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The Ohio Northern University observatory will host a public star party from 8-10 p.m. Friday to celebrate the autumnal equinox, which is the astronomical start of fall.
On this day, the Earth’s equatorial plane intersects the sun. Consequently, there are approximately equal durations of nighttime and daytime. Also, the sun rises due east and sets due west on this day. Targets will include the setting moon, Saturn, Uranus and deep sky objects.
Check for cancellations online at http://www2.onu.edu/~j-pinkney/astro/publicevents.html.
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.
• 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.
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.
Ohio Northern University’s homecoming theme is “Bringing Memories Out of the Shadows.”
Events planned for this weekend are intended to capture the essence of ONU and revive college memories.
President Emeritus Kendall Baker and former first lady Toby Baker will be honored at 9 a.m. Saturday with the dedication of the Baker Commons near Affinity Village, located along Polar Bear Way and Loop Road.
The homecoming parade in downtown Ada starts at 10:30 a.m., followed at 11:30 a.m. by a tailgate lunch and reunion photos in the King Horn Field House.
The homecoming football game vs. Otterbein University will kick off at 1:30 p.m. in Dial-Roberson Stadium. The William L. Robinson Young Alumni Award recipients will be introduced prior to the game at 1 p.m., and the homecoming king and queen will be announced at halftime.
Information about more activities is available online at www.onu.edu/event/homecoming.
Author Lois Hutchinson will visit the Putnam County District Library in Ottawa at 1 p.m. Sept. 23.
Hutchinson wrote “Footprints in the Dust,” a historical fiction novel set in Putnam County during the Civil War. Her interest was sparked by stories about her great-grandfather, Sylvester Wilson Jeffrey, who fought in the Civil War.
The book will be available for purchase during the author’s visit.
For more information, call Amy Byers at 419-358-4150.
The third annual Oktoberfest Findlay! will celebrate German heritage in Hancock County with German music, polka dancing, contests, kids activities, German food and a large selection of German beer and wine. The family-friendly event will take place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at downtown Findlay’s Broadway Street.
Admission is $5 for ages 21 and over and $3 for those under 21.
All funds raised will benefit the operations and programming at Hancock Historical Museum, a privately funded nonprofit organization located at 422 W. Sandusky St.
Sarah Sisser, the museum’s executive director, said the event became one of the largest single-day events in the county in its first two years, drawing more than 4,500 people annually.
She said the music, food, and activities all give people a chance to experience authentic German culture.
John Ordosch and the PROSIT-teers will take the stage to kick off the festival at 2 p.m. Winners of the first annual German baking competition will be announced along with the Oktoberfest royal court at 2:30 p.m. The Oktoberfest Planning Committee, Alexandria’s Beer Club, and the Oktoberfest pageant royalty will take the stage at 4 p.m. for the official tapping of the keg and opening ceremonies for the festival’s many contests, including a stein endurance challenge (contestants hold one full liter of beer for as long as they can), bratwurst eating competition, and a yodeling contest. Fred Ziwich and His International Sound Machine will take the stage at 6 p.m.
John Ordosch and the PROSIT-teers hail from Parma and perform polka, rock, country, American standards, jazz, and novelty/specialty songs.
Fred Ziwich was elected as a lifetime achievement winner for the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in 2010, and was inducted into the International Polka Music Hall of Fame this year.
The festival’s new features include a German baking competition and the Hancock Historical Museum will have an exhibit in the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library open to festivalgoers to learn more about local German heritage and Findlay’s brewing history.
There will also be an expanded Kinderplatz! Kids Zone with assistance from the University of Findlay and the Millstream Career Center, which will be open from 2 to 7 p.m.
To pre-register for the contest, visit http://hancockhistoricalmuseum.org/oktoberfest-contests/
The Stein Endurance contest has an entry fee of $25 that includes a 42-ounce glass stein and 42 ounces of Rochester Mills Oktoberfest beer. The Team Beer Endurance Race has a $25 entry fee per team of 4 and includes 16 ounces of beer per member. The brat eating contest has a $10 entry fee, and the yodeling contest is $5. The Costume (Tracht) Contest is free, as is the baking competition.
People can also register for the contests the day of, though space is limited.
For more information, visit http://hancockhistoricalmuseum.org/oktoberfest/ or call the museum at 419-423-4433.
First Step Healthy Family Resource Center will host the 22nd annual Soul Shine Blues Festival from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Meadowbrook Park Ballroom, 5430 Ohio 18 West, Bascom.
Mike Guldin and Rollin’ & Tumblin’ will headline the festival. The Reece Lincoln Band; Phillips & Mercer; and Bud Mowery & the All Star Blues Band are also on the bill.
Presale tickets are $20 and can be obtained by calling First Step at 419-435-7300. Tickets cost $25 at the door.
All proceeds go to help the resource center provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children, along with a 24-hour support line, advocacy and outreach with support programs for men, women and children.
The festival will offer a variety of food, including Main Street Deli’s seafood jambalaya, red beans and rice; and Hawg Sauce Catering owner Jason Carter will donate ribs, chicken and pulled pork barbecue. Guitars, including a handmade cigar box guitar donated by Roger Jones, and gift baskets will be raffled. Raffle tickets are available at First Step, located at 1099 Columbus Ave., Fostoria, or the day of the show.
A Philadelphia-area blues band with a tight sound and high-energy presence, Mike Guldin and Rollin’ & Tumblin’ promise to deliver some “butt shakin’” music. The two-time International Blues Challenge finalist band’s roadhouse rhythms are influenced by blues legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King as well as more contemporary artists such as the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Rolling Stones.
Guldin began honing his stinging guitar and soulful vocal style at the age of 16, and his band features C.J. Clark on bass, Tim Hopper on keyboards, Alan Howe on guitar, and Matt McNally on drums.
A 2007 Western Ohio “King of the Blues” Gibson/Guitar Center winner, The Reece Lincoln Band was one of 27 bands chosen nationwide to compete in the “Living Room … LIVE! Battle of the Bands” on CBS’ “The Early Show.”
Lincoln describes his original music as “high octane gospel fuel for the soul,” and his band will pay homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble by playing several of their hits.
The trio features Lincoln on guitar and vocals, Brad Willison on bass and Keith Cozart on drums.
A decades-long staple of Findlay’s music scene, Phillips & Mercer will perform country blues that draw on Mississippi John Hurt and Reverend Gary Davis.
Dave Phillips has played in several bands, studied classical guitar and music composition with some of the greats, and teaches traditional fingerstyle blues, classical guitar, voice, and bass guitar.
A seasoned musician, Otto Mercer’s band memberships include Thick & Thin, Slick Black Cadillac, and the Rock Crushers. He currently performs with the Midnight Riders.
Bud Mowery and the All Star Blues Band was formed specifically for Soul Shine, with members carrying decades of experience from local bands. The band’s music features everything from B.B. King and Muddy Waters to more contemporary artists like Rory Gallagher and Joe Bonamassa.
The band features Bud Mowery on guitar; Glenn Roddy on vocals; John Whitlow on keyboards; Steve Wilson on harmonica; Dave McNary on bass; and Gary Burns on drums.
For more information, go to: http://soulshineblues.com/ or check out First Step’s Facebook page.
Comedian, actor, singer and writer Rodney Carrington has recorded eight major-label comedy albums, and has been one of Pollstar’s top 10 highest grossing touring comedians for the last 10-year period. He also co-wrote and co-starred with Toby Keith in “Beer for My Horses.” The show is geared toward mature audiences.