Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Madeira gets ready to party


History and small-town flavor will come together at festival

By Patricia Mahaffey
Enquirer contributor

MADEIRA - The city will put its own hometown stamp on Ohio's Bicentennial, combining history and small-town family flavor with the music, food and entertainment of a big festival.

"It's a real hometown event," said Sherry Mattes, vice mayor and chairwoman of the planning committee. "There's a buzz around town; everybody's excited."

The Madeira Festival in the Park will be held from 1-10 p.m. Saturday at Sellman Park on Miami Avenue. Admission is free.

"We wanted to put children in touch with their past, with a history of their city and state," said Mattes.

Re-enactors of the 60th Royal American Regiment will set up an encampment and perform drills wearing the redcoats, or "regimentals," worn by colonists, then British subjects, during the French and Indian War. What is now Ohio was a bone of contention at that time as both French territory and part of Virginia.

Musical entertainment will include bluegrass, a strolling barbershop quartet, dulcimer music and the Madeira High School marching band. The White Oak Singers from Fort Ancient, whose members have an Eastern Woodland heritage, will tell stories and perform.

Groups and businesses will offer diverse food selections. There will also be a beer garden and an old-fashioned general store featuring baked goods, jellies, jams and other items.

Crafters will demonstrate and sell crafts including baskets, quilts, rugs, woodwork and pottery.

The Madeira Historical Society will exhibit artifacts of Madeira's history, including old photographs and a dress worn for Ohio's Centennial celebration. Madeira resident Mary Lou DeMar, known for her watercolor paintings of Madeira landmarks, will display and sell her work.

Also joining the celebration will be DeMar's husband, Russell, who was recognized by the Historical Society for having the longest uninterrupted family lineage in Madeira. His family settled in the 1790s at the site where the Madeira library now stands.

Old-fashioned games will be available for every age. The Heritage Village Pioneer Group will help children make pioneer toys. Magic Wanda and Polka the Clown will entertain.

Limited-edition bicentennial memorabilia, such as stuffed bears, ball caps and mugs will be offered throughout the day in free raffles.

"We put together an event that offers a great mix, something for everybody," said Madeira Mayor Stephen Shaw.

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For information, call 561-7228.




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