CAMDEN — This weekend — Oct. 21 and 22 — marks the 30th anniversary of Camden’s Black Walnut Festival.
The festival, a dream of the former Camden Chamber of Commerce, started as Home Town Holiday, then in 1987 the chamber changed the name of the event to the Black Walnut Festival and the rest is history.
Local residents and proud contributors to Camden’s rich history over the years, Homer and Katheryn Bacon served as the festival’s first grand marshals. This year Camden is proud to honor the local heroes at the Camden/Somers Township Fire and EMS Department as grand marshals.
The festival is always well attended with thousands of visitors coming from all around to enjoy homemade crafts, excellent food, interesting exhibitions, and a wide variety of entertainment.
This year’s festival again has lots to offer.
In addition to the parade, crafts, food and entertainment, there will be a chainsaw demonstration and art, baking contest, a petting zoo and a booth providing information about next year’s Camden Bicentennial. In addition to Black Walnut Festival items for sale, the Camden Bicentennial Committee will be on hand selling new t-shirts, yard flags and other items.
New this year, the Bicentennial Committee will also host the first Camden Haunted Hayride Tours on Fridays and Saturdays, October 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each evening. The tours will take participants through Camden and will feature true stories of Camden’s strange and disturbing past — and present — including stories of murders, mysteries and mayhem.
Following each hayride tour, members of the Southern Ohio Supernatural (SOS), a paranormal investigative organization, will provide an informational session on ghost hunting inside the newly-renovated Camden Town Hall for participants. The cost is $20 per person with all proceeds to benefit the 2018 Bicentennial Celebration (those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.) Space is limited and filling up fast. Information about the tours and registration can be found at www.facebook.com/CamdenOHBicentennial2018/
On Friday, Oct. 20, the celebration will start with the Camden Haunted Tour at the Town Hall. Tours will start at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, the festival opens at 9 a.m. The parade will start at 10 a.m. Crowning of the Black Walnut Princess will follow the parade in the gazebo.
There will be craft booths, bake sales, food vendors, and entertainment all day long. There will be a car and cycle show, with a rain date if needed on Sunday. Chain saw art and Valley Exotics Petting Zoo will also be present.
The festival will close at 5 p.m., but the Haunted Tour will be held at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Oct. 22, the festival opens at 9 a.m. There will be craft booths, bake sales, food vendors, and entertainment all day long. Chain saw art and Valley Exotics Petting Zoo will also again be present.
At 2 p.m. the baked goods contest and auction will be held. The kiddie tractor pull will also be held at 2 p.m.
At 5 p.m. the 50/50 raffle drawing and Bengal ticket/basket drawing will be held.
For more about the Black Walnut Festival visit the website: http://Villageofcamden.us/black-walnut-festival/. For more information about the Camden Haunted Tour and the link to reserve a seat, go to https://www.facebook.com/CamdenOHBicentennial2018/.