Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 5-29-05
Jeff Gill

Hebron Crossroads Festival in Canal Park

Striped tents, bright lights, carnival music wafting across the Historic Crossroads of Ohio, and a festival in Hebron’s Canal Park!
Memorial Day weekend brings the second Crossroads Festival, sponsored by the Hebron Elementary School PTO. Albanese Amusements will bring rides, games, and some food booths, while many other community organizations with line the midway on down to the big Gazebo and the picnic shelter with the famous Hebron Lions’ fry wagon.
Friday, May 27, right through May 30 (starting after the Memorial Day parade from the Legion Hall down to the Hebron Cemetery and veterans’ memorial there), you can bring the kids . . . of all ages! . . . and enjoy some local fun in a widespread tradition of Ohio festivalling (if that’s a word).
Right through Labor Day with the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival and Flint Ridge Knap-In, this area has a remarkable assortment of community sponsored events, usually with a fair amount of food and a signature element of the area as the label. Hebron’s motto as a historic crossroads of the Ohio-Erie Canal and the National Road, going back to the 1830’s and passers-by like Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson (leaving his name behind just past Hebron to mark Jacksontown), makes a “Crossroads Festival” a very natural choice.
Music is planned in the Gazebo on Saturday night, and area Methodists are combining for an outdoor worship service on Sunday morning, warming up at 10 am for some singin’ and preachin’. This year, the original Memorial Day date of May 30 is actually the “day off” since our legislative Monday phenomena began with so many observances, and everyone from veterans to Civil War buffs to band members marching can appreciate the combination this year, with the 1868 “General Order” to the Grand Army of the Republic, the original American vets organization, establishing May 30 as “Memorial Day” standing behind all we do.
After the wreath laying and speech making, the rides and fun continue through the afternoon, with our enjoyment accented by the knowledge of what has been sacrificed that we might celebrate today.
I hope that, wherever you live in Licking County, you find your way to a local commemoration. One is taking place very near you, in a quiet cemetery or village square. Come and place your hand over your heart, and find your weekend made complete!

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher who will be telling some tall tales and helping cook s’mores over at Infirmary Mound Park next Saturday, June 4, around 7 pm. Come join him, or e-mail to join the narrative.

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