Oak Ridge Festival - Attica

88.) Oak Ridge Festival – Attica – October 17, 2010

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Along Rte 4, somewhere between Sandusky and Bucyrus in the midst of flat Ohio country, there’s the town of Attica. The name itself always makes me think of some futuristic colony that’s guarded by those busty sphinxes in The Neverending Story, but it’s simply not that kind of town at all.

*Sigh*

It’s a small town with close to 1,000 people and near other impressive-sounding towns like Venice Township, Peru Township and Brokensword.

None of those towns have busty sphinxes either.

But, one thing Attica does have is a fine piece of property…

…where the Oak Ridge Festival takes place.

The Oak Ridge Festival is a twice-a-year event (July/October) and, when I got there, I was impressed by the sea of cars that filled the lot. There were so many actually that they had a transportation service, which I actually considered taking.

Created to make you feel as though “you have stepped back in time,” the festival did this in different ways. For the serious history enthusiasts…

…there was the historical village.

Similar to the reenactment camp at the Great Trail Festival
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…participants camped and lived through the weekend with materials used pre-1840…

…while displaying the impressive amount of badges acquired from other events.

And the campers did keep to the strict pre-1840 requirements…

…although I did find an 1860 straggler making his way for some ice cream.

Things became slightly more modern beyond the village…

…along a trail that bordered the woods…

…where there were vendors roughly from the pre-1840 time period…

…modern vendors with timeless gifts…

…old structures to explore…

…old fashioned demonstrations of apple products being made, which could be purchased through donations…

…and antique machinery still used for everyday products (this one made corn meal).

As you can see, here was where the festival started to focus more on agriculture.

This is where you found the antique tractor show…

…and a variety of animals to take pictures of…

…ride…

…use in an Ohio Hand Corn Husking Contest…

…and sheep herd.

But, even with all these interesting attractions, the majority of festival goers came for shopping. And like the Yankee Peddler and the Prairie Peddler
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…they had an entire mapped-out section of vendors…
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…segregated back in a wooded area.

That wooded area contained a food court, a stage, some musicians and various vendors…things I really can’t show you.

This isn’t out of laziness or some bad luck with my camera. Instead, as I started walking into the woods with camera in hand…

…I snapped this shot and was stopped by a volunteer.

One thing I hadn’t seen on the map was the festival’s policy of no smoking or photography in the woods.

Fortunately, I did get one vendor before stepping in.

But not all vendors sold gifts that fit the theme the festival was aiming for. Some sold modern items like goose clothes, tie dye, and corn hole boards. This wasn’t a huge clash, being that there were so many other items present, but it was just as noticeable…

…as placing military vehicles and artillery in the midst of horses and corn.

Not available in the July show, the military area was interesting in its own way…

…especially since they were raffling a real tank…

…but it only confused me on what the Oak Ridge Festival was about.

Was it a loosely based historic festival where modern things could still take part? Or was it a place where different interests (history, military, agriculture) could get together in the name of the funnel cake?

To give it credit, the “Oak Ridge” is a name that gives the festival license to do whatever it wants. It’s not called the “Pre-1840 Festival” or the “Northwest Ohio Farm Festival.”

If they want tanks and tents and apple stirring, they have every right to do it…

…just as long as they remember that this festival is taking place in Attica…
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…making it basically mandatory to construct some busty sphinxes.

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