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Fort Fest transports village back to 1812 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:10 AM


Staff Writer

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FORT JENNINGS—The village of Fort Jennings is gearing up for its community park celebration, Fort Fest, which will run Friday through Sunday and will offer many truly unique historical experiences for all that attend.

Some fascinating events are scheduled for Fort Fest and include: Camp of 1812/Senior Day; “Eyes of Freedom” Display; Heritage Ball; Tomahawk Throwing Contest; Fort Building Contest; and Horse-Drawn History Tours.

Dr. Wes Klir, who has been a huge part of planning and managing the festival activities in Memorial Hall, described the activities available for adults and children taking place all weekend.

“This festival is so different in so many ways,” Klir detailed. “People can immerse themselves into this history.”

The festival kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday withCamp 1812/Senior Day, an interactive camp for grade school children that takes place at the park. Until 3 p.m., there will be crafts and skills used by militia showcased.

“It’s also Senior Day and it will be a great opportunity for grandchildren and grandparents to interact together,” Klir detailed.

At noon, the MIA/POW Wall and “Eyes of Freedom” Display will arrive via motorcade and helicopter procession into the park and to the fire station.

“Six local veterans on an Honor Flight will arrive with the memorial displays,” Klir explained.

Also on Friday, the Huey 369 Flights will begin at noon at the park and run until 5 p.m. Saturday hours are to be determined and Sunday hours are from 10:30-6 p.m.

The Heritage Ball, which is held at Memorial Hall, is a 1812 re-enactment dinner with classic American cuisine where there will be an 1812 toast and entertainment. All re-enactment actors are invited and eat dinner for free and the general public is welcome. Since it was so popular and sold out last year with only one seating, this year there are two seatings from 6-8:30 p.m. — one on Friday and one on Saturday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 17 years of age and help offset the costs of the free meals for the actors.

“It’s about as close to a PBS documentary as you can get,” Klir proudly stated.

On Saturday, the Fort Jennings Tomahawk Throwing Contest will be held in the 1812 area in Fort Jennings Park along the Auglaize River. Walk-in registration will be held at the park tennis courts from 9-10:30 a.m. and registration is $5 per person to compete. The price includes a tomahawk, knife throwing exhibition and instruction by expert throwers.

Participants can check out the exhibition, receive instruction and practice before the competition, which begins at 10:30 a.m. and continues until the champions are chosen. The contest is open to all ages and brackets are: K-2nd grade; 3rd-5th grade; 6th-8th grade; High School; Adult; and Adult-Senior (50+). Bracket winners will receive a Champion T-shirt and bragging rights for one full year

Starting at 9 a.m. in Memorial Hall, there will be a Hometown Heroes Exhibit, which will present artifacts from military folks living in the area.

“These items people will not see in a museum,” Klir said. “These items—Purple Heart Medals—come out of the attics and closets of the family members of those who served.”

The Ohio National Guard display will also be available for viewing beginning at 9 a.m. in Memorial Hall.

“The display encompasses 16 mannequins demonstrating the progression of the Ohio National Guard (O.N.G.) from the Revolutionary War to present day,” Klir explained. “There will also be a O.N.G. representative on hand to answer questions about the traveling exhibit.”

At 11 a.m., students in grades 1-5 can use their creative abilities to try and replicate what “The Fort” may have looked like by using a wooden Lincoln Log type construction. First prize will be a LEGO product.

Horse-drawn History Tours will be available from noon to 4 p.m. at Memorial Hall and includes a ride around town with a narrator who presents a significant historical overview of the town. Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for kids.

Other events scheduled for Fort Fest includes the Car Show; Duck Races; Raffle Prizes; Live Music; Grand Prize Drawings; Old Time Baseball; Mower Poker Run, Hot Laps and Races; Parade; Fiddle Stix; Reenactments; and the 50/50 Big Ticket Drawing.

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