By GRETCHEN GREGORY
Get a taste of Americana this weekend at the Hocking CountyFairgrounds, as the third annual Ag Days celebration, presented by theHocking, Fairfield, and Perry County Farm Bureaus, gets underway.
Antique tractors, steam engines, threshing machines, and the art of woodcarvers and blacksmiths all will be on display, beginning Saturday at 9a.m.
New to the event this year is a Civil War Living History, organized byTerry Frost of Athens, who is a Civil War re-enactor. At least one largecannon will be on display, and Frost has plans to shoot the 10-poundMountain Howitzer sometime Saturday afternoon in the center of the track.
“Primarily, these cannons were used in the Western Theater (in theRevolutionary War) because they could strip them down and put them onmules, go into the mountains, then unpack and shoot them,” Frost explained.
Frost, who attends several Civil War Living Histories throughout the year,is hoping for a good turnout this weekend. “We’ll have artifacts inour little display area, and the infantry will be drilling andmarching,” he said.
Cannon fire at nightfall is possible, he added, although it won’t bedone during the morning hours when neighbors are still sleeping.
“I stay in a tent, cook on the fire, and we’ll all be doingdemonstrations with artifacts,” Frost continued.
Ag Days is a time to bring families together, says organizer Betty Shaw.“It’s a learning experience with agriculture. I think it’s just neatto see how we used to do the farming with the tractors that were used backthen up to the modern day.”
Besides antique and modern farming equipment, people have a chance tolearn how lard and cracklins were made in earlier days. Cracklins arepieces of pork fat and skin which have been deep fried so that they turncrispy. Visitors also can eat soup beans and cornbread heated over an open fire.
For small children, there will be a petting zoo, complete with pony rides,baby pigs, baby goats, lambs, sheep, rabbits and chickens.
“We don’t charge anything, and it’s one of the best free eventsaround,” Shaw said. While there isn’t a charge, 4-H groups will sellitems to raise money.
Also new this year is a sawdust coin find, held at 4 p.m. Saturday, and 2p.m. Sunday. A total of $200 in coins will be scattered throughout a largepile of sawdust, and participants keep whatever change they find.
The hay bale toss is returning this year on Saturday, although officialtimes have not been scheduled yet. Those interested in participatingshould sign up in the children’s area across from the petting zoo.
Those also interested in signing up for the garden and tractor pull andthe kiddie pedal pull on Sunday can do so in the children’s area.
The corn hole toss, junior division, is at 10 a.m., Saturday. The opencorn hole toss is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, with a flag raising andribbon cutting.
Sunday at 10 a.m., there is a church service with Iris Conrad, followed byentertainment from the Hocking Valley Bluegrass Boys.