JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival will be celebrating its 37th annual festival Oct. 9-10. Admission is free.
In Giddings Park off East Jefferson Street, visitors will find a large craft show, food vendors, covered bridge souvenirs, music, children’s rides and strolling entertainment.
The festival also brings with it a big parade, antique tractor and engine displays, homemade apple butter cooked over a fire, bean soup at the Jefferson Fire Department, children’s activities at Henderson Memorial Library and more. New this year, a chainsaw carver will perform three shows daily.
“I’m excited for the upcoming Covered Bridge Festival,” Ashtabula County Commissioner Casey Kozlowski said. “It’s a great opportunity for those locally and visitors alike to see the many things we have to offer here in Ashtabula County, including our incredible covered bridges.”
With more than 150 covered bridges throughout the state, Ohio ranks second in the nation for the most covered bridges. Both the longest and shortest bridges are in Ashtabula County — the 613-foot Smolen-Gulf Bridge spanning the Ashtabula River and the 18-foot Liberty Street Bridge in Geneva.
Ginger Whitehead, director of the festival committee, urges festival-goers to take the self-guided driving tour.
“The most important aspect of the festival is the ability to visit different bridges and support a variety of community charities and causes,” she said.
All of the county’s 19 covered bridges will feature groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs, Relay for Life, fire departments, and church groups, offering baked goods, hot dogs or other food items for sale to raise money for their organizations. Every group plans to decorate the bridges for fall.
Tour maps are available at the festival and bridges.
Calendars featuring all 19 bridges, shirts, postcards, Christmas ornaments and other souvenirs will be available.
Visit http://coveredbridgefestival.org/Pages/festival.html for more information.