Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Romance Blossoms at Dickens Victorian Village

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

~Charles Dickens

There was a special connection the first time they met.

The spirit of Christmas at Dickens Victorian Village leads to many interesting adventures. One of those involves a couple who just happened to meet at Sheetz in New Philadelphia when Shannon was having car trouble and Curtis appeared to help. They sensed a connection that first evening.

After that, they talked on the phone several times and agreed to meet again at Sheetz before going to dinner in New Philadelphia on November 22, 2014. Curtis discovered through the phone calls that Shannon had a real passion for Christmas. After dinner at Pro’s Table, he suggested they go to Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge.

Shannon had never been there before but loved Dickens Victorian Village at first sight. They walked from 6th Street to 11th Street and enjoyed all the Victorian scenes. They laughed, talked, and had a great time.

Shannon decorates her tree with her longtime collection of Hallmark ornaments.

Shannon loves the Christmas season because it’s a time when everyone is happy and thoughtful. Families gather around the Christmas tree to exchange gifts and share their love. To her, the season is filled with happiness.

In December, even though Curtis has a passion for heavy metal music, he arranged to take Shannon to hear the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Pittsburgh. While there, he took her a ride on the Incline in a car reserved just for them. On the way down, he presented her with a promise ring – with a promise that he would never hurt her. Charles Dickens expressed that same vow for all of us when he wrote, “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

Shannon was walked down the aisle by her brother with the Dickens characters in the background.

A year later, on November 22, 2015, Curtis and Shannon were married at the Courthouse during the Dickens Victorian Village season. They loved the Christmas spirit that they felt there. It started out a fairly warm day; however, just during the wedding ceremony, snow fell creating a magical snowball effect.

Curtis and Shannon were married at the Guernsey County Courthouse with snow falling just for their ceremony.

Shannon told Curtis he could wear whatever he wanted to the wedding as she knew he didn’t like dressing up in a suit. Curtis chose his leather Harley jacket, hat, and boots. Then Shannon decided to wear Harley boots under her traditional wedding gown. They wrote their own special vows. Their reception was held at the Senecaville Fire Department, where Curtis is a volunteer. Then they headed to Carlisle Inn for their honeymoon. Their fun never stops!

Christmas with her Christmas tree is a special time of the year for Shannon.

Their Christmas Trees are a source of real pleasure. Shannon collects Hallmark ornaments for one of their trees while Curtis has a Harley Christmas tree. Christmas is an important celebration at the Broners’ home.

Being bikers is an important part of their lives and they enjoy having their hot dog stand at biker events.

Curtis is a gas and welding specialist at Matheson..the gas professionals in Senecaville, while Shannon works as a medical secretary at Akron Children’s Hospital. Even though both of them have full-time jobs, Curtis always had a dream of having a hot dog cart. As a youngster of seven years old, he went to work with his dad who was a policeman. Outside the office, there was a hot dog cart where Curtis enjoyed getting his lunch and began dreaming.

In 2016, they went to Connecticut where a church had advertised a brand new cart for sale. The church didn’t realize all the work involved and was willing to sell it for a fair price. One of the first places they used that cart was at Seneca Lake when they were rebuilding the concession stand. That summer, the hot dog cart was at the lake every weekend.

The hot dog stand keeps them busy on weekends.

The only time they have ever sold on a street corner was for Dickens Victorian Village. They set up on the US Bank steps right beside the courthouse, their magical place. Broner hot dogs are all beef and none of their additions are from a can. Would you believe that a macaroni and cheese dog with bacon is their most popular seller? Other popular ones are their Carolina slaw dog and of course, a chili dog.

Their logo incorporates the fact that Curt is a volunteer at the fire department.

They don’t skimp on anything so you get a meal in a bun. Usually, their hot dog cart can now be found at festivals and Harley events. The Hot Dog Cart logo incorporates the firefighter with the traditional dalmatian dog and the helmet shows Curtis’ volunteer #23. Their slogan, “Putting out the fire in your belly,” goes with that firefighter logo. Slogan, logo, and name are all registered and can not be duplicated…much like the great taste of their hot dogs!

Riding Curt’s Harley is one of their favorite pastimes.

When asked what they might enjoy doing in the future, Shannon would like to go on a cruise to someplace warm. Curtis wants to ride his Harley across country on Route 66. Life for them will always be an adventure.

