First weekend in September offers two great festivals in Belmont County
September in Belmont County begins with two unique local festivals that celebrate the history of the area. You won't find these festivals anywhere else! The Holloway Old Timers Festival celebrates the history of the railroad and baseball and The Shadyside Loop Festival celebrates the town's main street and the memories created by generations of teenagers who cruised it.
Holloway Old Timers Festival
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. It is the oldest continuous old timer’s celebration in the nation. The 73rd Annual Old Timers Festival in Holloway will be Friday-Sunday, Sept. 3-5. The festival began as a reunion for former railroad workers who loved to play ball and has grown into an event enjoyed by residents and visitors. Celebrity players of the past have included Cy Young, Belmont County natives Johnny Blatnik and Sad Sam Jones, George Westlake and Eddie Onslow.
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. 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 and hospital 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.
Friday’s events begin at 11 am with a flea market. A Chinese auction will be held all day on each day of the festival. Daily food items will include: hot dogs, onion rings, French fries, pepperoni rolls, nachos, pop, water, and homemade baked goods. Beginning at 11, concessions will include. soup beans, ham and cornbread and roast beef sandwiches. Music by Warner DJing will be 7-10 pm. There will be games, sno-cones and a dunk tank each day.
Saturday opens with the flea market at 11 am. Food offered that day will be pork and sauerkraut and pork sandwiches. A car show will be held from 12-4pm. The Old Timers & Fireman’s Parade begins at 5 pm. Lineup starts at 3:30pm on SR 331 at Cravat Tipple #1. Children are encouraged to participate in the parade. There will a bike decorating contest with first, second and third place ribbons awarded for the the best decorated bike, wagon, etc. Live music from 7-10 pm will be provided by Pardon The Interruption.
Sunday opens with the flea market at 11 am and chicken dinners being served. A horseshoe tournament begins at 1 pm. Registration begins at noon. The festival closes at 6pm on Sunday with the drawing of the 50/50 raffle.
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
Shadyside Loop Festival
Also celebrating local history, the 12th Annual Shadyside Loop Festival, Sept. 3-4, is a village-wide, family-oriented event that celebrates the heritage and history of the "loop" area of downtown Shadyside. It is a "homecoming" event for many Shadyside natives and provides connection for residents and alumni of Shadyside High School. Many Shadyside High School reunions are held during this time. It promotes community with vendors, kid's games and rides, entertainment, a car show, etc. Proceeds from the event benefit the Shadyside Park and Recreation department, projects to beautify the Loop, and for Shadyside High School scholarships.
The event will begin with the Cruise the Loop Parade starting at 6 p.m. Friday. The car show will also take place 6-8 p.m. on Friday. Prizes and trophies will be awarded to the best cars, including a “Mayor’s Choice” trophy for the first place car, “People’s Choice” trophies for seven runners-up and prizes for the “Best of Show” and “Best Original” cars.
The 2nd Annual Tiger 4-Man 5K Run/Walk in memory of Josh Carpenter will begin and end at Matt’s Tiger Pub on Sat. Sept. 4. Registration begins at 8:30 am and the race starts at 10am. Local band Pocket Change will be performing on Saturday from 8-11pm.