Shelby Iron Works Park Fall Festival sees large crowds

Published 12:17 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Visitors to the Shelby Iron Works were able to experience amazing weather, meet a large number of vendors and experience several historical and occupational demonstrations during the annual fall festival that was held on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The event, which occurred from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., saw roughly 3,000 people from the surrounding area and neighboring communities come to the Shelby Iron Works for the annual festival. The festival, which is one of many held at the site, was organized by the Shelby County Historical Society and a long line of volunteers.

“We had wonderful weather and a wonderful turnout,” said Jennifer Maier, executive director of the Shelby County Museum and Archives and Shelby Iron Works Park. “People got to experience some of the old-time traditions that the park has tried to keep alive, such as making sorghum syrup and blacksmithing demonstrations. A crowd favorite, always, is our antique sawmill, which was a great attraction for everybody.”

In addition to the live demonstrations, attendees were able to enjoy the musical performances of Aint Misbehavin’ Dance Band, a big band style group whose vintage sound and style is presented by a roster of performers made up of professional musicians, band directors, nurses, lawyers, IT engineers, technicians and others.

Visitors were also able to enjoy the park’s own country store in addition to the vendors and food trucks that were in attendance. While the park’s events are normally contained to the main area of the site, the festival saw a small portion of County Road 308 closed and open to foot traffic, which allowed vendors to set up on both sides of the park and along the road.

“We had over 50 vendors participate in the event which is about capacity for us,” Maier said “We were really pleased with the number of vendors that chose to participate in our event, considering there was a lot of other events going on in the same weekend.”

Attendance maintained a steady flow and number throughout the entirety of the day. In all, the event was considered a welcome success by those who had spent the preceding days preparing for the event and setting up the amenities that were present.

“I would like to thank the many volunteers that helped make this event possible,” Maier said. “We certainly couldn’t do it without them. I would also like to thank everybody that chose to come out and enjoy our event and we will see them next year on the second weekend of October.”

As with other events hosted at the Iron Works, all proceeds went toward the preservation and improvement of the park and its facilities.

Regular visitors to the park, and those who may have missed out on the Shelby Iron Works Park Fall Festival, will next have an opportunity to attend an event at the Shelby Iron Works on Saturday, Nov. 4, when the Shelby County Historical Society will hold their monthly Pancake Breakfast and Made in the Shade Vendor Days event.

Both the breakfast and vendor event occur on the first Saturday of every month, excluding January, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.