Giant Fest - Seville

46.) Giant Fest – Seville – September 15, 2012

Martin Van Buren Bates was born in Letcher County, KY in 1837, born a normal-sized baby to normal-sized parents and living the first few years of his life…well…

normally.
.

But when Martin was six years old, all that normalcy went out the window as he started to grow and grow…

…and grow
.

…until he measured 7 feet and 3-9″ (depending on sources).

His huge stature benefited him in several ways…

  • his mother forbade him to do any chores because she thought his condition made him fragile
  • the students he taught during his brief career in education never gave him any trouble
  • Union soldiers feared him as he fought in the Civil War
  • he was quickly hired by the circus while in Cincinnati, Ohio (and popular with customers)
  • he found the love of his life while traveling with the circus and she was even taller than him!

Her name was Anna Haining Swan and her height ranged from 7’5″ to 7’11” (depending on sources) and she was quickly hired by the circus as well.

From there, it was only a matter of time before Martin and Anna married…

…and took up residence in Seville, Ohio…

…the town that still remembers them today.

Ironically enough, the Giant Fest is actually a pretty small festival that’s divided into two locations.

The smaller location was at Stanhope Park…

…where festival goers could visit a farm market…

…before stopping by the Seville Historical Society Museum…

…for some popcorn, a hot dog…

…and a free trip into Seville’s past…

…that involved an encounter with giant figures…

…(and they looked even bigger with people right next to them).

They also had the Bates’ baby crib present…

…although, unfortunately, neither child (18 lb and 22 lb) survived.

From there, festival goers could take the shuttle out front…

…to the second location at Cy Hewit Park…

…for pictures with the couple…

…giant souvenirs…

…and comparisons with the couple in terms of hands…

…feet…

…pants…

…and giant baby-carrying potential…

…which, I admit, was great practice for my months ahead!

Beyond the giant wonderment, the festival offered…

…a car show…

…carriage rides…

…a few Civil War re-enactors…

…and a small row of vendors…

…that helped feed Medina County

…and sold items that included hand-crafted items and green friendly fire starters.

Kids, meanwhile…

…could take advantage of the park’s playgrounds…

…or enjoy games (The Learning Garden) and activities (HOPS).

Finally, in regards to the food…
/
.
…it was fairly limited with phillies, old-fashioned ice cream…
.

…and the Lions Club BBQ pork sandwiches…

…but I was particularly intrigued in the pavilion…

…where an apple pie contest…

…tempted me with some giant cravings.

 

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Comments

  1. Timothy W. Wright, Sr.

    When is the next Giant Fest?

    I am related to Captain Bates by marriage. His nephew “Devil John” Wright and my great grandfather were first cousins.

    We live in Concord, Ohio.

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