After a one-year hiatus, Ripley will be holding a summer festival.
The Ohio Rural Heritage Festival will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, complete with a parade, concerts, and the ever popular baby pageant.
The event is free to attend and nearly 40 vendors will be on display, selling goods or providing educational material.
While festival organizers sought to emulate some of the successes of the Ohio Tobacco Festival, the organizers also made a big push for more educational displays and more community involvement.
“We want to promote our heritage,” said Kristel Salisbury-Titus, president of the Ripley Lions Club and a volunteer festival organizer. “We want to be able to say we’re giving back to the community. That’s the focus of the heritage festival. We want to be able to say that our heritage is that we give back to the community. That’s the reason our festival will be educational.”
One of the educational features is a 20×10 fish tank from the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, better known as ORSANCO. As part of a program called Life Below the Waterline, ORSANCO sends a freshwater aquarium filled with fish and other aquatic life, in an effort to show Ohio River Valley residents what lives below their most important freshwater resource.
“They’re an educational outlet that we’re utilizing so that we can let people know what’s going on beyond just the water we see on the top,” Salisbury-Titus said. “We want to pass clean water on to kids. It’s part of our heritage. If you don’t have clean water, you don’t have much quality of life.”
Sticking to the educational aspect, Ned Lodwick has been selected to be the Grand Marshal.
Even before the start of the festival, the Rural Heritage Association is keeping true to their community ideals. Salisbury-Titus confirmed that a portion of funds raised recently for the festival was donated to the Kennard and Barrios families in response to the deadly flooding in Stringtown that took the lives of three people.
“We as a group wanted to give back to the community,” Salisbury-Titus said.
Just nine months ago, the Ohio Rural Heritage Festival was just an idea discussed from some in the village. But through the hard work of many volunteers, Rural Heritage Association president Jo Ann Morgan Otto, vice-president Kim Stacy, treasurer Ronda Pendland, and secretary Kathy Lewis, the festival is on schedule and full speed ahead for Friday’s debut.
“If I could say anything, it’s a team effort of a group of concerned citizens of Ripley who want to provide a festival and return to the community the realization of our heritage,” Salisbury-Titus said. “That’s what we want to do.”
Below is a look at the schedule for the 2015 Ohio Rural Heritage Festival, which includes two performances by Hot Rod and Fast Lane.
4 p.m. – Lineup for the parade at RULH Elementary School
6 p.m. – Parade will begin down U.S. 52 westbound.
Ripley Fire and EMS Public Safety Display will be on upper Main Street following the parade
8-11 p.m. – Hot Rod and the Fast Lane performing on the main stage
10 p.m. – Daily Raffle Draw will occur
7 a.m. – Registration for the 5K race, sponsored by the Ripley Fire Department
8 a.m. – Start of 5K race
8 a.m. – Check in for Car and Truck Show on Main St.
8-12 p.m. – Car and Truck Show.
9 a.m. – Vendors open
9 a.m. – Baby Show registration on Front Street, $10 fee per entry.
9 a.m. – Cherry St. Park, St. Michaels will be having children’s games, bouncy castle for children
10 a.m. – Baby Show begins on main stage
12 p.m. – Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, registration on Cherry Street
12 p.m. – Quilt Show at the library meeting room
12 p.m. – Pizza eating contest at the main stage on Front Street – Sponsored by Fancy’s Famous Pizza. $5 registration fee
1 p.m. – Kids Pedal Tractor Pull begins
1 p.m. – Cow Pie Bingo at Cherry Street Park. The RULH High School cheerleaders will be administering the game.
1 p.m. – RULH Jr. High School cheerleaders demonstration on the main stage on Front Street
1 p.m. – Cornhole Tournament registration
1 pm – Horseshoe Tournament registration
2 p.m. – Cornhole Tournament begins
2 p.m. – Kids Talent Show on main stage on Front St.
3 p.m. – Horseshoe Tournament begins
4 p.m. – Good Time Cloggers perform on main stage
5 p.m. – Duck Race begins, $5 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the Ripley Lions Club pavilion prior to 5 p.m.
5 p.m. – Ben Pedigo performs on main stage on Front Street
8-11 p.m. – Hot Rod and the Fast Lane on main stage on Front Street
Daily Raffle Drawing throughout the day
11 p.m. – Vendors and Festival closes