(Posted Aug. 31, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The South Charleston Heritage Commission is hosting its biggest event of the year, the Heritage Days Festival, on Sept. 24. Visitors can expect all sorts of food, entertainment, vendors and more with everything taking place in and around the historic train depot and log house at 147 W. Mound St.
The day kicks off at 10 a.m. with a parade. Lineup starts at 9 a.m. at 140 S. Church St. near the Veterans Memorial. Parade organizer Patty Moore said more than 50 units have signed up so far and include everything from tractors and horses to 40H groups, antique cars, and queens visiting from other festivals.
“We have a couple of special anniversaries this year. The Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 200th anniversary, and American Legion Post 176 is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Both will have floats in the parade,” said Moore, adding that anyone who would like to participate in the parade can contact her at (937) 206-5072.
South Charleston resident Sue Mattinson is the parade grand marshal. Mattinson recently completed six years as president of the South Charleston Heritage Commission. During her tenure, she oversaw installation of a new stair lift at the opera house and a mural celebrating the village’s heritage. She also wrote “Edward Edwards: The Man Who Built South Charleston, Ohio,” led cemetery tours, organized two tours of historical churches, and gave a talk about the women of South Charleston. She now serves as a Heritage Commission trustee. She also is treasurer of the Ladies Monday Night Club, a member of the South Charleston Community Club, and a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.
“Sue is a fountain of information. She knows everything about everything,” said Rick Burton, Heritage Commission president. “What I really like about her is her passion for the history of the village. She is a dynamo.”
Also on the festival schedule is the always popular kiddie tractor pull, sponsored once again by Jennifer and Brian Harbage and their family. The pull starts at 1 p.m. Children’s games, including the cane toss, football toss, and milk can toss, run all day. Adults are invited to play poker.
Homegrown talent takes the stage starting at 3 p.m. and continuing through the rest of the afternoon and evening. All three vocalists are Southeastern High School graduates, and all have previously performed at the festival. Justin Brue is traveling back to South Charleston from Tennessee to perform. Matt Clarkson now hails from Springfield. Ty Cooper is a teacher at Southeastern.
The Heritage Commission is holding a silent auction in conjunction with the festival. Items will be on display outside the train depot starting at 10 a.m. Bidding closes at 6 p.m. Items up for bid include home decor, paint supplies, merchant gift certificates, overnight stays at bed and breakfasts and log cabins, holiday decorations, children’s toys, lawn furniture and more.
Festival goers will have plenty of food options, including the famous pork chop dinners made by American Legion Post 176. A local organization will serve up homemade gingerbread. Several food trucks are on the schedule, too: All In Flavor, Diamond Dogs, The Fat Straw, Miller’s Ice Cream, Poppy’s Smokehouse, Cray Cray Cajun, Chido’s Tacos, and Stix Street Food.
Fireworks sponsored by the Madison Township Fire & EMS Association will close out the festival. The fireworks will go off at 9:45 p.m. from Church and Woodward streets.
For more information and updates, visit “South Charleston Heritage Days Festival” on Facebook. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Some hay bales will be set up for seating.
Proceeds from the festival go toward upkeep of the historic train depot and log cabin, as well as the opera house at South Charleston’s town hall.