History of Small Town Baseball Celebrated in Holloway
For over 70 years, the small village of Holloway in Belmont County, has celebrated the love of America’s pastime with an annual Holloway Old Timers Festival. This year’s event will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The three-day festival will feature food, vendors, D J and karaoke, car show, horseshoe tournament, corn hole tournament, and an Old Timer’s game.
The idea for an annual get together was conceived in 1948 when four Holloway residents were listening to a New York Yankees old timers game on the radio. It is now the longest continuous old timers’ celebration in the nation.
In 1948, the Old Timers Baseball Club began gathering on the weekend preceding Labor Day and have maintained this yearly tradition that also celebrates the history of the B & O Railroad in Holloway. The railroad made Holloway a boom town. The railroad came to town in 1883 and Holloway boasted four grocery stores, a hardware store, drug store, eight bars, three restaurants, and a hotel for railroad workers. The festival honors Holloway’s past.
The festival became quite prominent at one time, garnering state and national media attention. The heyday of the festival was in the 1980’s. The club was recognized by the Ohio Senate in 1986; the Ohio House of Representatives in 1987; the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988; and a message of congratulations was received from President Ronald Reagan that year. The festival was also featured in Ohio magazine that year.
Over the years, baseball legends who have participated in the Old Timers game have included: John Kennedy, Cy Young, Sad Sam Jones, George Westlake and Eddie Onslow.
For more information about this year’s event, visit the calendar section of this website or go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/belmontcountytourism/events.