In the meantime, they enjoy returning to Dickens Victorian Village every November 22 to relive their first date with a walk downtown and a chance to see the beautiful Holiday Light Show. Dickens will always hold a special place in their hearts. Perhaps it will find a special spot in your heart too.

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasure of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!

~Charles Dickens

Burley Clay Products Add Beauty to Your Home

Burley Clay Products is located in Roseville in the old McCoy Pottery building,

Their passion is pottery! Burley Clay Products is the only company in the United States that still makes ceramic birdbaths, which are their number one selling item. However, they make other things that will surprise you.

Hand-painted birdbaths are a popular item.

Burley Clay began in 1923 on Maysville Pike in Zanesville when brothers, Zane and Dr. Samuel Burley, became interested in the clay industry. In 1984, the business was sold to Steven McCann, who began looking for a larger facility when in 1998 McCoy Pottery closed its doors and walked away leaving everything inside the plant as it was when work finished that day.

When McCoy closed, they left everything behind just as it was at closing time,

After much cleaning and removal of items, Burley Clay opened their factory at the old McCoy Pottery plant in Roseville in 2000, according to Vice-President Rick Emmert, who began his Burley Clay career in 1987 as an engineer. Rick had a long-time interest in clay as his grandfather owned a ceramic factory in the area and Rick often went to work with him. That led him to a degree in ceramic engineering from Ohio State University.

This WWI propeller was used to dry the pottery gradually at their Maysville plant,

Rick continues to have a deep interest in ceramics and enjoys the creative process. “I think it’s cool to make things from clay.” On the wall in his office, a WWI surplus propeller reminds him of the early days of Burley Clay when it was at the Maysville Pike facility. A dozen of these propellers ran during the night to dry the clay gradually.

This saddle is used in chimneys to reduce pollution and is made daily,

The item his grandfather made is still being made at Burley Clay today. It is a ceramic piece, called a saddle, that is used in industrial towers to help stop pollution. These are made mechanically today by the thousands and they currently have orders that carry them through next January. A popular item!

A fingerprint pad is made for foreign airports,

A fingerprint pad has become important for use in foreign airports. Another item used at airports around the world is an earplug that regulates air pressure while flying. Burley Clay makes the ceramic part while another company finishes the rubber addition. They have thousands of molds that they work with.

Burley Clay gave new life to this old McCoy kiln – “The Cadillac of Kilns.”

One machine, an Allied model, from McCoy Pottery days is still in use after recent repair. It is a unique round kiln that operates 24/7 on a continuous track firing pottery as it goes. It is known as the “Cadillac of Kilns” and produces about 5000 pieces a week.

They feel fortunate there’s a clay field just about a mile from their current facility. This clay was dropped there long ago by a glacier that moved through this section of Ohio. Vein #3 is about 30′ down and provides the fire clay they need. When mined, the clay looks like very hard rocks before they weather it. Then it is mixed into a liquid so they have a slab of clay to work with.

A Burley Clay employee, Cody Beisser, is jiggering a bird bath bowl.

Approximately 70 people run the plant today. Some retire and miss the action so much they return to work. Many have grown up playing as children in the factories of McCoy or Burley when their parents worked there. Family tradition plays a big role in their success. The birdbaths and planters are still all made by hand. Rick admitted, “We still like to do things the old-fashioned way.”

Vice-President Rick Emmert enjoys the creative process and takes pride in their products.

Today, you can buy things in their store at Burley Clay or at one of the stores they supply. Their products are sold all over the country mostly in mom-and-pop stores or nurseries. Items can also be ordered from their website and shipped directly to your home. They ship to about forty states, most of them being in the northeast.

Quality handmade items for the garden are made here.

Burley Clay is well known in the area for its community involvement. Many festivities will find a Burley Clay Birdbath or Planter contributed as part of the raffles or prizes. This also provides a great advertisement for their products.

This year the 56th Crooksville-Roseville Pottery Show will be held at the Roseville Village Park in front of the Burley Clay offices on July 14-16, 2022. Not only will you see fine pottery on display, but can enjoy pottery pitch, the beer garden, and helicopter rides (weather permitting). Check out their Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Their showroom is open all year long.

You know their product is a great one since they have been in business since 1923. Next year they will celebrate their 100th anniversary. Creating a place of beauty and peace for your home is their goal. Enhance your garden with products made in this area.

