Bean Dinner brings the community back together

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
After two years of cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic Hilltop Bean Dinner has finally returned. On June 25, thousands of people throughout the county traveled to Westgate Park to attend the event that featured fun and games, live music, and the devourment of hundreds of pounds of beans. Hosted by the Hilltop Business Association, organizers and participants alike said they were grateful to have this beloved tradition back in their community. Historical reenactor John Rummel, who is portraying a Confederate prisoner of war, carves rings made of bone at the Camp Chase display. Camp Chase served as a training camp for Ohio soldiers and later became a POW camp. As many as 150,000 Union soldiers and 25,000 Confederate prisoners passed through its gates during the Civil War, and the Camp Chase Cemetery now sits just southeast of Westgate Park. Members of the Hilltop Historical Society said they intend to establish a permanent museum to hold all of their collected artifacts from that era.
YMCA employees Joy Cuellar (left) and Sally Meanor play a spirited game of Connect 6 during the festivities.
Westside resident Adam Weaver displays his plant creations for sale (his 3D print creations were just off to his left). He said he decided to start cultivating his own plants during the pandemic.
Kain Kromer, 2, gives some affection to Mattis, a therapy dog with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Westgate resident Tyler White takes a picture of Jack Leffel’s yellow 1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupe on display at the Shifflet Auto Care car show.

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