If you agree with the above statement, you probably were not among the 534 people who enjoyed Darke County Center for the Arts’ Barbecue and Blues on the lawn of Greenville Public Library a couple of weeks ago. People of all ages joyously partook of the festive event featuring music, food, and camaraderie on a lovely summer evening in downtown Greenville – What a swell party that was!
And if you believe that there’s nothin’ to do around here, you probably didn’t check out Towne & Country Players’ presentation of “Oliver” at Versailles’ Performing Arts Center last week. Lots of local citizens supported their families, friends, and neighbors who took part in the latest T & C production; the local actors, singers, musicians, and stage crew provided another delightfully entertaining show, adding to the long series of crowd-pleasers the local community theatre company has presented through the years.
If you still insist that our community offers “nothin’ to do,” I challenge you to justify that belief based on the upcoming activity offered this weekend. The 55th Annie Oakley Festival will return to the Darke County Fairgrounds, offering a diverse array of events including historical bus tours, marksmanship contests, an old-time melodrama, a car show, and musical entertainment! That truncated list of things to do at one event pretty much demolishes the whole concept of “nothin’ to do.” And that’s only one of the available opportunities to do something without venturing very far.
The Gathering at Garst celebrating local history and culture will be held on the grounds of Garst Museum this weekend, opening with a Living History Encampment at Prairie Ridge Meadow on Friday. Illuminated with lanterns, candles, and campfires, the event whisks visitors back in time to experience local life as it was lived centuries ago, and much more. Then on Saturday and Sunday, various vendors will set up shop, selling the work of skilled artisans as well as unique food selections; the Lewis and Clark Trailside Tavern returns as well, serving up craft beers and local wines. The sound of music will spill out of the music tent throughout the Gathering, including songs performed by Beach Boys tribute band Sounds of Summer at 8 p.m. Saturday. Last Chance Mercantile will offer treasures for your consideration; you’ll find rusty garden ornaments, vintage ceramics, Depression glass and more among the donated items seeking a new home. That’s not all that this award-winning event offers, but you get the idea – the Gathering provides plenty of “things to do.”
That’s not the end of the opportunities to do something this weekend; on Friday, historic Bear’s Mill will hold its monthly “Art at the Mill” opening reception featuring the hewn-stone creations of local sculptor Harold Wiley and stone mosaic pieces by Cincinnati-area artist Peggy Schuning. Food and drink will be available from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m., and the artists will offer insight into their work at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to the opening, the art remains on display during regular Mill hours through Aug. 26; and the Mill, a mystically inspiring site that has changed little since its founding in 1849, is always worthy of a visit.
The plethora of local “things to do” does not end this weekend. First- through 12th-grade students are invited to take part in auditions at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall for DCCA’s Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from 10 a.m. until noon on Monday, July 30; and everyone can attend the amazing show starring local youngsters on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. or 7 p.m.
Then, of course, Darke County’s premiere event opens on Friday, Aug. 17; the Great Darke County Fair draws crowds from across the state and the nation, and offers a whole lot of things to do. That’s not all that’s locally available, but space does not permit me to go on; however, I think my point has been made. We are indeed fortunate to have a lot to do around here; we just need to take advantage of all the opportunity.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.