Baranich, Gable & Lee – The Pickin’ Preachers

Join three preachers with harmonizing voices while playing awesome guitars and you have excellent entertainment. Not only are Baranich, Gable & Lee talented musicians but they know how to connect with the crowd.

Kirk Gable brought the group together just two years ago and they have quickly become popular throughout the area. Kirk had been a songwriter and performed with several different bands – most of them rock and roll. However, when he received a calling to Christianity, he decided to gather a group that would play old country songs with a positive touch as well as gospel.

The group meets weekly to practice together to reach that special sound.

Kirk said, “I went looking for the best singers I knew.” He was acquainted with the Legendary Jim Lee, who was well known for his voice and played bass guitar…a sound Kirk needed. Next, he contacted Perry Baranich, a friend he had played with in previous bands as a great lead guitar.

When playing with other bands during the time of StarQuest at Capitol City Music Hall in Wheeling, each of them was a member of a band that ended up being a finalist. Perry smiled as he remembered that their band was beaten out by a young singer, Brad Paisley.

All these guys had been playing music since they were youngsters and all have learned on their own. However, it was still a surprise how easily they were able to play together with a great blend of sound. Their first performance was for the Golden Sixties at Byesville.

It just so happens that all three of these musicians are also pastors of area churches. While their churches remain the main part of their ministry, their musical performances have become an added element.

Kirk Gable

Kirk Gable, a carpenter by trade, played in a rock band with Perry until he was saved. At that time, he began playing gospel music and would fill in as an interim pastor at times.

The Gable family gathers for their traditional Christmas Eve service at Southern Hills Baptist Church.

One night after church, he heard a voice telling him, “Whatever someone asks you to do tonight, that’s what God wants you to do.” He received a phone call that evening from a group of people who needed a pastor, so he had to say yes. Today Kirk remains with that same group at the Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship in Cambridge.

Jim Lee

Jim Lee started playing guitar when he was eight years old. When he was a freshman in college he began preaching at three churches every Sunday with another pastor taking three more in that circuit.

Jim speaks and sings at his local church service.

The minister asked Jim, “Did you ever think of using music as part of your ministry?” That combination works very well for him. Today Jim is pastor of East Nemishillen Church of the Brethren in Canton.

Perry Baranich

Perry Baranich has led a varied life as began working in the coal mines in his younger days, and later enjoyed being a voice on AVC for many years. During this time, he also sang at various places.

Perry Baranich giving a sermon from home on a snowy morning.

One night on their way home, he told his wife Jodi, “I feel that God is calling me to do something else.” When he got home there was a message on their answering machine asking him if he would be interested in being pastor at Birds Run Community Church. A quick answer! Since then, in 2014, he moved to his current church, Salesville Church of Faith.

Individual musical practice at home happens every day but they meet once a week to play together and often try out some new ideas. It is something they do strictly for fun. While they try to be mistake-free, they aren’t worried about making a perfect impression.

Their wives Jodi, Cindy, and Michelle are their biggest fans wearing their new tee shirts.

Their fans enjoy not only the familiar songs but the wonderful sense of humor shared by the three pastors. You can tell they are real friends by the looks they exchange and the comments they make while performing. They are making good use of the talents they were blessed with. When asked what their favorite songs were, they said they only sing songs that are their favorites. “Peace in the Valley”, “Grandpa”, and “Make the World Go Away” are a few of the crowd favorites.

Guernsey County Senior Center enjoyed an evening of their familiar songs.

They have become quite popular in the area and had concerts at the Cambridge City Park Pavilion, Guernsey County Fair, Living Free at Pritchard Laughlin, and Ohio Hills Folk Festival. They have also appeared at Epworth Park, Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, and at many churches throughout the state.

The Pickin’ Preachers gave a patriotic salute at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival.

If you would like to have them play for your church or organization, please contact them through Kirk Gable at 740-680-0621 or message them on their Facebook page. They enjoy playing for wedding anniversaries, corporate meetings, or wherever they can. They just enjoy music and like to encourage people through their songs.

Since the group plays well-known country and gospel songs, quite often you’ll hear the audience sing along. After a concert, people leave with a smile on their face as they feel uplifted by the positive sounds of Baranich, Gable, and Lee – affectionately called The Pickin’ Preachers.

Dickens Victorian Village Bus Tours

Buses have coned places for parking in front of the Welcome Center.

