Heritage ‘looks toward future’
Lanesville expects to be inundated with visitors beginning Friday and lasting through Sunday when it hosts the 37th annual Lanesville Heritage Weekend festival.
In addition to preparations by the Heritage committee, many nonprofit organizations use the event as a fundraiser.
Take Lanesville United Methodist Church, which has been selling homemade ice cream at the festival since its inception in 1975. Many members were at the church Saturday making 90 gallons of homemade ice cream ‘ vanilla, chocolate, peach, strawberry, pineapple and sugar-free vanilla ‘ to sell this weekend.
They’ll be selling the frozen treat, as well as other food items, from their new booth, which is shaped like their church, which was founded in 1859, and has a cross that lights up on the front apex. Wayne Allen, the church’s trustee chairman, came up with the idea for the booth, and Joshua Bleecker, son of the Rev. Edith Bleecker, is painting faux stained-glass windows.
‘Our goal is to serve people,’ said the Rev. Bleecker, who has been at Lanesville UMC for two years.
The church also hosts an ice cream social in July that dates back to 1952.
The festival officially begins Friday at 11 a.m. when food will be available in the Heritage Building. An hour later, all other booths are set to open and demonstrations of old-time farm machinery will get underway.
Highlights scheduled for opening day include the princess pageant, for girls ages 4 through 6, at 6 p.m. followed by the queen pageant, for girls in grades 9 through 12 who live in Franklin Township or attend school there. The contest will take place at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School. Admission will be $2 (children younger than 4 will be admitted free); half of the admission price will go to the Relay for Life of Harrison County.
Queen contestants are Shelby Blackerby, 14, a freshman, who is the daughter of Rob and Michelle Blackerby; Taylor Brown, 15, sophomore, daughter of Barry and Terri Brown; Celine Esparza, 17, senior, daughter of Charles and Demariz Esparza; Elise Lawson, 15, sophomore, daughter of Ray Lawson and Lea Koons; Rebecca Riley, 17, senior, daughter of Larry and Lori Riley; Hailey Turner, 15, sophomore, daughter of Todd and Melissa Turner; and Madi White, 15, sophomore, daughter of Scot and Jill White.
Scales for the truck pull will open at 5 p.m., with the competition set to start at 7.
An amateur fiddlers’ contest will begin at 8 p.m. in the Heritage Community Center, and weather permitting, there will be a hot-air balloon glow, also at 8, at the high school track.
Activities resume Saturday morning at 8, with all booths opening, breakfast in the Heritage Building and the 8-mile run (a 5-mile walk will begin at 8:10 followed by a 2-mile run at 8:15).
At 9 will be the farm toy show that will be followed by an exhibitor antique tractor pull at 10. The pull for newer tractors and trucks will start at 5. And the hot air balloon race is scheduled for 6.
The other big draw for the day is the parade, which will begin at 1 p.m., starting on the west edge of town and traveling east to the Heritage grounds’ entrance. The theme this year is ‘Thinking of the past, looking toward the future.’
Several events are slated for Sunday, including a worship service at 9 a.m. at the gazebo; farm toy show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; antique tractor games at 11 a.m.; horseshoe pitching at noon; entertainment and a log-sawing contest at 1 p.m.; pedal tractor pull at 2 p.m.; antique farm machinery parade at 2:30 p.m.; an a concert by The Monarchs from 3 to 5 p.m.
At 5 p.m. will be the closing ceremonies, which will include cash giveaways.
Throughout the three days will be various demonstrations, including basket making, broom making, a cider mill, quilting, shingle making, shredding, stationary baling/threshing and wood turning.
Admission to the festival is free, and free shuttle service is available.
For those who can’t get enough of tractors, there will be an antique tractor pull tomorrow evening (Thursday) beginning at 6:30.
For more information about the festival, visit online at www.lanesvilleheritageweekend.org.
Book gives image of Lanesville, Franklin Twp.
Just in time for Lanesville Heritage Weekend, Arcadia Publishing has released a new book, ‘Images of America: Lanesville and Franklin Township.’
The author of the book is Tim Bridges, a native of Harrison County who teaches history at his alma mater, Lanesville Junior-Senior High School.
‘We’ve never had a book about our town,’ said Bridges, who was raised in northern Franklin Township. ‘This is my history, too.’
He dedicated the book to the late Bruce Green, Bridges’ teacher then, later, colleague and friend.
Green had ‘a box of stuff,’ including photographs, in his garage that Bridges salvaged to create the 128-page soft-cover book.
‘I feel like I saved a part of our history,’ Bridges said, adding that in the past few months, some of his sources have died. ‘I had to go door to door … I was like a detective. There was a lot of table talk.
‘There are some pictures included in the book that people had never seen before,’ he said.
It took about two years for Bridges to complete the project.
The book is available at Walgreens, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Amazon.com and Arcadia Publishing for $21.99 plus tax. However, during this weekend’s annual Lanesville festival, Bridges will have a booth at the shelter house near the east end of the Heritage grounds to sell copies for $20, including tax, and will autograph them.
‘It’s a history of our town,’ Bridges said, adding it’s not a complete history because it’s from the memories of several people.
For more information or to make arrangements to have Bridges autograph a book at another time, call 736-9350.