Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

A tunnel of twinkling lights welcomes you to the Oglebay Winter Festival.

Christmas wonder fills the air with a drive through the beautiful Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling, West Virginia. Adults and children alike catch the holiday spirit as they witness six miles of ninety lighted scenes on 300 acres. Here you’ll find one of the largest light shows in the nation.

Oglebay’s Good Zoo continues to light up for the holidays.

In 1980, Oglebay’s Good Zoo staff decided they would decorate the Good Zoo with lights to attract more visitors in the winter months. “The Good Zoo Lights Up for You” began with dazzling lights and a holiday laser music show in the Benedum Planetarium.

The carnival atmosphere helps you enjoy the beautifully lit carousel.

Seeing the success of this project, the commission decided to expand it throughout Wheeling Park. Winter Festival of Lights began in 1985 when it had 125,00 lights placed on trees, buildings, and scenes. Five years later, the size of that show had doubled and continues to have added attractions and improvements each year.

Enjoy the lighted ferris wheel and the strong man ringing a bell.

No one tires of seeing the lights or driving in long lines of traffic to witness them. That just gives more time to enjoy the displays. Plan to spend the evening having a leisurely drive that captures the spirit of Christmas.

An Ohio River paddleboat sees its reflection at the park.

More than one million people enjoy this light display each year. It has become a popular drive-thru for tour buses as well as family cars. The ability to see the displays from a higher view makes tour bus visits extra special. Or you can catch the trolley at Wilson Lodge on a first-come, first-served basis unless you make reservations in advance.

There are still several original displays that are visitors’ favorites. These include the Candy Cane Wreath, the Twelve Days of Christmas, a 60′ tall Poinsettia Wreath, and the large Polyhedron Star. Some things never lose their charm.

A new feature this year is a 70′ tall Holiday Tree at The Hilltop

In 2021, a 70′ high Holiday tree is their newest feature. You can find it at The Hilltop. Enjoy thousands of dancing lights that combine color, music, light, and animation into the evening sky.

Santa directs the musical light display at Oglebay Mansion this year.

Sounds of the Season have been added to fourteen scenes so you might sing along as you drive the trail. Stop and watch Santa at the Oglebay Mansion as he conducts the musical synchronized light show there.

Families enjoy a walk through lighted blossoms in Gardens of Light.

They haven’t forgotten the reason for the season. Inside the Carriage Glass House, you’ll find a life-size nativity scene. It glows with the beauty of the season since the “Christmas Tree Garden” with 30 live decorated trees is nearby. Don’t forget to walk through the “Gardens of Light” with lighted hanging baskets and illuminated flowers along the path. It’s breathtaking!

Dinosaurs always catch the eye of youngsters.

The Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay runs from Nov. 4, 2021, to Jan. 9, 2022. That gives you plenty of time to watch the light show after the holiday rush when you have more time to relax. It’s a great way to start the new year.

New this year is a Holiday Dinner Show “Jingle This” at the West Virginia Public Theatre in Oglebay. Enjoy a holiday meal, then listen to the music and stories of several talented performers. This happens two weeks in November and three in December from Sunday through Thursday. Check their calendar for dates and reservation information at www.oglebay.com.

Christmas tin soldiers guard the roadway.

The gates open at 5:30 each evening and there may already be a line at that time. They suggest a $25 donation per vehicle to maintain and improve the Festival of Lights. Every $25 donor receives a Festival of Lights Vehicle Pass valid throughout the holiday season as well as an Oglebary Rewards book. However, it is a free show…donations are appreciated but not mandatory since it is a public park.

Don’t miss the sights and sounds of Christmas at Oglebay!

Watching the Festival of Lights inspired Bob and Sue Ley to initiate a Christmas holiday tradition in downtown Cambridge. Dickens Victorian Village was created as well as their fantastic Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

Mayor Orr along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim welcome visitors to Cambridge, Ohio

Charles Dickens would have enjoyed a walk down Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge to see the scenes from his book, A Christmas Carol, as well as scenes from old England. Dickens Victorian Village takes you back in time to those long-ago days each November and December.

Many special events are planned throughout the months for the enjoyment of area residents as well as the multitude of visitors that pour into town each season on buses and in cars. They all enjoy the friendly atmosphere as they are greeted by Victorian dressed volunteers throughout the town.

Victorian Scenes

The glassblower scene can be found on the corner of 9th Street on the way to the Cambridge Glass Museum.

The heartbeat of the village lies in 168 scenes that line the street. They can be found under every lamppost and in some store windows. Each has a brass plaque explaining its relationship to London and Charles Dickens. The scenes are designed and refurbished annually by a Creative Team that takes great pride in making the characters appear real.

Dickens Welcome Center

Dickens Welcome Center contains many items with a touch of Old England.

Everyone needs to stop at the Welcome Center to pick up information about the downtown area and hear how the project began. Here you will find the first figure created for the village, that of Charles Dickens. Dress in Victorian clothes at a fun Imagination Station where you can step back in time yourself. Of course, there are wonderful gifts available to bring back memories of your visit.

Sherlock Holmes

A Sherlock Holmes mystery provides weekend entertainment.

Every other year Holmes fans await the newest Sherlock Holmes mystery written by local playwright Anne Chlovechok. Can you figure out the murder mystery this year surrounding Sherlock Holmes and the Chlosterphobic Conundrum?

Performances will be at Pritchard Laughlin on November 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:00 on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 3:00. Join in the fun of this tantalizing mystery that begins at the Colonel Taylor Inn.

Trolley Tours

Ride the trolley to learn local history from historian, Rick Booth.