Step back in time at Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio during the months of November and December. The friendly small-town atmosphere will have you feeling like you’ve arrived in jolly old London during the late 1800s. Bus groups get special treatment during their visits and we usually have nearly fifty groups a year during that season.

While this article is basically for the tour groups, you will find many things here that make it a great place for a family weekend adventure.

As soon as a tour group arrives in Cambridge,  you will get that Victorian feeling. A costumed guide will step on your bus at the edge of town and stay with you throughout the day as they tell how Dickens Victorian Village began sixteen years ago.

Our mayor welcomes you to Cambridge along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

Tour venues are very flexible as each group has particular interests. Most groups begin the day with a slow bus tour of six blocks of downtown Cambridge. During November and December, there is a Victorian scene under every lamppost in those six blocks. In 2021, there were 168 life-size mannequins in 96 different scenes.

A touch of snow adds to the holiday cheer on one of the Victorian scenes.

The scenes are based on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and also scenes from London during Dickens’ time. Each scene has a brass plaque attached, which explains its connection to that time in history.

Everyone enjoys a tasty treat from Kennedy’s Bakery.

Along the way, almost every bus group stops at Kennedy’s Bakery, a hometown favorite that has been in business since 1925. Three generations of the Kennedy family have created the same tasty pastries year after year. Bus groups stop back again and again.

Mosser Glass still produces glass at their factory with a beautiful Gift Shop included.

If you arrive in the morning, Mosser Glass provides an interesting stop as they are still making glass on site. Watch them create some beautiful glass pieces. Cher purchases turkey candy dishes here each year for her guests at Thanksgiving dinner. They have even provided beautiful glass Easter eggs to the White House. Their showroom is outstanding.

Volunteers at the Welcome Center are dressed in Victorian garb to welcome guests.

Down the street, the bus will have a coned off place to park near our Dickens Welcome Center. Here Father Christmas will greet the bus. Volunteers at the Welcome Center will talk about how the figures are made and encourage you to dress in Victorian clothes at Imagination Station. Have your picture taken for a fond memory with a beautiful Christmas tree or the figure of Charles Dickens himself.

Several unique shops help make this stop a pleasure for those who enjoy shopping.  Find a unique gift for yourself or a friend from several shops which include locally made articles.

Francis Family Restaurant has a large banquet room for buffets.
Mr. Lee’s Family Restaurant provides great meals and service
Theo’s Restaurant has delicious buffets and serve their homemade pies.

Of course, lunch is always an important stop of the day. Three local restaurants have delicious buffets that are only prepared for bus tours. Take your choice of Francis Family Restaurant, Lee’s, or Theo’s for a buffet that will leave you satisfied.

The Queen’s Tea takes place at the beautiful Cambridge Country Club.

Some wish to have an upscale lunch or dinner and choose to have dinner with Queen Victoria at the Cambridge Country Club where she tells about her life growing up in London from childhood to adult.

Victorian ladies greet you at the Cambridge Glass Museum.

Several museums give a great place to spend a couple of hours. Cambridge Glass Museum greets you with ladies dressed in Victorian costumes and tells you of Christmas at the Glasshouse. They will give you many hands-on activities to keep your group smiling.

Coal Miner Dave tells the story of those early coal mines in the area.

Another possibility is the Guernsey County Museum where you can meet Coal Miner Dave, who tells of those early years in the county.  At the same place, you will discover a one-room classroom and a teacher who will give you a lesson and perhaps even a test. Those are highlights of a museum packed with historic pieces.

Ladies enjoy wearing hats and shawls as they enjoy tea and sweets.

You might prefer having afternoon tea at one of our local churches. They will provide a short program of music and information before serving tea, scones, and cookies.

Finish off the evening with the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

We always end the day with the Holiday Courthouse Light Show, which has over 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music. An entire hour is different! The show starts every evening from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 from 5:30 – 9:00. You can even watch it from the coach.

These are just a few ideas you might include in your trip to Dickens Victorian Village. If you would like to learn more please contact me at DickensGroupTours@gmail.com for additional places to visit.

Handcrafted Wooden Toys & Collectibles by Wayne Dyer

Trucks were the first thing Wayne made and still a favorite.

Everything starts from a block of wood when making wooden toys and collectibles at River Valley Custom Woodworking in Port Washington. Wayne Dyer has become a skilled craftsman at building his highly detailed toys and barns.

