SEVILLE — Visitors to Seville’s annual GiantFest enjoyed a perfect September day filled with food, music, history and competitions. The event is, of course, a celebration of Capt. Martin Van Buren Bates and his wife Anna Swan Bates, the famed giants of Seville.
The day began with a pancake breakfast served by the Seville Kiwanis at the Seville United Methodist Church while the weekly farm market took place across the street in Maria Stanhope Park. Nearby, the Seville Historical Society opened the doors to the museum where “giant” artifacts could be viewed along with other historical mementos of the village and surrounding area. Life-sized models of the famed couple were used as a backdrop for many a photo as visitors of all sizes compared their height to the Bateses’.
Horse-drawn wagons then transported festival-goers to Cy Hewit Park where the bulk of the activity was to be found, along with more food, including a chicken barbecue sponsored by the Seville Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club’s pulled pork sandwiches.
Events there included an apple pie baking contest sponsored by Geig’s Orchard and Huddle House. Judges of the day were Steve Vojtko of H.O.P.S., Seville Mayor Gene Sulzener and Brian Geig, owner of Geig’s Orchard. The judges sampled seven pies and based on appearance, texture and taste, awarded first place to Melinda Sedelmeyer of Medina, second place to Jeff Herbert of Sterling and third to Barb Higgins of Seville. Each received a ribbon and gift certificate for their efforts.
Other events included old-fashioned children’s games, a vintage baseball game, a cornhole tournament, a car show and a talent show. History buffs had a grand time learning about the famed giants and what life was like during the Civil War period in which they lived and how Seville and neighboring Creston villages came to be.
The day concluded with a Scottish memorial march with the Scottish American Society leading the way to Mound Hill Cemetery for a memorial to Anna Swan Bates.