BUTLER — This past weekend marked the beginning of what has become an annual tradition for many in the area, the Prairie Peddler Festival.
If you missed the festival this weekend it will be open again next weekend, Oct. 5-6 from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. each day just off Ohio 97 near Butler. Look for the signs. There is plenty of parking.
While parking is free, admission is $8 for adults, kids 6-12 admisission is $3 and children under the age of 6 are free,
Having started in 1989, the festival is now in its 32nd year with no signs of slowing down and festival coordinator Mandie Willis has an idea on why that may be.
“People love coming here,” Willis said. “We hear stories of people who grew up with their parents bringing them here and now they are bringing their kids. It’s a family tradition for a lot of people.”
For more information on this popular event, visit www.prairietown.com for information.
The festival organizers are expecting over 30,000 people to visit the festival over the combined two weekends.
“So, if the weather is nice over those four days than it will be a great year,” Willis said.
She also credited vendors for their part in the festival’s long-lasting success.
“They (the vendors) are always bringing great stuff they have made,” Willis said. “They change it up from year to year and keep it different.”
This year, the festival has more than 200 vendors located in and around the wooded grounds near Butler for people to browse and shop from, including a variety of home made crafts and foods.
In addition to the vendors there is live entertainment including band, a magician and dance troupes.
There also are activities for kids to enjoy that include face painting in the kids zone. And there is a petting zoo exhibit which features alpacas and horse rides.
The festival’s unique location, in the wooded hillsides of rural Richland county just outside of Butler, is another key factor for the continued success of the Prairie Peddler according to Willis.
“It’s in the woods, so that’s unique,” Willis said, commenting on the fact it’s not an everyday occurrence for people to be able to shop in the woods.
Willis also commented on the fact that the festival is more laid back. And being out and away from and out away area communities is part of its charm.
“It’s like a slow pace (alternative) to our fast paced living.” Willis said,
The Prairie Peddler, off Ohio 97 near Butler, has been an area favorite for more than 30 years. It continues this Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.prairietown.com for information.
Shopping is only part of the fun at the Prairie Peddler. There also is plenty of entertainment and lots of food to eat on site, or take home to eat another day.
A walk in the woods is always fun, family entertainment. But at the Prairie Peddler, what also is a petting zoo which featured pony rides and alpacas.