His love of building began long ago at the age of ten when Wayne helped a lady pull nails from the boards of a building that was being torn down in Newcomerstown. Before you knew it, Wayne was helping her build.

After high school, Wayne enlisted in the Army and was sent to Vietnam where he became a bulldozer operator. After service, Wayne worked at many jobs for 43 years driving large equipment – creating landscapes, housing developments, and coal mining.

He takes pride in his vehicles both inside and out.

Now you can see why he enjoys making this large equipment in intricate detail. He knows it well so can make the small parts to perfection. If they aren’t just right, Wayne has been known to redo them three or four times until he gets the perfect part he wants.

Even before his retirement, Wayne enjoyed making furniture for 25 years. But that was too hard to store and move for display so he decided to make smaller things that he had room for.

A car begins with an outline on a block of wood.

The first piece he made was a small truck. When someone wanted to buy it, Wayne was reluctant to sell it as it was the beginning of a new life for him.

Wayne placed his label on the bottom of my wooden car.

His workshop is a busy place where he usually builds about six hours a day since his retirement in 2012. He doesn’t look at this as work or a job but instead pure enjoyment. That’s why he doesn’t have an online store but instead likes to take his finished products to fairs, festivals, and community events.

His school bus has detailed moveable signs, seats, and doors that open.

The talent of this self-taught man has created so many special vehicles – school buses, helicopters, bulldozers, cement mixers, and drilling rigs. While trucks are his favorite things to build, another specialty is replicas of barns. This has led to many awards in recent years.

His barns are one of his big sellers. People will send him a picture of their barn and ask him to make a miniature just like it. Some he designs himself and always adds an American flag. He uses a blow torch on the roofs of the barns to give them an older look.

A replica he made of the Tuscarawas Fair Barn is on display there.

Many blue ribbons have been placed on his barns at the Tuscarawas County Fair. This year he also took blue ribbons for a tractor-trailer backhoe and a drilling rig, which is his newest creation.

He received awards both years he exhibited at the Salt Fork Festival.

Wayne was a new artist at the Salt Fork Festival in 2019 and has since won two People’s Choice Awards. Last year he also won the George Eikenberry Award for “Natural Beauty.”

Much of his work is done from pictures. Wayne has been doing this so long that he doesn’t need a blueprint to build things to scale. After he draws the outline on wood, he then cuts it out with his band saw. Most of the time he uses oak so his creations are strong, but sometimes he adds maple for variety.

Wayne built a cement mixer for a Christmas present.

While visiting, Wayne was working on Christmas presents. One of them was a wooden cement mixer, where the mixer actually turned. He’s great at adding special little details to everything he does. He was cutting out parts for several mixers at once to save himself time.

His firetruck contains over 500 individual pieces.

One of his popular sellers is a 1948 Woodie station wagon like that used by the Beach Boys. He uses a picture of it on his business card.

The Apache helicopters have become collector’s items.

His greatest joy in making his toys is seeing people buy things for their kids. He has fun building things and considers it “a labor of love.” However, all his toys are not purchased for children. He has many adults who have collections of his wooden replicas of fire trucks, army tanks, and Apache helicopters.

Wayne drove a bulldozer like this so knew the details well.

Wayne creates all this in his workshop near his home and enjoys the challenge of customer requests. But if it is something he feels he just couldn’t do to perfection, he won’t attempt it. You can find his things for sale at Atwood Fall Festival, Dutch Valley, Gnadenhutten Farmers Market, Salt Fork Festival, and Tusky Days Festival. He enjoys participating in shows that support the community.

A wooden manger is popular during the Christmas season.

You can reach Wayne by phone at 740-498-4686 or watch for him at one of the local festivals. You’re sure to be pleased with his detailed work. He’s always thinking of something new to build.

Oglebay Festival of Lights Brings Winter Joy

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.

Celebrate the Holidays at Dickens Victorian Village

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.

Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival – Coming Back Strong in ’21

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!

Julia Swan’s Quilts Tell a Story

Traditional would not be a word that describes Julia Swan or her quilts. Julia has been a community minded lady all her life and helped introduce many new ideas in the area. It wasn’t until after the children had all left home that Julia seriously worked on quilting. She tried a few of the traditional patterns but found that she enjoyed making her own creative designs instead.

Angels of God quilt used mother’s handkerchief collection.

