STRONGSVILLE – The annual Harvest Festival welcomed in the first weekend of fall Sept. 26 and 27.

The festival, held on the grounds of the Strongsville Historic Village, is a staple each year at this time. Old-fashioned fun welcomes guests of all ages as they explore the gem that lies in the center of the city, learn about Strongsville’s history and enjoy the autumn atmosphere.

Some familiar highlights return at every Harvest Festival. The cow pie lottery, classic car display, farm animals, old-time craft demonstrations, quilt raffle and candle making are just a handful of the annual events. Each year, new demonstrators join in the fun to display crafts of the past such as chair weaving, rope making, stained glass making and more.

“We’re just so proud of how it has grown and what it has become,” said Jean Wittrock, event chair.

One of this year’s guest artists was Bobbi Dorr, who demonstrated watercolor painting with some of her students.

Many of the old tools and equipment discovered in the Roe-Chapman Barn – which is located on the grounds of the village – were on display, giving guests a lesson in the things the earliest settlers of Strongsville had to work with.

Always a big hit is the chance to win big at the hands of a cow. The cow pie lottery returned. The way it works is that buyers purchase a square on a large grid in the grass. A young cow is put into the fenced-in area for as long as it takes for her to make a “cow pie.” Whichever square she chooses wins $1,000. The four squares around it win $250 each.

Another way people could win was by purchasing tickets for a hand-made quilt that was raffled off at the end of the festival. Those tickets sold for just $1 each. The quilt was made by Mary Lou Wright and Ruth Brickley.

One of the big draws to the festival is the food. Saturday’s meal was a traditional pig roast, while Sunday’s meal was an old-fashioned chicken dinner.

All of the people who were preparing food, answering questions, doing their art, giving tours, selling raffle tickets and helping to make the event a success were volunteers. That means the money brought in from the weekend went back to the historical society for the work they do in the village to keep up the buildings.

“There’s probably close to 100 people who volunteer during the two days,” Wittrock said. “It’s really a group effort that we are able to provide for the community thanks to the generosity of our members.”

For the second year, admission to the festival was free. The petting zoo was provided by Boosters for Perciak, and a donation from Mike and Erma Kalinich helped support the event. The money that the historical society raises from this event and its other events throughout the year goes back into the preservation and upkeep of the buildings.

Next up at the village will be the old-fashioned trick-or-treat for preschool and kindergarten children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 24, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is one non-perishable food item or $1 per person or $5 per family. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 440-572-0535.

The historic village is located at 13305 Pearl Road, Strongsville.

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