Three weekends during the season, hop on a Trolley Tour of downtown and the city of Cambridge. Learn the story of how Dickens Victorian Village began and about the history of Cambridge from its founding. Hear stories of some of those settlers from the Isle of Guernsey who made Guernsey County the special place it is today.

Tours are still offered in 2021 at $10 a person on the following Saturdays: December 4 and December 18. They run hourly beginning at 10:00 am with the last trolley leaving at 5:00 pm. You’re sure to hear some special stories from trolley guide and local historian, Rick Booth.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Relax to the sound of horses’ hooves on an evening carriage ride.

If you prefer taking a slower ride through town, climb in the carriage and enjoy viewing the Victorian scenes to the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves. It’s also a special way to experience the Courthouse Light Show as you listen to the music all snuggled up in a blanket surrounded by the cool evening air.

Carriage rides will be available from November 12 to December 18 for $10 for adults and $8 for children under the age of 12. Catch the carriage on West 8th Street beside the Courthouse. Availability depends on the weather.

Victorian Teas

Ladies dress in their finest for a Victorian Tea.

Ladies and gentlemen enjoy dressing in their finest clothes and wearing beautiful hats as they enjoy teas in the Victorian style. There are three teas during the season where English pastries, confectionaries, and fruit accompany a wide assortment of teas. Every tea has entertainment for the enjoyment of those in attendance.

Two of the teas take place each year at the Masonic Ballroom in downtown Cambridge while the third tea is held at the Cambridge Country Club each November with Queen Victoria in attendance. Reservations are required for all of the teas by calling 740-421-4956. There is only one tea remaining in 2021 and that will be on December 11 at the Masonic Ballroom at a cost of $18.95.

Christmas Candlelight Walk

Cindy, Lindy, and Mayor Tom Orr prepare for the Christmas Candlelight Walk.

Get in the spirit of Christmas! Bring your own candle or lantern and join your friends at the Dickens Welcome Center on December 18 at 6:00 pm to begin an evening stroll as you pass the scenes of Victorian characters. Charles Dickens often took strolls through downtown London so would approve of this entertaining evening.

Guides will tell stories regarding the scenes during this free event. Learn more about the time of Charles Dickens. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bundle up in case snow flurries happen to fall.

Courthouse Holiday Light Show

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

Be dazzled by the 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music on the Guernsey County Courthouse. People line the streets to watch this spectacular light show presented by AVC Communications. It’s a favorite of tour buses and local residents. Children enjoy dancing to the music.

Enjoy this Holiday Light Show any evening from November 1 through December 3 1 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Watching from the courthouse lawn or sitting on the benches enhances the show but you can view it from your car and tune to the radio station to listen to the music.

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As you can tell, there’s plenty to see and enjoy while visiting Dickens Victorian Village. For more information visit www.DickensVictorianVillage.com or check out their Facebook page.

Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Create happy memories with your family and friends this holiday season at Dickens Victorian Village.

Welcome to PV’s Pumpkin Patch!

Children naturally gravitate toward a bright orange pumpkin. Take home your favorite shaped pumpkin, carve a special face, then use it for decoration. You can’t celebrate fall without a pumpkin.

Children are certain to have a great time at PV’s Pumpkin Patch near Frazeysburg. Every Friday and Saturday they’ll find activities that will make them smile. It’s their fifth year and the Pumpkin Patch just gets better each year.

Grandpa’s tractor gets special repair attention from a skeleton crew.

Paul and Wendy Vensil are fortunate to live on the land where Paul’s great-grandparents lived since 1874. In 2017, Wendy came up with the idea for a Pumpkin Patch. Ever since Paul was a youngster, his grandpa called him PV. Therefore, PV’s Pumpkin Patch seemed a natural name since it was located on his grandpa’s farm.

Being able to still work the farm is something Paul really enjoys. Wendy enjoys watching the children have a good time. It makes all their hard work worthwhile.

Decorate for fall with pumpkins, mums, gourds, and cornstalks.

Wendy plants three different varieties of pumpkins from late May to early July and starts as many as possible in individual cups before planting. When you have three acres of pumpkins, that’s a time-consuming task. However, they have fun watching them grow.

The jump pad always has someone bouncing.

That first year, along with the pumpkin patch, they bought a jump pad. It’s huge! Also they purchased a beautiful playset and started the corn box – a popular place for youngsters. Every year they have added something new.

The corn box is a favorite of youngsters.

New this year is a Basketball Gravity Wagon for all those basketball fans out there, a new barn for their pigs and goats, and a new slide with a more slippery liner.

The new Duck Race attracts people of all ages.

The Vensils live surrounded by family in an old-fashioned kind of atmosphere. That family supports their efforts and helps in so many ways from planting to decorating.

What fun to hop in a barrel for a ride.

The best way to start your visit is with a wagon ride or children can take a barrel ride instead. These bright blue barrels are cut out so two children can ride in each. This year, animal heads have been added to each barrel for some extra fun. A tractor pulls them around the grounds and back through a spooky Halloween trail in the woods.

Two dragons guard the entrance to the corn maze.

You would expect a Pumpkin Patch to have a corn maze. This one is guarded by two dragons! There’s also a hay bale maze, which is more difficult to construct than you might believe.

The hay bale maze can be a challenge to children.

There’s even a Zipline just for youngsters under 100 pounds. Let them have the fun of a Zipline at a young age with little danger as it isn’t too far above ground and only 90′ long. Spark the spirit of adventure in your children.

Imagine a Pumpkin Sling Shot. That’s something even the adults find enjoyable. Pull back on the Sling Shot and send a small pumpkin flying through the air. See how far they can go!

