CHESTER — While the annual observance of Chester Shade Days has been reduced from a two day to a one day celebration this year, this Saturday’s event will include numerous activities for every age, a variety of competitions, educational displays, and plenty of festival foods.
The day’s activities will kick off at 8 a.m. with a breakfast served by Mercy’s Mission for a donation of $5. The traditional patriotic opening will be conducted at 10 a.m. by the Tuppers Plains VFW and Karen Griffith.
New to Chester Shade Days will be a chain saw competition to be conducted by Jamie Ewing. Registration for that will take place under the tent on the Commons at 10 a.m. There is a participation fee of $20 for modified, and $10 for stock with cash prizes to be awarded in four places in each category. In the modified division, the prizes are $150 for first; $75 for second, $35 for third, and $10 for fourth. In the stock division, the first place prize is $100, second place, $50; third, $25; and fourth, $10. The competition will get underway at 11 a.m. on the Commons. Additional information can be obtained by calling Ewing at 740-416-1295.
There is no fee for entering a favorite animal in the pet show to begin at 10:30 a.m., to participate in the kids’ corn hole tournament or to take part in any of the games which are being planned by Kendra Lawrence. However prizes will be awarded to the winners.
Again this year there will be a pie contest with registration to be held at 10:30 a.m. in the dining area of the Academy. The fee to participate is two pies, one for the entry fee, the other for the contest. Prizes will be $25 for first place, $20 for second place, and $15 for third. The annual pie auction will be held at 4 p.m. under the tent on the Commons.
Cornhole tournaments will be held for the kids with registration at 11 a.m. and for the adults at 1 p.m. There is a $5 fee per person for the adult competition with prizes to be awarded as follows: $480 per team for first place, $30 per team for second place, $280 per team for third place, and $180 per team for fourth place, Urban Graf is in charge of the event and may be contacted at 985-3601 for more information.
Another feature of the day will be the noon recognition of the oldest man and the oldest woman present in the Meigs Finest Contest. Holding to tradition, an afternoon program of gospel music will be held under the Commons tent. This year’s singers will include the Gospel Bluegrass Gentlemen and Brenda, Charlie and Ellen Rife, The Dollys, Martie Short, Everett Grant, Debbie Falcone, Angela Gibson, Brian and Family Connection, Jerry and Diana Frederick, and the Peter Martindale Family.
That will lead up to a 4:30 p.m. concert by the Ohio Buckeye Harmonica Club and the 5 p.m. competition for the title of Ohio State Harmonica Champion.
An art display will be featured in both the Chester Courthouse and the Academy for viewing by those attending. The Chester Volunteer Fire Department will be serving fried fish and homemade ice cream all day long.
While this year’s event will not feature a Civil War ball in the evening, the dancing will return next year as the county celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Battle of Buffington Island, the only one fought on Ohio soil.