On Friday, Aug. 28, Winchester, Ohio launched its Bicentennial Celebration marking the town’s 200th birthday.
Festival-goers were treated to an array of music, pageantry, fashions from yesteryear, and dramatic re-enactments of historical events.
The wide avenue of Main Street was lined with vendors, games, and a variety of food booths.
There was also a full slate of activities including a 5K Run and Walk, a Dunking Tank, a Pedal Tractor Pull, a Power Wheel Race, Wrestling matches, a Duck Dump, a Caramel Culinary Contest and Auction, 3-on-3 basketball, Cornhole tournaments, and on Sunday, a Grand Parade.
The parade on Sunday was one that had visitors amazed as everything from tractors, fire engines, horses, vintage cars, fire engines and rescue vehicles, floats from churches and other civic groups, lots of candy for youngsters, participants from infants to senior citizens, marching bands, and even the Mayberry squad car.
“Winchester sure knows how to put on a parade,” said the village’s Police Chief David Benjamin.
The United Methodist Church hosted a Quilt Show featuring the art of Winchester quilters, past and present. The church also housed a display of news articles, pictures, and memorabilia provided by local historian Florence Bryson.
“We worked hard to bring a sense of fun, community, and history to the planning of this celebration,” said festival organizer Patsy Roberts.
Several dignitaries including Congressman Brad Wenstrup, State Representative Terry Johnson, State Senator Joe Uecker, and Commissioner Steven Caraway were on hand for the opening ceremonies. Each brought commendations and congratulations from the Office of the Governor, the state legislature, and Adams County commissioners’ offices.
Miss Makayla Crawford, a sophomore at North Adams High School, was crowned Queen of the festival. Brooklyn Staggs and Gage Garrison were chosen as the festival’s Little Miss and Little Mister.
Grand Marshal Bill Foster said, “We couldn’t be more pleased with how the festival went. We had a smooth opening and everyone is having a good time.”
More highlights of the weekend event were the Bicentennial Salute to Fashion and the Ghost Ride through the Winchester Cemetery.
The fashion show featured 19th and 20th century clothing reproductions as well as vintage clothing from the 1930’s through the 1970’s, all originally worn by women from Winchester and surrounding areas.
The Ghost Ride, an outdoor drama depicting the people and events that formed the town’s history, was performed Saturday night.
As spectator-filled wagons rolled through the cemetery, local people dressed in period costumes stepped from behind the tombstones of their historic counterparts and recounted their contributions to the town’s history.
Good weather blessed the festivities all weekend as Winchester put on an event to remember for all ages.