Coshocton Sunflower Festival ready to go on

| August 10, 2020


Everyone could use a little sunshine this year, and the Coshocton KOA is ready to provide that.

People can experience the joy of living sunshine at the campground’s annual sunflower festival, which features 4 acres of 40 varieties of sunflowers.
“The sunflowers look better than they ever have before,” said Ryan McPeek, who operates the campground with his wife Camille. “They look awesome and are poised to bloom.”
Guests also will see a pop of color on the pathways provided by zinnias.
“My mother-in-law Shelley planted those, and they are all in bloom now,” Camille McPeek said. “It makes my day better just to walk in the field and see them. That was all her hard work.”
Dates to view the flowers have been expanded, and tickets are only offered online to help maintain social distancing.
“We can strictly control the number of people that can be here by doing online ticketing only,” Ryan McPeek said. “When you think of a festival, you usually think of a street festival with people walking around, but this is different. You have a certain spot to park, and we are limiting the number of people arriving in half-hour increments, and once you are back there, you have 6 acres to be on.”
Opportunities to view the sunflowers started Aug. 9, but the full festival is actually held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 14-16. This weekend there will be live music, food trucks, activities and wagon rides back to the fields. Each guest also will go home with one sunflower of their choice.
“We encourage people to walk back,” Ryan McPeek said. “The wagon will only have four households of people on it at one time.”
Guest also will have designated waiting areas for their turn to go back to the fields. There will be hand-sanitizing stations and less craft vendors so they can be spread out.
Camille McPeek said they are following the same operating procedures restaurants and bars in the state are. “We have nice shaded areas with picnic tables, and we encourage people to stay at theirs while eating or listening to music,” she said.
Those who would like a quieter time to just view the flowers can purchase tickets to walk back to the field for Wednesday, Aug. 19 or Thursday, Aug. 20 or take the wagon back on Friday, Aug. 21 or Saturday, Aug. 22. The walk back to the fields is less than a quarter mile. Handicap parking spaces are available, and Camille McPeek said the staff is there to help those who need assistance.
Sunday, Aug. 23, the last day to view the flowers and take a wagon ride to the fields, is dog day because many people in the past have asked if they could bring their pets to the festival.
“You can bring your friendly pet with you, and we also will have Good Boy Bakery here selling some treats and goodies,” Camille McPeek said.
For pricing and to order tickets, visit
“If you are able to social distance, you don’t have to have your face mask on, but if you ride on the wagon, you would,” Ryan McPeek said.
Camille McPeek said they encourage everyone to bring a face mask, and Ryan McPeek said staff members will be provided with face shields.
“If you have it, then you are ready in case you are waiting in line and can’t social distance,” Camille McPeek said.
Ryan and Camille McPeek are very thankful for everyone who helps make this festival possible.
“Everyone on our staff works overtime,” Ryan McPeek said. “We had to keep it smaller than in the past because we didn’t know what was going to happen this year. We also have a lot of volunteers that help fill in the gaps. There is no way we could do this alone. Everyone has been working really hard.”

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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