Monday, August 20, 2001

Heritage Fest still growing

Event features new community spirit award

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — New at this year's Heritage Festival will be Kids Zone —20 interactive games for children — and a community spirit award named for Jack Flaherty, a Mason businessman and longtime community volunteer.

        “We now draw from outside the Mason area. We get about 25,000 people in for the day,” said Vickie Larcomb, the festival's chairwoman.

  • What: Heritage Festival.
  • Where: Main Street.
  • Cost: None.
  • When: 10 a.m. parade kicks off festival; festival ends after the 7:15 p.m. show by The Turtles.
  • Traffic: U.S. 42 and Main Street in downtown Mason will be closed Saturday from Second Avenue to Mason-Montgomery Road between 5:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.. Free parking and shuttle service is available from Mason Intermediate School on Tylersville Road.
        The free festival, which will kick off with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, is held on Main Street. The parade will include local marching bands, Scout troops, floats, churches and antique cars.

        “(The community spirit award) will be awarded to one entry in the parade every year,” she said.

        There will also be 180 booths featuring food, entertainment, arts and craft, and an area where parents can change babies' diapers.

        Festival-goers also can check out local and national bands, watch the annual pet show and “Stupid Pet Tricks” contest or test their skills on the rock climbing wall.

        “The only thing people pay for is what they purchase out of the booths,” she said. “Every year, we try to increase what we're giving to the community.”

        The festival is run by a nonprofit group of 20 volunteers, who raise funds via sponsors and booth sales. The volunteers work on the festival year-round.

        “In the beginning, you had to beg people to sponsor. Now, people are calling us up in January wanting to be a sponsor; they want to be in the parade and they want to have a booth,” said Lucy Gorsuch, the festival's historian who's been involved since it began in 1965 as part of Mason's 150th birthday.

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