The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 30, 2013

Beach Glass Festival makes Ashtabula Harbor glisten

Fifth annual event ends today in Ashtabula

ASHTABULA — Glass washed and polished over the years by Mother Nature gave Bridge Street in Ashtabula Harbor some extra sparkle on Saturday.

The fifth annual Beach Glass Festival wraps up a two-day run today. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bottles and other glass-based items barely given a thought when they found their way into lakes and oceans years ago have spawned an industry and a legion of glass groupies. Plenty of people mingling with the nearly 90 vendors could be seen wearing “I Love Beach Glass” T-shirts.

Former Ashtabula resident Vanessa Esquiebel, now living in San Diego, was home for a visit and took in the festival with husband Alex.

“This is really unique,” she said. “I’m glad we came. It’s interesting. What a great idea.”

Gina O’Rourke of Jefferson was passing through the harbor when she saw the crowd, all the tents and food-sellers. She and daughters Chloe and Bailey just had to stop and browse among the jewelry.

“We were just driving by,” she said. “We thought it looked (like fun).”

The latest version attracted beach glass businesspeople from as far away as some from as far away as Florida and Virginia, said Troy Dalrymple, co-owner of Beaches in the harbor and an organizer of the event. Dalrymple smiled as he gestured at the row of white vendor tents stretched along the street.

“The festival has really grown,” he said. “We’re starting to go up the hill (toward Lake Avenue).”

Dark clouds early Saturday morning gave way to sunshine, much to Dalrymple’s relief.

“It was a little rocky at first,” he said. “But the weather really shined in our favor.”

Brenda Southall of Ashtabula operates Tumbled Treasures and has been creating beach glass items since 2005. “I was one of the first to sell it,” she said.

Southall has watched the Festival grow each year — along with people’s interest in beach glass. Now a combination of recycling, increased use of plastics and consumer demand has made the glass a precious material.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find it,” she said.

While glass could be seen everywhere dangling as earrings, necklaces and bracelets, Bonnie Mohrbacher of Rochester, Pa., found a different use. She uses glass and stones to create turtle sculptures that brought lots of people to her Turtle Treasures booth

“My daughter was into turtles,” Mohrbacher said. “I started making them as gifts, and it eventually grew into a business.”

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon