By: Rebecca Miller
Every area of the country has seasonal events that are special to that locality. In Northwest Ohio one of the first things, after pumpkin spice everything of course, is Barn Fest which is held on the last Saturday in September in Bryan. This year, the day was perfect, with just a little bit of rain thrown in, but in the 70’s and with a slight breeze.
A huge kettle sat just outside, over a flaming fire, cooking up a great batch of chili. The scent of chili, mixed with the delicious smell of kettle corn was enough to make one hungry even if they hadn’t been when they arrived. Food has always been a big part of Barn Fest and the Newlyn Quest Club members are kept busy serving it up. They welcome to the mix, the Boy Scouts with their table fool of Bake Sale goodies and the Edon Church of Christ who was kept busy filling bags with Kettle Corn.
Over in a corner of the Macdonald-Ruff Ice Arena, where the annual event is held, live music could be heard as groups took their turn to fill the air with beautiful sounds while shoppers browse with friends and family amongst the wide variety of vendors. Crafts of all kinds could be found, something for everyone.
Many who participate have gone for years, considering it a family event not to be missed in the Fall. Little ones could be seen sleeping on their Mama’s shoulders, teens wove in and around all the adults, chatting and laughing together and children of all ages seemed to be enjoying the festive, yet peaceful, atmosphere.
The history for Barn Fest is that Newlyn Quest Club decided back in 1977 to have a craft fair. According to Sharon Patten, it was “the brain child of Sandy Bible.” It was held in the barn at the home of Sharon and Don Patten until in 1985 they moved to a larger venue, The Macdonald-Ruff Ice Arena. The ladies see it as a great way to kick off the holiday season, as terrific gifts can be found in the craft booths.
One of the aspects that makes the day feel like you may have stepped back in time, is that the club members and some of their daughters dress in period costumes from the colonial times. Their hair is tucked up under white caps and they all have long dresses covered with large white aprons.
All in all, with the turnout as great as it was, it doesn’t look like Barn Fest will stop being held anytime in the near future!
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org