Every small city, every little town, tiny to medium, every charming river town and restaurant, and every family member of a small village has a big time history, in Northwest Ohio as well as anywhere in the United States.
In Northwest Ohio many such histories are celebrated annually despite the days sometimes falling on national dates of infamy. What happened in New York City on September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten in small towns across the United States. Indeed, it is a salute to the American spirit, and a statement of American resolve that historic village days are celebrated throughout the country by American families in the summer and fall seasons, even on September 11 of any year.
Everything from kiddie rides to applebutter making and local Poker Runs to raise funds for the benefit of disease research can be enjoyed in the outdoor atmosphere of the small villages and cities of Northwest Ohio.
Northwest Ohio’s Willaims, Henry, Defiance, and Putnam counties have several such fests continuing this weekend, including the Napoleon St. Augustine Turtle Fest September 11 and 12, the annual Poker Runs through Defiance and Napoleon that benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), as well as Kalida’s annual Pioneer Days continuing from Thursday through Sunday, September 12.
Turtle Festival in Napoleon Ohio
Before Summer and Fall fade completely and colored leaves have stopped twirling to the ground, village celebrations in September and October remember community heritage and promote family unity with their outdoor festivals.
One of the more unique celebrations involves turtle races.
The 12th Annual St. Augustine Turtle Fest scheduled in 2010 for September 11 and 12 at the Henry County Fairgrounds in Napoleon, Ohio features actual races with the four-legged reptiles. And, according to festival advertising chairman Jeff Stover, “We’ll have plenty of turtles”.
No Need to Bring Your Own…Turtles
“…no one needs to bring their own (turtles)”, Stover explained, so anyone can jump into the races.
Saturday and Sunday Mass will be held at the fairgrounds at 4:30 p.m. and 10 a.m., respectively, to begin each day’s events. Raffles, casino games, musical entertainment, and games for the kids including inflatables are on tap.
Food in abundance will include St. Augustine’s “World Famous French Fry Stand”, hamburgers, hot dogs, brats and beer, and soda pop, as well as Mexican fare such as breakfast burritos.
And Football Fans Can Watch OSU
The two-day event will feature turtle races each day. On Saturday afternoon a big screen TV will be available to broadcast the football battle between The Ohio State University and the Miami, Florida Hurricanes. Beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening, Venxy will provide musical entertainment.
Local businesses will donate auction items.
Kalida Sunday Parade Has 300 Entries
Kalida, a small town of less than 1,000 residents in Putnam County, Ohio, kicked its Pioneer Days into gear on Thursday and continues through Sunday, when a parade of nearly 300 units will take to the streets.
Other activities still to come include Saturday’s Car Show, which features street models as well as custom built vehicles. An Antique Tractor Show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Kiddie Tractor Pull commences at 2:30 p.m., and it will be followed by a cheerleading contest at 5 p.m. and Fire Juggling at 9 p.m.
Live entertainment will include bands at 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., with Cincinnati’s Alte Kameraden performing. In between, at 11 p.m., a $500 attendance drawing will be held.
On Sunday, big screen TVs at The Oasis will carry broadcasts of Ohio’s professional football games including the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals, while the 1:30 p.m. parade will be followed by The Amazing Portable Circus for children at 3:15 p.m. A 4 p.m. Karaoke Contest and more drawings and prizes will close the evening events.
Veterans of the Iraq War will head the Sunday parade. The Kalida Lions Club and the Kalida Firefighters help to sponsor Pioneer Days.
Flavors of the Black Swamp
A Flavors of the Black Swamp dinner, a celebration of production, consumption, and marketing of area grown foods that promote a healthy food system, is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 11 at Opkyke Park, Williams County Road 16 and Road J, Montpelier.
Herbs, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and honey locally grown and produced will be on the table. A $20 ticket includes choices from the buffet style serving that includes appetizers, deviled eggs, flatbreads with locally produced toppings, corn on the cob with flavored butters, and Lamb Kefta with cucumber sauce. Maple brine port, barbecued chicken, soups and salads, eggplant and zucchini, potatoes, and apple/pear cobbler will also be ready for the tasting.
The event is a fundraiser in conjunction with the Education for Sustainability program at nearby Northwest State Community College and the Eating Local Foods (ELF) organization members.