Families enjoy picking a wagon filled with pumpkins.

The setting provides adults a great view of the entire area, which is fenced in so children have boundaries. All activities are within the fence making for a relaxing day at PV’s Pumpkin Patch. Parents appreciate it! It’s an amazing place with fun for all ages of children.

Susie’s Snack Shack provides refreshments on the weekends.

Food Concessions are on Saturday and Sunday only. Susie’s Snack Shack contains favorites sandwiches like BBQ pork, shredded chicken, sloppy joes, and hot dogs. You might like Loaded Nachos or Taco in a Bag. All are at reasonable prices.

Don’t forget the Petting Zoo where children can get up close to some of their favorite animals. Here you’ll find pigs, goats, roosters, chickens, and bunnies.

Slide into the pumpkin patch on a slippery slide.

PV’s Pumpkin Patch is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but open for many activities and purchases on Wednesday – Friday 4 pm – 7 pm. Their days filled with extra fun for the children happen on Saturday 11 am – 7 pm, and Sunday 12pm – 5 pm. They are open through the end of October. Zipline, wagon rides, barrel rides, and concessions are only open on the weekends.

Admission is $7 per person ages 2 and up and children must be accompanied by an adult. Wednesday – Friday adults are admitted free and children are $5. Check their schedule at www.pvspumpkinpatch.com .

While there, adults can pick up some mums, pumpkins, gourds, Indian Corn, and cornstalks to give your home or business a touch of autumn. You can pick your own pumpkin or take home one already picked. It’s time to decorate for fall. Children will have so much fun at PV’s Pumpkin Patch.

Pumpkins go home to make jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Train rides highlight the month of October in Mt. Perry, Ohio. Board the historic Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad for a 45 minute ride through scenic southeastern Ohio. At the end of the ride in October, the train stops at the Pumpkin Patch where each child has an opportunity to go out in the field and pick out their own pumpkin.

Engineer Scott took control of diesel engine 4541.

Bill Ratz, Scott Dunbar, and an enthusiastic group of men and women enjoy spending weekends and free time working on the train, the tracks, and new ideas to make the train enjoyable. The sound of the train whistle and the call of “All Aboard!” thrills everyone who loves to ride a train.

Bill Ratz, train man, explained the history of Z&W Scenic Railroad.

Bill has been in love with trains since his first Lionel train as a child. When he became a paper boy, he always stopped to watch the trains along his route. Then his life turned a different direction when he met his wife, Pat, at Miami University where he majored in nuclear engineering. In recent years, he worked for IBM in Columbus City Schools as a software computer operator. His love of trains always remained as he worked with a tourist train there during his time off.

This unique dump truck runs on the tracks but has a bed that swivels to unload on the side.

The Zanesville & Western Railroad (Z&W) extended throughout southeastern Ohio in 1902. It connected Columbus to many of the coal and clay mines in the area. Locals knew the line over a hundred years ago as “Zigzag & Wobble.” It often carried coal that was mined in many areas of Ohio, or Glass Rock’s silica sand to places manufacturing glass, pottery, dinnerware, and fire brick.

Beginning in 1982, the Buckeye Central Scenic Railroad operated out of Hebron, Ohio. In 2003, they loaned their train to Byesville, Ohio until Byesville Scenic Railroad purchased their own equipment in 2006.

That same year of 2006, Bill and Pat heard from a friend, Ron Jedlicka, about an abandoned train track, that was owned by the State of Ohio. They took a ride to Mt. Perry to look the scene over and found the track was so overgrown that it couldn’t be seen in places. However, a dream was born that day.

A new coat of paint brightened up the flat car so it is ready to roll.

Ron had a huge interest in railroads as had been one of the founders of Buckeye Central. Ron met Scott at a train meeting and convinced him to join their efforts at Mt. Perry. Soon some of the equipment from the old Buckeye Central was moved to Mt. Perry via rail. The flat car being used today is one of those pieces of equipment.

Conductor Dennis made sure everyone was in place before the train moved.

The first thing Bill purchased for the Z&W Scenic Railroad was a locomotive. It was built for the U.S. Navy in 1941. His next purchase was the Indiana Coach from 1920. It has seats, which are being recovered as time permits, from the Long Island Railroad. His last purchase was the transfer caboose. All of these cars were brought to Mt. Perry over the highway.

Scott has purchased other equipment that is used for the train. Bill will admit that although he loves trains, Scott is the one with the mechanical skills to keep things running. They make a great railroad team.

In 2008, the Zanesville and Western Scenic Railroad was born just a few miles off Interstate 70 between Columbus and Zanesville on SR 204. It operates out of Mt. Perry on the Glass Rock Spur along Jonathan Creek. The route today is about three and a half miles from Mt. Perry to East Fultonham and back. They have a flat open air car and an enclosed passenger car for your riding pleasure and a ramp for entering with ease.

The track goes through a shady tunnel of trees.

The tracks must be sprayed every spring so the train can ride smoothly along its route. Side branches are trimmed to avoid accidental brushes with riders. A bright blue coat of paint has been applied to the open-air car making it look like new. These volunteers work hard to make the best of what they have available. The entire route shows the beautiful countryside with everything well maintained along the way.

Board the train in Mt. Perry for a work in progress. The route will eventually cross 13 bridges and have 12 miles of track. They are hoping to add several new events such as a wine tasting ride in the future.

Dave Adair cooks a hobo dinner for Hobo Camp Weekend.

