As the familiar sounds of laughing children and school bells ringing echo through the neighborhoods of Athens County, many are brought back to the reality of another summer passed and the looming coolness of crisp autumn evenings. The crowds of college students will flock back to the motherland, their home away from home, to settle in for school. Before we accept the seasons change however, we have the few final days of August to exploit for those in Athens wanting to make the most of the summer time while it’s still here.
Parade of the Hills 8/19 – 8/22
Parade of the Hills is an annual festival in Nelsonville, Ohio that celebrates the rich Appalachian culture of the region and showcases the strength of the community in both Nelsonville and Athens. It’s the star(brick) attraction for many in the area with several new events returning after years in hiatus. You won’t want to miss the Grand Parade through Nelsonville on Saturday or the arts and crafts on display throughout the entirety of the festival. A variety of bands play throughout the four-day festival with events and attractions taking place throughout Nelsonville, including parades, competitions and carnival rides! Spectators to the festival can expect many more musicians playing, some including… Pete’s Band, Holi Spicoli, Time Machine, Word of Mouth Jazz Band and Gospel Night.
This contest is guaranteed to draw talent from across the region in a nationally acclaimed and supported competition. Children and friends alike take joy in listening to different styles of fiddling music, one category being waltz and the other an old fashioned hoedown to get your boots stomping and arms swinging in this family-fun entertainment.
After taking a 16-year break, the Water Battles pits regional fire departments against one another in this friendly competition that requires skill, a hardened resolve and a steady hand for accuracy and determination to decide the winning team. There are several family oriented events including Tug of War, Bucket Brigade and an Agility Course. Teams will be put to the test in an effort to show their firefighting skills against others in the area. The event begins at 9:00 AM before the Grand Parade in Nelsonville on Saturday!
Doggie Swim Day 8/22
The Annual Dog Swim, sponsored by Friendly Paws Pet Supplies & Grooming, at the Athens City Pool is always a fun time and this year it benefits My Sister’s Paws! Bring your dogs of any size to romp and play and swim. Sun, Fun and Dogs – you can’t have a better day than that! Load your four-legged friends and your family into the car and bring them to the Athens Pool for the last day that the pool is “open”. It’s set aside specifically for the pups (we’re not expecting anyone to WANT to take a mouthful of fur anyways) to enjoy the last days of summer and escape the heat. It’s a great event for an even better cause and splashdown commences at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning.
Grande Parade 8/22
The biggest parade to roll through Nelsonville, it involves members traveling from all parts of Southeast Ohio to show and support their area’s rich Appalachian culture. Grab your cars, bikes or roller blades (anything with wheels) and throw some sparkle and pizazz because you’ll want to join in on this fun and lively parade that makes its way through Nelsonville to begin the final day of Parade of the Hills.
George Eberts, an expert on the history of the Athens Asylum or “The Ridges,” will lead an outdoor walking tour of the asylum grounds. George will captivate you with his depth of knowledge as well as tell you the real stories of what life was like for the residents, as well as the employed, at the Asylum. Hear about the resident Alligator, look at the names left carved into the woodwork and hear the sad tale of the “lost lady.” Your tour guide will fascinate you with how the “Lunatic” Asylum began as well as educate you on the history of mental health and psychiatry that made the Athens Asylum one of the largest in Ohio. This is an amazing opportunity for history buffs (or anyone wanting a deeper understanding and know the importance of the Ridges) to get involved on a personal level with the history of the century old complex.
Shoutout to next week’s Final Fridays on the Square 8/28
We’re still a week out, but this month’s Final Fridays in Nelsonville is worth the extra heads up. You won’t want to miss the jam-packed sounds of Angela Perley & The Howling Moons. They’ll be Stuart’s Opera House for the FREE Summer Concert Series on Friday, August 28th at 7:00pm! Free, live music in the Stuart’s parking lot and a beer garden too. Come check out all the locally crafted art openings, vendors and more starting at 5:30pm. Don’t miss this end of summer bash in Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square!