MINSTER— The 2018 Annual Lake Loramie State Park Harvest Festival and Campout is just around the corner and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. The festivities take place at Lake Loramie State Park, 11070 State Route 362, Minster, on Sept. 14-16.
Co-sponsored by the Lake Loramie Improvement Association, Lake Loramie’s Fall Harvest Festival is a family event that features a wide variety of activities including an antique power show demonstrating various old gas-powered tractors and equipment, kids’ games and activities, a farmers’ market, mountain men encampment, food, and arts and crafts exhibitors. There is a lot to see and do.
Loramie State Park Manager Jason Whitman is excited about this year’s festival and is working feverishly with a host of others to prepare for the occasion.
“This is a big event and draws big crowds year after year; it’s something that a lot of people look forward to and plan for as part of their fall ritual; we have seen a lot of growth over the years and the variety of things to see and do appeals to folks of all ages. We have a nice list of activities lined up for this year, plenty of great food and snacks, live entertainment and of course our annual campout. This year we are expecting around 300 camping units. We have our normal camping area with 156 spaces plus a large overflow area near the beach; this is an exciting event with a lot of opportunity to have a great time and create a lot of good memories with family and friends,” Whitman said.
Whitman has a personal connection with Lake Loramie that helps fuel the fire of excitement for the annual event. During his childhood, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents at the lake where he had a lot of fun fishing, camping and swimming.
“It’s easy for me to get excited about this event because I like seeing everyone, especially the kids, having a great time. This is a very unique setting with qualities you’ll not see or experience at other fall festivals and I think that’s why it appeals to so many people and gets bigger year after year. I’ve always wanted my legacy to be one of helping others create cherished memories that will last a lifetime,” said Whitman, who has been the park manager since 2012.
“For some people attending our annual event, this is their only family vacation for the whole year, so we really work hard to provide non-stop entertainment and fun for the whole family. I think that is the key element that brings people back year after year and makes this festival something folks really look forward to attending.” Whitman said.
The festival kicks off Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Activities include everything from sawmill demonstrations to a strolling ventriloquist and much, much more. There will be 200 plus antique tractors and other related equipment demonstrations, a farmers market on Saturday, Sept. 15, 14 non-profit food vendors and approximately 70 arts and crafts vendors.
Admission for each day is free but those wishing to stay and camp out can make reservations by calling 866-644-6727 or by stopping by the park office at: 11070 State Route 362, Minster. Those having other questions about the event may call Loramie State Park Camp Coordinator Linda Marvin, 937-295-3900. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 8 to 10 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. Those wishing to camp after the event will have to wait until 50 p.m. Sunday afternoon before checking in.
Mums sales will take place at Campsites 48 and 87 on Sept. 14-15. All vehicles will need to be parked out in visitor or designated parking areas. Please make arrangements to have your mums carried out (cart or wagon). The Buckeye Farm Antiques shuttle service will be available during the scheduled hours of the event.
The park is still looking for exhibitors for the famers’ market and reenactors for the mountain men encampment. Those interested should call the park at 419-394-3611 for further information. Anyone wishing to participate in the antique power show should call Robert Kohler at 419-628-4244. All arts and crafts vendor positions are taken.
All proceeds from the event will be used for a variety of improvements in and around the State Park. Former projects included new boat docks, a fitness trial, playground equipment, and several day-use facilities located on the park grounds. The public is encouraged to attend.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.