There are many possibilities for a train ride. School groups, senior citizens, and Boy Scouts enjoy riding the rails. Hobo Camp Weekend encourages passengers to wear their best hobo clothes and join them for a hobo meal around the campfire.

A Hobo Camp Weekend encourages passengers to wear their best hobo clothes and join them for a hobo meal around the campfire. You will probably be treated to beans and wieners or hobo stew!

Grassman Weekend gives an opportunity to watch for Grassman, or Bigfoot as he is often called. This is a great chance to share stories about personal experiences and viewings.

The Pumpkin Train stops to let everyone pick their own pumpkin from the patch.

Children get special treatment on many of the train rides. In October the Pumpkin Train runs rain or snow every Saturday and Sunday on October 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, and 30-31, 2021. The train leaves on the hour each hour from noon until 4:00. Kids love this time. A stop along the way gives children the opportunity to go out in the field and pick their own pumpkin.

The conductor greets passengers on the Christmas Train.

In December, an evening Santa Train on December 11-12 and December 18-19, 2021 is decorated inside and out for the season. Children love this ride as everyone gets a bag of candy and also a wrapped gift when they depart. A highlight, of course, is a special visit from Santa.

Santa welcomes everyone when he arrives riding on the engine.

60-80 people can ride the train easily. If you would like to have the whole train for your group even during the week, please call Bill at 614-595-9701 for a group rate. Parking is handy across the road in the Mt. Perry Foods parking lot.

Happy children pose with their pumpkins.

Cost is very reasonable with $8 for adults, $5 for children 6-15, and children 5 and under are free. Plus this year, everyone will have the pleasure of getting their own pumpkin from the patch.

Meet the Z&W in October at the Pumpkin Patch!

Western & Zanesville Scenic Railroad is located just a few miles from I-70 at Exit 142. Turn south on Mt. Perry Road for four miles, then turn right onto Coopermill Road. After about half a mile, turn right on Ohio 204. Parking is on the right hand side of the road in the Mt. Perry Foods parking lot. Or you can put 5700 State Route 204 NE, Mt. Perry, Ohio in your GPS!

Tastee Apples a Tasty Treat

Tastee Apple produces great treats in their Newcomerstown home.

The Hackenbracht family knows a good apple when they see one. At Tastee Apple, autumn is their busiest season beginning with the popular caramel apple. Using quality products produces an apple with satisfaction guaranteed. No wonder this apple business has been around for 47 years.

Since John Hackenbracht owned an orchard and managed the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association, apples were constantly on his mind. While he had thoughts of selling caramel apples, it wasn’t until his son, Greg was graduating from high school that the business actually began. Greg would go to college six months out of the year and work at Tastee Apple, Inc. the other six.

Once Greg received his BS in Marketing from Bowling Green State University, he joined Tastee Apple on a full-time basis. Since Greg grew up on a fruit farm with 4,000 apple and peach trees, he was very familiar with fruit from childhood on and loved promoting it.

Nothing tops a Tastee Apple!

The business began with one caramel machine and a caramel recipe that Greg developed himself. They still use that original recipe from 1974 because its smooth taste can’t be beat. That’s why they’re called America’s Favorite Caramel Apples.

That first year, they made 50,000 dozen caramel apples. Today, they make 50,000 dozen apples in four days. Things are more automated now but they still employ 150 people in the plant during their peak season. They treat everyone with kindness, just as they would like to be treated.

Chad’s race car carried the Tastee Apple logo.

Over the years, John and Greg have tried various other products as well but the caramel apple has stood the test of time. From 1980-2013, they produced cider. Shortly after that they discovered a way to use the pumice left over from the apple cider. They dried and ground it into a fine powder, which was added to fruit fillings, cereal, and exotic pet food.

The Hackenbrancht family likes to try new ideas and over the years have made apple chips, potato chips, sweet potato chips, and popcorn balls. An idea for the future is chocolate bark, which has been requested by several companies already.

These Gourmet Apples make perfect gifts for the holiday season.

Tastee has sold over 250,000,000 apples with candy, chocolate, caramel, and other toppings. All the apples are chosen by a process guaranteed for quality and freshness of the fruit. Even their firmness is measured before being cleaned carefully to avoid bruising. In 2015, Greg added a special probiotic to be sprayed onto the apples after cleaning to keep them even healthier.

Times Square displayed the Tastee Apple logo.

Today, most of their apples are purchased from growers in Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. Their gourmet apples are purchased from Washington state. The farther north the apples are grown, the more firm the cellular structure, which makes for more desirable caramel apples.

Approximately 10% of the apples that come from reputable suppliers are still rejected as Tastee Apple is striving for perfection. These discarded apples are used by another company for cider or juice.

This Gourmet Chocolate Peppermint apple is a big hit during the holidays.

The perfectly-ripe apples are then “sticked” in made-from-scratch kettle-cooked caramel or a candy coating. After the apples cool, they are dressed by being rolled in toppings like varieties of chocolate or rolled in fresh peanuts, pecans, cookies, or pretzels. Currently, their triple chocolate apple is one of their best sellers. Only high quality products are used in making these apples.

You’ll find Tastee Apple fans all over the country.

No apple gets the Tastee Apple label unless it is fresh and perfect. Quality is their main concern. While the fresh apples are dipped in a generous coating of caramel or candy, the more important ingredient for the Hackenbrachts is family pride. They guarantee your satisfaction!

Their aim for perfection can be seen in what they consider “seconds.” These are apples covered in perfection but the stick was not placed in straight. They would not send these to their customers.

Chad learns the apple business from his dad, Greg Hackenbracht, president, founder, and owner.

