Thursday, April 26, 2001

Pioneers' way of life is recreated

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WILLIAMSBURG — If the weather is good, thousands of people could converge on this village of 2,300 this weekend in what one Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau official calls a “hidden jewel in the Tristate.”

        The 9th annual Grassy Run Heritage Rendezvous, a celebration of Clermont County's pioneer heritage, takes place this weekend at Harmony Hill, Third and Willow streets here.

        Last year, between 2,500 and 3,000 people attended the weekend festival, which features more than 200 participants in period costume representing the era of mid-1700s to 1840. With participants actually living on the grounds, Harmony Hill turns into a small village for the weekend.

   The rendezvous hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults, 17 and older; $2 for ages 7 to 16; 6 and under free.
        “We'll have over 100 camps set up there,” said Ron Shouse, president of Grassy Run Historical Arts Committee, the primary sponsor of the event. “We have to have enough firewood cut, make sure there's water. There's a lot to do.”

        There will be demonstrations of pioneer work and crafts throughout the weekend, period entertainment and a children's area.

        June Creager, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said its success in past years is based on the hard work the participants put into it.

        “I think it is kind of a hidden jewel in the Tristate,” said Ms. Creager. “This is a family activity. It's a great event from a historical and heritage aspect. It's kind of a walk back in time.”

        Friday is reserved for school children, and 1,300 are expected.

        “It is our hope that out of 1,000 children if we hook one of them into really getting into history, that's great,” said Mr. Shouse. “One child out of 1,000, hey, we did it. I want them to pick up a history book. I want them to go talk to their grandparents, find out where you came from. Maybe fire 'em up a little bit for history.”


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