STRONGSVILLE – The city celebrated the harvest Sept. 29 and 30 on the grounds of the Strongsville Historic Village.

Each year, the Strongsville Historical Society puts on the Harvest Festival, a free event that draws people to the property in the center of town. It gives guests a glimpse into to the early days of life in Strongsville – what people did for their craft and also for fun. It also gives them a chance to tour the eight buildings that come from different eras in history.

“It’s a nice, family-oriented event where people can come through, tour the different buildings, and see the different craftsmen and vendors. It’s a nice fall event with old-time activities and music that people of all ages can enjoy,” said Michelle Piech, event organizer.

Each year, there are craft demonstrations, a petting zoo, a classic car display, a farmers market, a food tent, hands-on activities and more for guests of all ages. New this year was a blacksmith demonstration by Dean Schrage, a local man who has taken up the craft. There was also a display of a treadle sewing machine and the opportunity to buy things such as aprons and blankets that had been made with it.

Returning this year was Babes in Black, a music group that plays old-time music.

A big part of the tradition is the chance to win big in the cow pie lottery. This year, the cow had a stand-in donkey in its place. The concept of the lottery is that the animal roams in a fenced-in area that has been divided into grids. If your ticket matches the spot where it makes a “cow pie,” you win the grand prize of $1,000. If you have an adjacent square, you win $250.

The entire event is volunteer-run, and the proceeds from the lottery, food tent, yard sale and donations all go directly into the upkeep of the buildings, which date back to the early 1800s. The Historical Society uses fundraising dollars from events such as this to maintain the buildings, preserve Strongsville’s history and add new, educational exhibits. The newest exhibit is a military display in the basement of the Chapman House.

The next big event at the village is the holiday lighting, in conjunction with the lighting of the Commons, on Nov. 18, followed by Christmas in the Village, Dec. 1-2 and 8-9.

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