Before long, Greg will be retiring and his son, Chad, plans to carry on the family tradition. Chad has spent the last few years of his life as a race car driver and is a NASCAR champion. Now he’s learning the fine points of the caramel apple business from his dad.

Packages of Tastee Apples can be found at Riesbeck’s and Walmarts.

Locally, Tastee Apples can be purchased from Riesbeck’s and Walmart or by ordering online at www.tasteeapple.com . They are popular all over the United States from Miami to Texas and all along the east coast. They seem to be a favorite of people in New York City.

Tastee Apple, Inc. is located at 60810 Co Rd 9, Newcomerstown on the banks of the Tuscarawas River. Bite into a nutritious, mouthwatering Tastee Apple sometime soon. You may prefer just a slice as their gourmet apples are very large!

Welcome to Clary Gardens in Coshocton, Ohio.

Visit Coshocton as Clary Garden Foundation celebrates its 20th year on their beautiful hillside landscape. The foundation began to encourage the community to develop a botanical garden that would be a place to learn more about horticulture, local history, and the arts.

A local florist, Elizabeth Clary, purchased the 20 acres to memorialize her late husband, Lawrence, in what was to become Clary Gardens. The Clary family had operated a greenhouse in Coshocton for over 100 years and were famous for sending their red roses by rail all over the United States. Over the years, Elizabeth added weeping redbuds, yellow magnolia trees, geraniums, tulips, and 30 varieties of roses to the developing garden.

Ohio Rose & Star quilt pattern can be found here as part of a Coshocton County Quilt Barn Tour.

In honor of the family’s rose business, the Clary Garden barn has become part of the Coshocton County Heritage Quilt Barn Tour. An Ohio Rose & Star quilt pattern has graced the side of their barn since 2003.

You know the place is special the minute you drive through the gate. The setting is beautiful and well maintained. There is no charge for visiting from 8 am to 7 pm daily. The garden is supported by the generosity of the Clary Garden Foundation members.

Spring blossoms add extra beauty early in the year.

“Under the Big Top” has been the theme for 2021 to celebrate their growth over the last 20 years. Floral displays were red, white, and gold – circus colors. There was even a Ringmaster and animals on-site to attract old and young alike.

In the summer months, they have a Nature Program for Children which includes a science adventure and outdoor activity. Grow your own garden! Learn about the plants in the woods.

Field trips teach children to explore and enjoy nature.

An assortment of trails makes it possible for people of all ages to find that special place for a walk in nature. Their half-mile Woodland Loop includes some fascinating geological features and is a local favorite. Your dog is welcome as long as you pick up after your furry friend.

These gates open to a scenic path that leads down to a beautiful amphitheater.

For a very reasonable price, you can have a guided tour of the facility from March through October 31. There are several possibilities on their 20-acre grounds depending on the amount of time and energy you have to spend. These include interesting topics like Time Travel Tour, Woodlands Rock, Stop and Smell the Roses, and the list goes on.

Follow the path through the Rose Garden or relax in the gazebo.

Follow the path through the rose garden or take a rest in the rose garden gazebo. Just below the rose garden, you enter that special amphitheater that has been voted the number one outdoor wedding venue in Ohio.

Theatre in the Ravine provides the perfect place for weddings and concerts.

The Theatre in the Ravine is a very popular spot at Clary Gardens. This sandstone amphitheater is built into the hillside, which overlooks a tranquil stream and wooded area. It’s a wonderful place for concerts, weddings, and theater presentations as it seats over 200 people and has electric hook-up on its natural stage. Two plays have already been scheduled for this summer.

Receptions and public events are held in the tent behind the Compton House.

Receptions and meetings are currently being held in a large tent beside the 1850s red Compton House with beautiful table settings available. This summer they plan to replace the tent by constructing an open-air pavilion on the stamped concrete pad for wedding receptions and other private events.

Choose the Garden House for your next private get-together. Built around 1850, the house has two main rooms separated by a kitchen and is available for rent during the season.

Relax at the Spring House as you listen to the sounds of soothing water as it flows from the historic Spring House. It’s a magical place near the Iris Pond and woodland trails.

The Children’s Garden features wooden balance beams, beanpole tipis, and a crawl-through tunnel that resembles a caterpillar. Children enjoy coming here to learn more about nature. They often take off their shoes and wade in the shallow creek learning to identify salamanders and crawfish.

Enjoy being surrounded by butterflies at the Traveling Butterfly Exhibit.

A special Traveling Butterfly Exhibit comes to the garden nearly every year and gives viewers a chance to walk among the live butterflies as they flutter about. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to have one land on you. Enhance your chances of having a butterfly landing by feeding them some nectar.

The gardens are in their early stages of development and every year sees new additions. Plans for the future include a walkway connecting Clary Gardens and the nearby Caldersburg Cemetery to historic Roscoe Village, which is very close by. This will lead more people to explore both places.

Before visiting the gardens, check out their schedule at www.clarygardens.org as the gardens are sometimes closed for part of the day during weddings and special events.

Clary Gardens holds beauty in nature each season of the year.

Clary Gardens at 588 W. Chestnut Street in Coshocton is a place to enjoy peace and harmony with nature. Every season creates a different view so you might want to return throughout the year.

Clary Gardens are located in Coshocton, Ohio at 588 W. Chestnut Street just around the bend south of Roscoe Village. Watch for the entrance sign on the right-hand side.

LW Amphitheater

Their hillside amphitheater contains a re-creation of Old Jerusalem.

