Monday, October 21, 2013

Sylvania's October Fest: Celebrating Community Spirit

Top left & bottom right: Bob Smith, president, and Sandie Gratop, board member of Sylvania Area Historical Society, sharing the Picker's game; bands and floats; my sister, daughter, and grandsons watching the parade.
Nothing like a grand parade on a sunny blue-sky fall day! It was the Sylvania Fall Festival and everyone came out for it.  Biggest parade I've seen since moving here a few years ago, biggest crowd, the most enthusiasm.  Grand Marshall Sharon Lange, founder and  publisher of the Sylvania Advantage newspaper, led the parade. The mayor, police and firefighters followed, along with colorful floats featuring Sylvania businesses, Main Street shops, cafes and eateries; high school bands, lovingly restored and maintained old and antique cars, and dozens of community organizations.  The kids loved the Shriners in their little red cars running circles around each other. "What a fun event," my sister, visiting from Tallahassee, Florida, said.  "And all I have to do is sit on your front porch on Main Street!"
After the parade we walked up and down the crowded street with my daughter Elissa and four grandsons.  They headed for the kids' games, crafts and food.  My sister and I made a special stop in front of the Sylvania Heritage Museum, where Bob Smith, president of the Sylvania Area Historical Society, sat in his vintage clothes at a table with old farm implements for folks to identify in the annual "Sylvania Pickers" game.  Gifts from Sautters, Paddy Jacks, and the Andersons awaited the winners who identified the most historic farm implements.  My sister and I, both city girls, didn't have a clue, but we marveled at those who said, "Oh, I know what this is!" To find out the lucky winners, go online to the home of the Historical Society: http://www.sylvaniahistory.org.
The smell of popcorn and hotdogs cooking on a grill, the sound of music, a spirit of community flowed freely around us as we navigated the crowds.  Political candidates came out to meet and greet. Tons of families visited the Sylvania Historical Village and took home free pumpkins. We celebrated the changing seasons, as if the brightness of the light proclaimed the shortening of the days and the coming of winter. "It's almost Christmas," my great-grandson Phiip exclaimed as we walked  home with our pumpkins.  "Yes, but first comes Halloween and Thanksgiving," I replied. "But Christmas is the best," Philip insisted. "I'm making my list!" 
"To everything there is a season," I tell him.  He looked at me and smiled.   
Sharon Lange of the Sylvania Advantage served as the Grand Marshall
this year, leading the festive parade.


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