Most of her quilts have a story behind them. The Angels of God quilt began with dying the fabric to look like Marc Chagalla’s sky. Louis Palmer, art professor at Muskingum College, helped her arrange the background of angels, which were made from folded handkerchiefs that her mother collected.

When they walked around the fabric, Palmer noticed a godlike figure had appeared in the fabric so Julia used it as the focal point and highlighted it with quilting. The halos for the angels were lace doilies. Their faces were originally to be white until Julia accidentally dropped them in her coffee cup then they had many different skin shades.

The Exhibition quilt contained pictures drawn by her grandchildren.

The Exhibition, more a wall hanging than a quilt, is a collection of three drawings done by her grandchildren when they were three or four years old. These looked like modern art to her eyes! When Julia’s children were young, they had bunny fur jackets so she used some of that fur for the coat of the lady in this wall hanging.

The Many Faces of Liberty represented Ohio in a national quilt competition.

During a Statue of Liberty contest, each state had a quilt chosen to be displayed in New York City. Julia’s quilt, The Many Faces of Liberty, was chosen from Ohio. The face on each Liberty figure was created to represent the people of many nations who have immigrated to the United States. To personalize the quilt, one face has red hair since nearly all members of the Swan family have red hair.

Ohio Barn quilt appeared in Ohio University’s quilt show during Ohio’s Bicentennial celebration.

Pride in family continues as Julia and her granddaughter Anna have combined efforts to make a book of her quilts, Julia’s Quilts “Through the Eye of a Needle,” so the family will always remember their meaning. Her granddaughter is a Delta pilot but not doing much flying these days.

Tom and Julia enjoyed family fun with their four children.

Julie met Tom Swan, the love of her life, at Muskingum College and they settled in Cambridge where Tom had his medical practice and Julia was busy raising four children. At that time Julia was busy giving Red Cross swimming lessons, which were free to all children in the area and volunteered at Hill ‘n Dale Girl Scout Camp.

During this time, Julia enjoyed knitting and made sweaters, mittens, and scarves for everyone in the family. She made needlepoint pillows for almost every chair in the house. That artistic side of her just couldn’t stay hidden. The family enjoyed performing together, hiking, and camping.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars has been marching in area parades for 45 years!

In 1975, Julia was instrumental in developing what some called a Marching Flag but what the ladies of their bridge club called Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. That first parade was the Bi-Centennial Celebration in downtown Cambridge when the ladies donned their flag sections and marched with the tallest on the side toward the stars going down to the shortest on the other end.

Julia recalled that no mechanical transportation was permitted in that parade so everything was drawn by horses. That made for some careful stepping with the white pants and white shoes of the flag ladies.

This group still marches today in most Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades. There are still two of the original in the group and two daughters of original members have continued the tradition.

This picture was taken at their first parade in 1975.

A special project that involved quilting took place when the Hospital Wing she was a member of decided to hold the Daffodil Luncheon. Al Shore from New York City brought clothes down for modeling during the early years. For about thirty years, the wing members all did a square of a daffodil quilt, which raised money for the hospital through chances sold.

The Swan family supported the Salt Fork Ats & Crafts Festival from its beginning and provided, among other things, a puppet show that children loved and still remember to this day.

Julia uses her picture at a Dickens scene for her Christmas card each year.

Julia enjoys going downtown and visiting with the Victorian scenes on Wheeling Avenue during Dickens Victorian Village. Each year she has her picture taken with one of the scenes. One year she was wiping the coal dust from the face of one of the coalminers with her white handkerchief.

Granddaughter Anna and Julia get creative with ceramics.

Writing letters to friends is also something she has always enjoyed but today she writes wearing a glove to help protect her fingers. Her letters are still filled with positive thoughts and humorous stories in spite of the difficulty with writing. She encourages friends with her motto for living, “Life’s much more fun when you enjoy reading, art, and music. Learn to enjoy each day.”

Playing golf has been one of her favorite pastimes for years.

She even creates cards for her family. On Valentine’s Day, her card included a picture of one of her quilts and this verse:

Come to the gallery along with me

Such pleasures there are yet to be

Admiring these quilts of mine

Together with my Valentine.

Julia still stayed very busy up until the recent pandemic. She has a strong faith in God and enjoys Bible study and sings in the choir at her church. Being a volunteer at the John & Annie Glenn Museum also has given her great pleasure over the years. She is currently part of the planning committee for the 100th John Glenn Celebration scheduled for this summer in Cambridge and New Concord.

