After a year without a summer festival, the Ohio Rural Heritage Festival debuted last weekend with nary a hitch and entertained large crowds on Friday, Aug. 21 and Saturday, Aug. 22.
Hundreds of people descended on Ripley on Friday and Saturday for a weekend of fun, entertainment, and education. Children learned about life below the Ohio River water line, visitors were able to watch local bluegrass artist Ben Pedigo and hear a performance from rock group HotRod and the Fast Lane, and overall enjoy the great weather along the river.
The festival began with a parade on Friday night that marched from the Ripley Elementary School to the downtown festival area. Following that, eight young women took part in the first Ohio Rural Heritage Festival pageant, and 2015 Ripley-Union-Le wis-Huntington graduate Shaunee Bruce took home the crown as the first ever Rural Heritage Festival queen,earning the $1,000 first prize. 2014 Georgetown High School graduate Alicia Gifford was named the runner-up.
One of the most popular events of the weekend was the Car and Truck Show which filled Main Street on Saturday morning. Numerous classic vehicles were admired by a constant and steady flow of festival goers. Lower Main Street and part of Ripley’s Front Street were occupied by vendors selling their wares along a with a variety of food choices.
The Ripley Lions Club raised $500 from $1,000 gathered in their split the pot raffle from their booth set up on Main Street.
On Saturday, the Heritage Festival held a baby show in the morning, followed by a kid’s tractor pull, a pizza eating contest, cow pie bingo, a corn hole tournament, and a duck race at 5 p.m. The winner of the duck race earned $500, the runner-up earned $250, and the last duck won $50.