Explore the beauty of Coshocton County this fall

| October 19, 2017

COSHOCTON – There is no place like Coshocton County in the fall. With the leaves changing and the cooler temperatures coming in, Coshocton is the perfect place to spend an autumn afternoon. This weekend is filled with fun activities to do in Coshocton County and surrounding areas.

A tradition that many people in Coshocton County look forward to every year is the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival in Historic Roscoe Village. One aspect of the festival that is making a comeback this year is the Canal Royalty competition.

The tradition of crowning a Coshocton Canal Queen dates back to the early 1970s. In the early 1980s, the addition of the Canal Princess and Canal Junior King and Queen brought the historical competition to a whole new age group. For many years, the contests were associated with the Coshocton Canal Festival. In recent years, the Canal Queen, Princess, and Junior Queen competitions have operated in conjunction with the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival in Roscoe Village. This year, three local teens will vie for the title of Coshocton Canal Queen, five will compete for Princess, and 10 little girls seek to become the next Junior Queen.

Taking over the reins from the retiring Coshocton Royalty Advisory Committee, the new Coshocton Canal Court Committee was able to pick up and move forward with the generous support of dozens of local sponsors. Queen and Princess contestants have already attended a tea, hosted by outgoing Princess Rachel Levi at Lock Landing. At the Princess Tea, the contestants participated in personal interviews, costume judging, and took a local history test. Candidates also took a tour of Roscoe Village and wrote original essays. The remaining portion of their judging will happen on Saturday, Oct. 21 on the main stage in Roscoe Village. Rain location is Lock Landing in the Visitor’s Center. The Junior Queen contest starts off the day at 10 a.m., and the Princess and Queen competitions will close the Saturday of the festival, beginning at 5 p.m. Winners will attend a brunch hosted by outgoing Queen Megan Stonebraker on Sunday, Oct. 22, followed by the Mayor’s Promenade at 1:15 p.m.

There’s something about strolling through the village and smelling apple butter cooking over an open fire that makes the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival so special. This three-day festival begins Friday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and ends Sunday, Oct. 22. Now in its 48th year, the festival offers crafters and artisan booths along Whitewoman Street with handmade items including jewelry, home and garden items, paintings, pottery, and a wide-variety of food and sweets.

“One thing that definitely sets us apart is that all the crafters have handmade items,” said Mariah Ellenwood, special events coordinator in Roscoe Village. “A lot of the vendors have been here for years and we try to keep it traditional with everyone wearing old-fashioned clothes, and we always start Apple Butter every year with an open fire.”

If you’re brave enough, stay after hours for the Spirit of Roscoe Tour beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. Reservations are recommended for this candlelight tour that takes you through the village where you can listen to the history of Roscoe and just maybe spot a spirit or two of the canal era still wandering through the streets. Call 740-622-7644 ext. 16 for your reservation.

“Apple Butter is definitely a fall festival,” said Ellenwood. “It looks like fall when you walk through the village and it smells like fall. You can smell the apples and the apple butter cooking over an open fire.”

Who doesn’t like to watch colorful fall leaves falling gently to the ground? The Drive-It-Yourself Fall Foliage and Farm Tour will be Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 – 22. Each year, the tour is sponsored by OSU Extention Coshocton County, Coshocton County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Farm Service Agency.

This year’s tour will highlight the north-central section of Coshocton County and will focus on the history of the area. The tour also offers hands-on agricultural experiences as well. Some of this year’s features include a sheep farm, antique tractors, an inland lighthouse, longhorn cattle, Killbuck Creek Distillery, a dairy farm, Heritage Vineyard Winery, and more. The lunch stop will be at Shepler Church.

“I think the tradition of it is very important,” said Emily Adams of OSU Extension Coshocton County. “It’s become a fall activity that people like to do in the county. It’s a lot of fun for families to do together. I think that’s why a lot of folks in the county enjoy it. It’s memories. A lot of people move away and come back to do it. It’s something that grandparents like to do with their grandchildren.”

Maps and brochures are available at the Animal Boutique and Villas, 23905 Airport Road, on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 3 p.m. The tour will run Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m.

“We are bringing people in the community who are not from Coshocton County as well,” said Adams. “We want to share the beauty of our county and also our businesses here.”

If you like to travel outside of Coshocton County to explore, consider attending the 13th annual Farm Show in Dresden on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22. The event is being hosted by Country Crossroads Education of Yesterday and will feature working antique farm equipment and construction equipment, plus a large display of tractors, trucks, fire trucks, cars, and equipment.

“This was dad’s doing,” said Kendra Moore-Hindel. “He grew up on a farm and moved down here and started a farm business. Antiques and tractors was the way of life for him. He used to raise oxen and one day, a family stopped and wanted to see the oxen. He asked the little boy if he knew where his food comes from. The little boy said his mom goes to the grocery store. Dad laughed and asked if he knew where it comes from before that. The younger generation doesn’t realize where their food comes from. We’re trying to teach the younger generation today about where their food comes from and show them the equipment that was used back then.”

The event is free but a parking donation is asked to help pay for some of the cost of the show. The events range from shelling corn using a belt-driven sheller to square hay baling with stationary and pull-type balers, and much more. There will also be a hit and miss gas engine on display and construction equipment. Kids’ games and activities will be available as well as a petting zoo and train rides. On Saturday, the Dresden Fire Department will be there at 10 a.m. as well as the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation Trailer, weather permitting. At 1 p.m., CO’MUS Hills’ String Pickers will perform.

“The kids are still coming out every year,” said Moore-Hindel. “It still piques their interest and they’re interested in more than just technology today. They’re still interested in learning about these things. Also, the older generations come out and say oh I remember that. It’s fun to see and it’s keeping dad’s vision alive.”

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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