31 - Festival in the Flats Ottawa

4.) Festival in the Flats – Ottawa – May 12, 2012

What's YOUR vote on this festival?
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
*********************************************

*********************************************

 

.

One day, while mindlessly checking festival feed on the Ohio Festival Facebook page, a kind soul shared that there was a festival starting up in the NW Ohio village of Ottawa…

…called Festival in the Flats.

Of course, The Flats is a reference to Cleveland and I didn’t understand this connection at first.

Did the impressive Putnam County Courthouse relate to Cleveland in some way?

Or perhaps the city and village shared common threads of history?

I even thought it had to do with the nearby unincorporated community!

Nope.

Not even close!

According to their event page, the patrons of Ottawa’s Cavern Club Winery compared the area to the Cleveland Flats due to there being eight entertainment venues in a two block area.

The name stuck and the festival was born.

But before you start thinking that the Flats was recreated in Ottawa, I should say two things about this festival…

.

1.) It was a small festival in its first year and I only noticed two entertainment venues (and in the same building) – there was also a small stage at the festival itself

2.) Being that it didn’t take place near the river, it really didn’t remind me of the Flats at all.

But this really wasn’t a big deal to me because this festival baited me with a special event taking place that evening…

…the cracking of this 130 year old safe.

Oh yeah, baby!

But let’s get back to this later!

I arrived in Ottawa an hour before the safe cracking and the people were coming in.

Nearby Findlay radio’s The Big Kahuna was interviewing an entertainer…

…kids were taking advantage of the activity area…

…adults were purchasing works from various artists…

…and I eventually chatted with a nice couple who made the Man Bar and other fine soap products.

Meanwhile, others took advantage of some homemade ice cream…

…old fashioned kettle corn…

…and grilled hamburgers/cheeseburgers…

…which were delicious and inexpensive ($3)!

As 6 o’clock grew closer…
/

…festival goers started to flock here…

…where half of the space was made up the Cavern Club Winery…

…and the other consisted of the Schroeder Center for the Arts.

The two places were actually connected…
.

…and both had their own stage setups (hence the two entertainment venues mentioned earlier)…

…but that safe was on the Schroeder side…

…and people started to cram into it…

…even to the point that we all took pictures and video of just how many there were of us in such a small space.

Maybe it was like the Flats, after all!

Now is probably a good time to give you some background on this safe.

It’s 130 years old and hadn’t been opened for more than 60 years, thanks to the pre-1973 owner forgetting the combination. The owner from 1973-2005 tried to open the safe a few times unsuccessfully and then, eventually, a wall must have hidden it from view.In 2007, when the flood came through, it destroyed the interior of the building, the wall was removed and – WALLA! – the safe was rediscovered...

…but still not opened.

When 6 o’clock finally came, the owner and the safe cracker had the crowd step back…
.

…so that the safe cracking could begin.

Although the safe cracker was equipped with a drill (just in case), it only took 12 minutes and seven attempted combinations…
.
.
…before the door swung open.
.

People crowded around and yelled to each other that the interior didn’t contain the treasures some had expected, but it wasn’t completely empty…

…there were bank receipts from 1953, notes and empty jewelry boxes.

There was also, if you look to the upper left of the next pic…
.

…a second safe…

…but they decided to open that one at another time.

Although the safe’s discoveries weren’t amazing, I felt my patience was eventually rewarded shortly after hopping in the car and heading east.

For as I drove down 224 toward Findlay…

…I found this amazing treasure in the village of Gilboa.

Lucky day, indeed!

 

.

*********************************************

*********************************************