The Gathering At Garst to draw crowds this weekend

GREENVILLE — Jenny Clark, chairperson for The Gathering at Garst set for this weekend, said the event usually attracts between an estimated 10,000 and 15,000 visitors; however, she is thinking more will show up this year.

“This past year, we were recognized by Ohio Magazine as the ‘Best Summer Festival’ in Ohio,” she said. “That was wonderful. We’re all about history and that’s what we’re here to do is share history.”

The sixth annual event is slated for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with free admission and optional parking for $4.

New this year, according to Clark, is the Gathering of Art fine arts exhibit.

“We invited 10 people to participate,” she said.

They are: Andrea Starkey with printmaking; Eric Roy with abstract paintings; Jessica Murray with product design/photography; the Millrace Potters (Julie Clark, Dionee Mayhew, Loretta Wray and Rita Wiley) with handmade pottery and sculpture; Matt Levek, photography; John Landsiedel with painting, sculpture, mixed media; Dustin Harris and his soda-fired pottery; Sterling Gregory with his pen and ink drawing, mixed media, and performance art/rock balancing; Michael Glass, paintings and prints; Jane Dippold, collage paintings.

​​The website revealed the Kid’s Art Show is new for 2016.

“This year, our sponsors will feature Darke County’s talented student artists by offering a contest open to all students currently enrolled in grades 4-8,” it stated. “Students are asked to submit an original collage using the theme…Hometown History. Representations may include any aspect of our rich heritage from…frontier life, the importance of railroads and hometown heroes”

All pieces submitted will be displayed at The Gathering at Garst on Saturday and Sunday.

“And, we always have a few new vendors,” Clark said.

The pamphlet reads, “Each year there is a wide range of quality vendors filling the grounds of the Garst Museum to celebrate the Gathering at Garst, including artists, antique dealers, craftsmen, primitive folk artists, garden exhibitors and unique food purveyors as well as entertainers, living history encampment re-enactors and community non-profit organizations. This juried two-day event provides each vendor and entertainer the opportunity to sell their wares, perform their art and or demonstrate their skills and knowledge to a crowd of over 10,000 visitors.” ​

New in the food line this year, according to Clark, is Nacho Pig.

“We have a lot of barbecue food…pork, chicken, brisket, as well as bagels and Greek food,” she said.

As always, there will be encampments with re-enactors portraying eras ranging from the French and Indiana Wars to the American Civil War.

“The cannon will be firing late morning Saturday,” Clark said.

Back again, she added, will be the Auction House located in the Lewis and Clark Roadside Tavern on the grounds. It will be at noon Sunday with proceedings benefiting Garst Museum.

Another event taking place at the roadside tavern will be the offering of craft beer and wine, including that from Versailles Winery.

“It’s for adults only,” Clark emphasized. “They have to stay in the tent. It’s on Saturday only.”

Another favorite of The Gathering at Garst is the entertainment, and there will be plenty of it this weekend.

Scheduled to perform on Saturday are Larry Lyons at 11:30 a.m.; John Kogge at 1 p.m.; Repeating Arms at 3:30 p.m.; and Soul Express at 7 p.m.; while Sunday’s entertainment includes Meg Renee at 12:30 p.m. and Green D’Villes at 2:30 p.m.

Additional features at this year’s event are touring of the museum and carriage rides.

The Gathering at Garst, it was noted, was created to remember the defining events and people who shaped Darke County’s history. Visitors come from everywhere and leave with a positive impression of this hometown, its citizens and the museum. All festival proceeds benefit the Garst Museum.

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By Linda Moody

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This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.