogers said 75 to 80 volunteers now take an active role in the event, doing everything from playing the role of the deceased former citizens to handing out programs. Another 1,000 to 1,500 people come to watch.

“I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from people out of town, asking when we’re going to have it,” Rogers said.

Again this year walkers will hear the sad story of Lorena, the woman for whom the Civil War era song was written; Civil War soldiers buried in the soldier’s plot and John Campbell, the founder of the city of Ironton, to name a few.

The walk begins at 6 p.m. The tour is approximately two hours. There will be shuttle parking from Liebert Corp. across Lorain Street from the cemetery. Walkers are urged to bring flashlights and wear comfortable shoes.

The circus is coming to town

Lions and tigers and bears? How about dogs and monkeys and boxing kangaroos!

The Chesapeake Community Center will play host to the Star Family Circus Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Center Executive Director Ruth Damron said the circus, which features small animals is geared toward children and in fact, kids under 14 get in free.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a circus here before,” Damron said. “So it’s a first for us and I’m excited.”

Times for the shows will be announced later. Adult admission is $10.

Beans and taters

The Lawrence County Historical Society will have a bean dinner 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at the museum, 506 S. Sixth St.

Rogers said there will be live music, an 1840s Conestoga wagon on display, as well as bean and cornbread and other food items for sale. The dinner will function as a membership drive.

Rogers said it is hoped new people will find the historical society enjoyable and sign up to help.

Things that go bump in the night

The third annual Chesapeake Community Center Ghost Hunt is scheduled for Oct. 27, 28 and 29 at the community center, which is purported to be haunted.

“We meet at about 9 or 10 p.m. We charge $15 and we break into groups and take different areas of the building,” Damron explained. “We’ve had some luck in the past, some good action. Then around midnight we meet back, and have a snack, and talk. It’s a fun evening.”

Damron said some who have been in the building have seen two little girls roaming around and others swear there is a crew of people in the boiler room. There have been sightings of a man in the upstairs hallway, Damron said.

Has she seen any ghosts?

“I have not but I’ve heard footsteps. I heard them once and looked up and no one was there but I swear I thought somebody was at the door,” Damron said.

This year the ghost hunt could get national attention. Damron said the locally based Quest Paranormal is taking part in the event and members of that group have said a national television show on the paranormal has expressed an interest.

As with the circus, the ghost hunt is a fundramerous community groups.

As it has for nearly the past two decades, the Ironton Lions Club will host the Haunted Tunnel. The attraction will be eight Fridays and Saturdays in October from 7 to 11 p.m. The cost is $5 per person.