Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oak Ridge Festival

This past weekend the RoadQueen, I and our boys took a short drive north to visit a bi-annual event called the Oak Ridge Festival located just outside the village of Attica, Ohio.  The festival has been going on for thirty years or more but I only heard of it thanks to brother in law who attended a couple years ago.

The weather was beautiful with temperatures climbing barely into the 80's so it was a great day to spend outdoors. 

The Oak Ridge Festival is all about living history and putting on display tools and methods of a bygone era.  Just inside the gates we saw this draft pony team plowing some fertile Ohio ground.

A pre-1840's reenactment camp was a highlight for me.  If I didn't have too many hobbies already I would love to get into this.

A permanent feature on the festival grounds is a traditional sawmill.  Throughout the weekend operations turning logs into dimensional lumber were on display.  As a woodworking hobbyist I found this also very interesting.  

I talked to an old-timer who has participated in the event for around 30 years.  He said usually they have an antique steam engine providing the power for the saw mill but the owner-operator of the engine wasn't able to attend this year.  So while not as cool as an old steamer a trusty Farmall got the job done just fine.

It took about five minutes to turn a massive red oak tree trunk into a stack of boards.  The fresh cut wood smelled wonderful.

Half the grounds were open fields where the primitive camp, agricultural and sawmill displays were set up.  The remainder of the festival was situated in a wooded tract of land.  Under the cool shade of hardwoods a lane wound itself around with vendors selling crafts and foodstuffs.   

Old-Time Music of course!
 Down a small side trail we discovered the Simon Kenton Range.  We hung around for a while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of a black powder novelty shoot.

I really like how they have the range set up in woods instead of out in the middle of an open field.

Nice to see some ladies shooting as well.

One of the boy's favorites was a working blacksmith.  This is no surprise as boys have been interested in fire and beating things with hammers for generations.  

The smith was buring coal in his small forge and heating it up with a hand cranked bellows.  It took less than a minute to heat the iron up to red hot.

RoadQueen took this picture of the blacksmith in action.  

Speaking of RoadQueen, The event she was most interested in was the antique tractor pull.  So while the boys went off exploring on their own we settled in to watch some classic American iron do its thing.  I've been to tractor pulls at the county fair but never seen one like this with stock and lightly modified antique machines doing the heavy lifting.  Very cool and nowhere near as noisy as the modern pulling tractor shows.

A picture heavy post I know but these old tractors just look too good to leave out.  It was a great day and we all had a good time.  Later in October the second festival of the year takes place.  The feature then will be antique military vehicles so needless to say we will be in attendance.

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