Family fun in the great outdoors make for a pleasant day.

Every day is a special adventure for Julia Swan. She doesn’t feel that all the wonderful things in her life have been merely coincidences but part of a bigger plan. She tells family and friends, “Be open to God’s surprises.”

Boss Bison Ranch Features Native American Pow Wow

Karen and the late John Sticht helped sponsor Ride ‘n Roll Motorcycle Dice Run.

Dreams of retirement in the country brought John and Karen Sticht from Euclid to Cadiz, where they wanted to build a log home on a couple of acres and have two bison to manicure their lawn. John definitely did not want to have to mow the yard! That dream has expanded into a family business at Boss Bison Ranch.

This beautiful log home was built for retirement purposes.

Now the ranch has more grass than they know what to do with on 180 acres. The number of shaggy bison has also increased to 46 and slowly growing. These are sturdy animals as their wool covering keeps them cozy down to 60 below.

Karen displays the soft warm items made from bison wool.

Shedding of wool occurs in the springtime with full coats grown back by November. That wool is soft to the touch and has been made into hats, socks, and gloves that are exceptionally warm. It is usually mixed with sheep’s wool to keep it from being too warm!

Tours of the farm get you up close to the bison in the field.

Reminiscent of the days of the old west, thundering hooves of bison can be heard at Boss Bison Ranch when the herd takes a notion to run. Their grandson, Duncan, enjoys taking you on a farm tour in a pick-up or four-wheeler so you can get close to the huge buffalo. Children especially enjoy feeding them bread and petting their soft wooly coats.

The herd enjoys shade on a hot spring day.

Boss Bison Ranch is proud to honor the history of the buffalo as they feel that it once roamed this section of Ohio. The Native Americans used every part of the buffalo with nothing being wasted. Meat was important but so was the hide, which was tanned for clothes, blankets, and teepees. Even their bones were put to use for everything from needles and buttons to dishes and hoes.

A bison mom watches over her new calf.

Springtime is a special time to see the newborn calves as they follow their mothers over the hills and interact with other new calves. It’s a peaceful time to sit and watch these large animals gently moving through the plentiful grass. Most of the calves are born from late April to early June, but there have been surprises at Thanksgiving!

Pick up bison and elk meat from their freezer in the store.

A three-year-old buffalo will dress out at 400 pounds of fresh meat. You are sure to be told the health value of eating bison meat. It has less fat, calories, and cholesterol. Bison actually contains higher amounts of protein, iron, and Vitamin-B than beef, chicken, or pork. Members of the National Bison Association make certain their animals graze on grass and are not fed in feedlots with added chemicals or hormones.

Their food wagon serves bisonburgers and bison chili cheese dogs.

The Stichts’ family has a retail and butcher shop that is open to the public. You might want to take some of this lean meat home with you! They have a food wagon that travels the area for festivals and pow wows. Recently they have been at a Salt Fork Pow Wow and the Hopedale Motorcycle Memorial.

These drummers performed at a previous festival.

The 7th Annual Baby Bison Days Pow Wow, a special event open to the public, is being held at the ranch on June 19-20, Father’s Day weekend. Prepare to enjoy an indigenous Native American Pow Wow that honors Veterans and First Responders!

Host drum at the pow wow this year will be Red Bird Singers.

There will be Native American dancing, Native crafts, over 20 Native vendors, and demonstrations. All drums are welcome with Red Bird Singers being the host drum and TBA co-host. There is a $5 admission fee for the day along with a non-perishable food item. All donations go to Haractus Food Pantry.

The bison will be close to the festivities that day so you can get a good view of these magnificent animals and their calves. You’ll want to stop at their lunch wagon for a buffaloburger. Buffaloburgers are 95% lean meat so you really get a quarter-pounder when you order one. Items served at the wagon include buffaloburgers, hot dogs, french fries, buffalo chili, and beverages. Popular items are a mushroom swiss buffaloburger and buffalo chili cheese dogs.

Perhaps you will get a chance to touch the soft fur of a baby bison.

Make sure to plan a visit to Boss Bison Ranch at 45701 Unionvale Road, Cadiz Mon-Sat 10-6 to see those magnificent bison that once roamed freely in our country. Now these amazing animals can be seen, fed, and touched for free at the ranch.

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