The Friends of the Bluffton Public Library will hold a fall book sale next week on the lower level of the library. Hours are 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22, and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 23. All proceeds support library programs and services.
The 128th session of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, dubbed the “Unforgettable Stories” session, will be held Sept. 22-24 at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky. All Eastern Star members are sincerely encouraged to attend the session, which concludes with the installation of 2017-18 grand officers at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24. Contact chairman of arrangements Jan Foy at 419-618-1194 for more information.
Reaching Women presents an interdenominational women’s conference to provide spiritual growth and Christian fellowship to women of all ages. Allison Allen and Vicki Courtney will be the guest speakers and, back by popular demand, Next 2 Nothing will perform as the praise team. Allen uses her talents as a writer and dramatist to share her message, Courtney is an author and speaker who utilizes humor and practicality, and Next 2 Nothing is a praise and worship band with rock and country stylings.
Bluffton’s family-friendly 14th annual Fall Festival is Saturday, Sept. 23. Activities are in six locations throughout the community with most taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As in past festivals, bus transportation is available between all locations at scheduled intervals. Here’s the schedule, by location: Maple Crest Senior Living Village, 700 Maple Crest Court • Antique tractor show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Live music, Wild Steelions steel drum band, 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; more live music, 1 p.m.-1:45 p.m. • Kiddie tractor pull, registration 12:30-1 p.m., pull starts 1 p.m. • Fishing derby (bait and poles provided), 2-3 p.m. • Food for sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mennonite Memorial Home, 410 W. Elm St. • Horse-drawn carriage rides between MMH and downtown, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Silent auction, MMH lobby. Bids accepted from Sept. 18 to noon on Sept. 23. • Bake sale, 10 a.m. until sold out. Proceeds benefit volunteer service group • Balance test by Northwest Physical Therapy, 10 a.m.-noon • Kid’s activities –, train rides, face painting, straw dig, lawn jenga/corn hole boards, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Kid’s bike raffle, no purchase necessary to enter, drawing at 3:30 p.m. • Food for sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Fun photo booth, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • Outdoor Bingo (no cash prizes), 3-4 p.m. • Kettle corn, maple syrup, soaps and lotions for sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Downtown Bluffton • Main Street retail district – businesses open • Farmers’ market, over 25 vendors, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Citizens National Bank parking lot. • Festival praise and worship, Presbyterian Church lawn, music by Bluffton congregations, tent with seating, 10 a.m.-noon • Senior Citizens Center toy car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Center will have lunch items during the show. Swiss Community Historical Society Homestead, 8350 Bixel Road Bluffton Scrap Artists quilt show, petting zoo, straw bale maze and other kid’s games, corn shelling, bread-baking, soup cooking, old-time rural crafts, wagon rides, horse plowing, Swiss-German music, historical exhibits, food for sale, self-guided tours of 1840s garden, barn, workshop, summer kitchen and house. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. BFR Sports and Fitness, 215 Snider Road 5th annual craft and home business expo. Booths of gifts, specialty items and other vendors. Past expos included home improvement, quilts, handmade furniture, glassware, patchwork animals, crocheted items, and fair-trade jewelry. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. • Also: meet the BFR staff, tour the facility, watch demonstrations on exercise equipment, and for $1 paint a pumpkin. Bluffton Hospital, 139 Garau St. Lots of kid’s activities including pony rides, inflatable bounce house, slide, obstacle course, pumpkin decorating and light refreshments. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Updates/additional information/cancellations For updates and complete information on the Bluffton Fall Festival visit its Facebook at facebook.com/BlufftonFallFest or www.blufftonfallfestival.com. See posted signs at the “bus stop” at each location for the schedule. Parking is available at each location.
Rail fans will experience the ride of their lives Saturday during Fostoria’s 16th annual Rail Festival. The yearly train affair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fostoria Junior/Senior High School, 1001 Park Ave. The gymnasium, hallway and commons area of the school building will be packed with more than 100 tables for more than 50 vendors set up with model train displays and trinkets. Vendors will include museums, historical societies and model railroaders as well as area and visiting individuals and organizations with antique train memorabilia, clothing, videos, steam-operated items and more. Outside activities will also be available. Yale Skipworth from Lebanon will offer drones and remote-controlled airplanes. Gov. Charles Foster will come alive again in Fostoria Area Historical Society President Leonard Skonecki as he escorts visitors through Fostoria, discussing the history of its railroads. Bus tours, provided by Seneca County Area Transportation, will leave the south entrance of the building every hour beginning at 11 a.m. with the last tour leaving at 3 p.m. While train connoisseurs will have plenty to spark their interest, the Rail Festival will also offer activities for children. A children’s station will be set up in the commons area for youngsters to play with toy trains, color and participate in arts and crafts. Romick Railways will provide train rides for children outside the school while a smaller train ride will be inside. Cost of admittance to the festival is $4 for adults and free for children under the age of 10 with an adult companion. Food will be available inside the school. Parking will be available in the south parking lot. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund next year’s Rail Festival as well as go toward the Fostoria Rail Park.