By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Kim Ostrander's idea of a wedding is downright pioneering.
Dan Crum and Kim Ostrander
When she and Dan Crum say "I do" Saturday it will be among members of the Bicentennial Wagon Train: the Path to Statehood, which will be starting its trek across Ohio that day.
She and her wedding party and guests will dress in costumes reminiscent of 1803. Everything will look like Buckeye history come alive.
"We planned on running away to Gatlinburg, Tenn., just the two of us," said Ostrander, of Batavia. "Then this idea came along. What other couple can say they got married while celebrating Ohio's bicentennial, and do it in this way?"
The couple will be married at the Belmont County Fairgrounds in St. Clairsville. The wagon train will start earlier that day in Martins Ferry, near the West Virginia border, and stop at the fairgrounds for the wedding and the night.
Ostrander will wear an old-fashioned dress that her fiance's mother wore during a bicentennial celebration at her church. "My parents are dressing up in old-style clothing," she said. "Everyone is getting into it. It will be exciting."
Lee Yoakum, a spokesman for the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, said the Belmont County Tourism Council sought a couple who wanted to be married with the wagon train. At her mother's urging, Ostrander, a Belmont County native, responded to the council's request.
"Kim told me, 'We hope this will be a memorable experience,' " Yoakum said. "That could turn out to be the understatement of the year."
Ostrander, 33, is an administrative assistant and fellowship coordinator for the University of Cincinnati's Division of Cardiology. Crum, 40, also of Batavia, is a store manager for Porter Paints.
She said marrying next to a wagon train will be enough "roughing it" for them. "I'm not riding. It's my wedding day," she said. "I'm certainly not going to step onto any wagon."
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission's 275-mile wagon trip across 10 Ohio counties will end July 14 in New Paris, Preble County. The train will honor 100 pioneers who traveled west by wagon from the Farmington River Valley in Connecticut and Massachusetts in the fall of 1803 to settle in Worthington, in Franklin County.
Participants will travel 12-16 miles a day and roughly follow U.S. 40 (the old National Road and Zane's Trace). Along the way, communities will welcome the wagoneers with special events and parades.
On the eastern and central parts of the trip, the wagon train will pass through Belmont, Guernsey, Muskingham, Licking and Franklin counties. On the second part of its trip, the train will travel through Madison, Clark, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties.
The wagon train will arrive in Worthington on July 5, for the city's Bicentennial Homecoming Parade.
"It will honor the people who settled Ohio and laid the foundations for statehood," Yoakum said.
People of any age may ride the wagon train, but they must register by June 6. The cost is $25 per person each day to help pay for animals, wagons, food and campsites.
"Some people may want to make the entire trip, while others may only want to spend a day or two," said John Butterfield, executive director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Bicentennial Wagon Train Committee.
For information, call the city of Worthington at 614-543-0299, or see www.worthington.org/bicentennial.
Traveling tips: Pack lightly. Bring a sturdy duffel bag or small suitcase. Bring only what you'll need. The trip will be like camping - minus modern conveniences. Of course, some needs can't go unmet: a trailer will haul portable toilets in back of the wagon train. Even toilet paper will be provided.
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