The only outdoor passion play in Ohio, or in any of the surrounding states, takes place in the hills just outside Cambridge. The Living Word Outdoor Drama tells the story of the last weeks of the life of Jesus. The perfect hillside amphitheater is centered around a 400-foot panoramic set which looks like Old Jerusalem at the time when Jesus lived. The mission of the drama is “To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

LW Cast

The volunteer cast of the Living Word Drama takes pleasure in each performance.

   Dedicated volunteers from many area churches are at the heart of The Living Word from participating in the drama to working in the ticket booth, gift shop, and concession stand. Lighting and special effects along with authentic costumes make this a spectacular event. A white donkey and an authentic horse-drawn Roman chariot add to the excitement.

Jesus healing a child

This picture of Jesus healing a child is on the front of this year’s Living Word brochure.

   A special feature of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is the ability of audience members or area residents to participate in the show. Costumes are available for them to wear as they become part of the story. Bring your own sandals (no flip-flops) or use those available with the costumes. It’s a great opportunity to be on stage in a large production without having to learn any lines.

LW Harvey and wife

Living Word was founded by Frank Rougton Harvey with his wife, Hazel.

   The Living Word Drama was founded in 1974 by Biblical dramatist Frank Roughton  Harvey when he moved to Guernsey County from Georgia. Since that time over a half million visitors have witnessed the show, which celebrates its 45th season this year.

LW Jesus healing

Jesus heals a woman while townspeople show amazement at his divine authority to heal.

   Today the Living Word is directed by Heath Dawson, a young man with a passion for the outdoor drama. He has the enthusiasm of youth as well as a love of God that makes a great combination for this position. Heath looked out over the performance and remarked, “I love this place. I don’t ever see myself wanting to leave.”

LW scene

The disciples gather at the home of Mary and Martha.

   It’s amazing to find something as magnificent as The Living Word Outdoor Drama located in the hills of Guernsey County. It’s a spectacular setting over 400′ long with a temple, courtrooms, homes, and gateways. The cast puts their heart and soul into making the scriptures come alive as they tell the story of those last days of Jesus’ life.

LV Last Supper lighted

The disciplines gather with Jesus for the Last Supper in the Upper Room.

   Witness scripture come to life through the Sermon on the Mount, the Palm Sunday Entrance, The Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension in this beautiful outdoor setting. The excellent sound system makes it easy to clearly hear the performance from any seat in the amphitheater during this two and a half-hour drama.

   The traumatic ending grabs at the heart of young and old alike. A hush comes over the crowd and many hide their eyes when the crucifixion happens as they can’t bear to watch the agony involved. But resurrection follows giving hope to all. It’s a dynamic drama.

LW Jesus on Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday brings Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

   Many improvements have recently been made. New this year are a graveled parking lot, fresh paint in the concession area and restrooms, and wonderful landscaping at the Cross of Mercy circle in front of the box office. Currently, they are working on better lighting for the parking lot.

   During August, the drama hosts “Crucifixed”, a day of musical entertainment geared toward young people. It will feature Christian music bands from across the nation, including As We Ascend, Random Hero, The Protest, Zahna, and our own local praise/worship team The Love Brothers.

LW Art

Roman equestrians add excitement to the drama.

   A family-centered day will be held in September. The “Jerusalem Experience” will feature Biblical experiences of making costumes, games, and fun for the entire family. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students but include Free Admission to the evening performance!

   Their director is certain to greet you as you leave with a smile and “God bless you.” His faith means everything in his life as he has discovered, “It’s amazing what God can do to, for, through, and with a person when you let Him.”

LW Jesus praying   The present attendance record stands from 2016 when nearly 700 people witnessed the Living Word Outdoor Drama. This year “Set the Attendance Record Night” will occur on September 25, 2021, the season finale. They are hopeful that this time there will be nearly 1,000 people in attendance. On this final night of the season, admission is by donation only. Come early to get a good seat.

   Shows for this powerful drama are 7:30 on Friday and Saturday evenings June through Sept.

LW Entrance   Admission is $18 for adults, $6 children (4-12) and $16 for seniors (60 and over). It’s located a couple of miles outside Cambridge at 6010 College Hill Road. It’s a great place for families and even tour buses to spend an evening.

   Listen to the story that never grows old for people of all ages at The Living Word Outdoor Drama sometime soon. Because He lives!

For more information visit their website at www.livingworddrama.org.

Tour Historic Fort Steuben

Fort Steuben captures the spirit of America and represents the opening of the West after the Revolutionary War when settlers could finally afford to purchase land. The first seven ranges of the Northwest Territory along the Ohio River needed to be surveyed into sections before being sold to those settlers.

This original Fort Steuben cornerstone, erected in 1786, has been preserved.

In 1787, Fort Steuben was constructed to protect the surveyors from the Indians as well as prevent squatters from coming across the Ohio River from Virginia. The Federal Government wanted to sell this land so made it illegal for those early pioneers to cross the river and settle without purchase.

Here’s an overview of some of the buildings inside the fort.

Major John Hamtramck was responsible for getting the fort built. It was named for Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a drillmaster who served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War. It’s easy to see how Steubenville, Ohio received its name. It was the perfect place for a defense with the Ohio River to the east, a bank of hills on the west, and a nice plateau on which to build. Its location was mid-way between Pittsburgh and Wheeling.

One hundred fifty soldiers guarded this fort. There was a lookout station where they could easily watch the Ohio River. However, after one year, the fort was abandoned and never used again.

The University of Steubenville holds an annual archaeological dig here.

Some say that in 1790, the fort burned but archaeological digs have shown no evidence of ashes or burnt objects. Others think that perhaps settlers dismantled the buildings and moved them to a place where they were going to live.

Some items found in the dig are displayed inside the Welcome Center.

Every year since 1978, the University of Steubenville has conducted a summer session on the grounds of the former fort. Their archaeological dig has discovered many discarded items from that time and some are on display at the Fort Steuben Visitors Center while others can be found at the University of Steubenville.

The hospital included a surgeon and a shelf filled with medical supplies.

Several times over the years, people had been interested in reconstructing the fort, but it wasn’t until 1986 that two ladies became enthusiastic about the project after attending a lecture by the archaeologists. Their enthusiasm led to the community becoming involved in the project. It began in 1989 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the fort was completed.

Nutcracker Village happens each year during November and December.

Fort Steuben Park has become a central part of community activities as this is where they hold the Dean Martin Celebration, Nutcracker Village, Farmers’ Market, 4th of July Fireworks, and weekly concerts in Berkman Amphitheater during the summer months. The fort is a private effort funded by local supporters and is staffed with a director and many helpful volunteers.

The table in the Officers’ Quarters was used for dining and as a place to spread out maps of the surveyors.

Taking a self-guided tour or touring the fort with a trained interpreter in this reconstructed village gives you a glimpse of what life was like over 230 years ago. There are seven buildings in the complex where you will find posted stories of the trials and tribulations suffered without today’s modern conveniences. Step inside the Officer’s Quarters, Hospital, Commissary, or Guard House to learn their stories.

The original Federal Land Office, where plots of land were sold, was moved close to the fort.

A special feature is the Federal Land Office, the first one built in the United States in 1800. The original building has been moved near the fort. There seemed to be a natural connection as this Land Office was where people came to buy the land after it had been surveyed. The agent and his family lived in the Land Office cabin.

The agent and his family lived inside the Land Office.

The land was measured off in plots of one square mile, which would be 640 acres. A settler could purchase a square mile for $1 an acre but had to buy 640 acres. Later, those plots were divided and settlers could purchase 320 acres for $2 an acre. Some consider this Ohio’s Ellis Island as it was at the Land Office that people started new lives.

Berkman Amphitheater has weekly concerts during the summer months.

The outstanding Visitors’ Center is open all year long while Fort Steuben is open from May through October. Hours for both are from 10 am – 4 pm. Admission to the fort is $10 for adults and $7 for students 6-12. Those under six are admitted free.

If you enjoy history, you’re sure to enjoy visiting the Welcome Center and Fort Steuben.

Another year arrives when folks from far and wide gather in Cambridge City Park for the annual Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend from August 13-15. 2021 will be the 51st year for the festival to be held. Over the years, it has changed with the times but still keeps the juried art as its basis.

Visitors are sure to find something special as the festival includes artists, entertainers, concessions, crafts, student art, heritage tent, marketplace, and some surprises. This weekend event will bring a smile to your face as you see friends and neighbors throughout the park. Here are some highlights of the weekend.

Artists

Artists Russ Shaffer and Virginia Price have been with the festival for many years.

All the work that is seen at this festival is made by the artists themselves. Many will be demonstrating their craft as you watch them make rugs, pottery, musical instruments, and more. It’s a fun time to perhaps find a hobby you might enjoy during the rest of the year.

Maggie and Gene Jorgensen together create beautiful jewelry. Gene also does unique forged iron shapes.

Many of the artists have been in attendance for many years. One artist has actually been at the festival since its beginning. Virginia Price, 101 years old, will again be displaying her watercolors. She still paints even today so is a precious part of the festivities. New artists like Ken Vaughan will showcase their leather goods made from deerskin. Variety can be found around every bend.

Entertainers

The Loves Gospel Quartet, comprised of a father and his three sons, is always a crowd favorite.

Throughout the weekend, the Performing Arts Tent or the Big Pavilion provides a place to rest while listening to talented artists sing, dance, or play their musical instruments. You won’t be disappointed in the variety of music being presented.

These Ladies of Longford give a lively performance of Itish music.

The Loves Gospel Quartet is a popular local group that is always a crowd-pleaser as well as the Cambridge City Band and Muskingum Symphonic Winds. A Celtic group, The Ladies of Longford, delight the crowd with their lively Irish music, and for those who enjoy bluegrass, join Kevin Prater Band, another favorite.

Concessions

Buckeye Concessions is a favorite place for kettle korn and lemonade.

Everyone likes to take a break from walking the grounds and have a treat, or lunch at one of the many concession stands. You’ll be able to get everything from homemade ice cream or kettle corn to a cool Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade.

You might have to wait in line to get some of Russo’s Wood Fired Pizza.

Then head down to the big pavilion to sit down with friends and have lunch. Get some delicious Zeke’s BBQ, Rosso’s wood-fired pizza, or stop by J.C. Concessions for a sandwich or meal that will give you strength to carry on with your festival enjoyment.

Crafts

Crafts for children are a favorite part of the festival. Adults can join in as well.

Each year local ladies interested in the arts create many ideas to be used by children and adults in a special pavilion. For children, they range from masks and crowns to picture frames. Adults might create a design on a tote bag or jar.

Craft classes are held daily in one of the small pavilions with patient ladies guiding children and adults in creating some artistic items they are sure to want to display at home. Cost for these classes is $3 and under.

Student Art

These artistic students were award winners at the 2019 show. They are pictured with sponsors and organizers.

A popular exhibit has become the student art display by youngsters from K-12. Several area art teachers have projects with their class for display and other students submit something they have done at home. Prizes are awarded in different age groups to encourage children to continue practicing their artistic talents.

Artwork from area students of all ages can be found in the Student Art Tent.

High school seniors have a special category as each year a senior or two are awarded scholarships to continue their love of art. Last year a scholarship to continue their education was also given to a college student who had artistic creations on display.

Heritage Arts Tent

Chuck and Shana Fair demonstrate pottery making and decorating in the Heritage Arts Tent.

Showing their Appalachian heritage, many local craftsmen and groups display their talents in this large tent. Here you might find someone making pottery, quilts, or weaving wool.

Carl Wickham has his hand carved Civil War items on display. They are made to scale…just perfect!

Local organizations and individuals display their Appalachian connection through displays of the Guernsey County Historical Society, CARA, and Zane Grey Museum. It’s a great place to learn more about our area’s history throughout the years.

Marketplace

Popular Candy’s Gourmet Fudge is back with delicious baked goods as well.

For many years, Ohio-made products have been featured. Most are tasty treats from the area such as honey, jellies, homemade baked goods, and candy.

Lisa Bell of Farmstead Bakery makes the most delicious gluten-free products you have ever tasted.

Bell Farmstead Bakery will be back with their tasty, gluten-free items. While there you can also pick up a bouquet of flowers to brighten your day or the day of a friend. All of these are from Ohio individuals or companies.

Salt Fork Festival Chorus entertains on Sunday afternoon with voices of local people who love to sing.

For 50 years, the festival has given many an opportunity to display their works of art as well as their musical talents. Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend is a great chance for free entertainment as you walk through over a hundred different artists’ displays.

Put the weekend of August 13-15 on your calendar as a time to explore the arts at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival at the Cambridge City Park. Take your family or friends along for a fun-filled artistic day with great entertainment and food that satisfies.

See you at the festival!

Something new has been added to entertainment for youngsters who enjoy a walk in nature. Ohio Department of Natural Resources added Storybook Trails in 2020 to five state parks as a place for youngsters to explore the world of books as well as nature. Ohio is one of only seven states with free admission to all of its 75 state parks.

This Storybook Trail entrance is at Dillon State Park.

The first park to have a Storybook Trail was Alum Creek State Park. Other parks that share the nature trail include Dillon, John Bryan, Maumee Bay, and Wingfoot State Parks. More will be added. Here families can walk down scenic trails while learning about nature from authors who received inspiration from it.

Each park features a different book regarding nature and the books are changed at least once every year. This year, ODNR partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library to provide story content to the trails.

Reading and enjoying nature are two important values being developed. These Storybook Trails bring books to life for children and families. Along the way, you might want to sit down at a picnic table to enjoy lunch or a snack in the great out-of-doors. Some of the trails are paved while others are grass.

This summer, read “In the Trees, Honey Bees” along the Dillon trail.

Dillon State Park in Zanesville was the first Storybook Trail in Muskingum County. Here the story of “In the Trees, Honeybees” by Lori Mortensen is presented in child-high pages along Black Locust Trail. That’s down by the beach and ball courts with a great playground close by.

Children enjoy reading the story page by page.

“In the Trees, Honey Bees” is a rhyming book about nature. Younger children always like rhymes while on the sidebar there are creative activities and information about bees, pollination, and honey for older children. Students actually chose this book as they understand the need to save the honey bees.

This half-mile trail encourages children to explore the world of nature and is not too long for younger children or grandparents. There are 16 colorful child-high panels that bring the book to life and feature fun facts, nature clues, and activities. Trail-side interactive panels will have readers buzzing like a bee or breaking into a bee dance. These boards also encourage reading as you read the entire book along the trail.

Some activities will take you on a side trail that circles back to the main trail so you don’t miss any of the story. These extras add excitement to the day if you have the time and energy.

Choose a book from Little Free Library at the end of the trail.

When you are finished walking the trail, stop at the Free Little Library, where you can borrow a book to take home with you or leave books for someone else to enjoy.

This young man enjoyed reading the story last summer.

The Muskingum County Library liked this idea so much that they created a Story Walk in downtown Zanesville in June 2020. They change their stories with the seasons so you will frequently have a new adventure.

Stories change frequently on the Story Walk and the walk ends at the library.

At this time, you can read the story of “Officer Buckle and Gloria” as the pages are set in the beautiful flower containers along 5th Street beginning at Market Street, and end up at the Muskingum County Library.

Families enjoy the Story Walk in downtown Zanesville.

Officer Buckle presents safety programs to Napville Elementary School. But the children pay little attention until…he brings his dog, Gloria, along with him. The children love the antics of Gloria. Take the Story Walk and find out how the story ends.

Kidzville in Riverside Park provides an enjoyable and safe place for children and families.

Plans are near completion for another Story Walk near Kidzville in Riverside Park along the beautiful Muskingum River. Permanent frames will be installed this summer downtown and at the park so stories can be changed frequently.

Book pages have been enlarged for easy and fun reading.

Placing Story Walks at strategic places in the county where the community frequents will encourage reading and exercise. Springtime has brought families and their children to Kidzville as a great place to play in the fresh air. It’s a busy place. Many families are looking forward to the opening of the Kidzville Story Walk.

All three story trails provide a great place for a free stroll through nature with your children or grandchildren as you read a book, get some exercise, and explore the world of nature together.

Follow this shady trail to read all pages of the story at Dillon State Park.

Storybook Trail at Dillion State Park just west of Zanesville is the perfect place for a day with the entire family. Often visitors see white-tailed deer, grouse, wild turkeys, waterfowl, and sometimes even a bald eagle. The trail is located near a nice playground with a picnic area, and very close to the beach for a day in the sun. Visit there soon for free outdoor family fun. Be sure to pack a picnic basket!

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