Great Trail Festival -- Malvern, OH

Yesterday morning we drove out to Malvern to experience the Great Trail Festival. The Festival is touted as an arts and crafts festival, but it is also the largest French and Indian era festival. There are local wares and crafts for sale, reenactments, live music and a buffalo herd. It's a wonderful hodgepodge of history meets folk art.

This is a large event, once you get to the festival entrance there is a police officer directing traffic, which made entering and exiting the festival easy, the main road seemed like a pretty busy one and I wouldn't have wanted to try to turn left on my own.

Immediately upon entering the parking area, Dave started yelling about buffalo, indeed the advertised buffalo herd. 

We did need to stand in line to pay for admission, I recommend bringing cash, although some vendors did have Square (the ability to take debit/credit cards) most were cash only.  

The outer wall of the festival was decorated in era flags -- "Don't Give Up the Ship" is the battle flag of Commodore Perry who helped America win the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. 

Even while standing in line, we were able to see people dressed in period costumes.

Immediately upon entering the festival you will see many of the vendors. 

Beeswax candles...

We were happy that the festival took place under the trees, it's been too hot in Ohio lately!

The stocks are near the stage, a perfect photo-op for your boyfriend or husband.

Someone forgot to do the dishes again....

When we arrived the Cedar Valley Cloggers and Krista Solars had just taken the stage. 

After the Cedar Valley Cloggers finished their set, we started to explore the last of the vendor tents, just as the piper band began their procession to raise the flag.

The gun shop is great for history and gun enthusiasts. This display gives visitors an inside look at a muzzleloading gun shop as experts work to shape the wood stock, create the necessary pieces and then assemble the muzzleloaders. 

Michael Searching Bear and his assortment of handmade flutes. 

At the end of the vendors there was a large clearing where guns and cannons were being set off.

It's worth it to cover your ears after hearing, "FIRE IN THE HOLE," the cannons are pretty deafening. 

We enjoyed some old fashioned root beer to cool off. I'm holding the cream flavor, Dave had the sarsaparilla. The cream was akin to a cream soda, the sarsparilla reminded us of those hard candy root beer barrels, a more spicy version of root beer. 

The public is allowed to visit the encampment where the reenactors are presenting living history. If you have small children, please use caution in this area, because there are open fires! 

We even got an up close look at the cannons which had been fired off prior to us visiting the encampment. 

A covered wagon among the tents. 

To end your day, there are a variety of foods available for purchase. Neither of us eats meat, so we didn't partake in the bison burgers, but we did find some tasty homemade french fries. 

A new band had taken the stage as we were sitting down for lunch.

They were a nice accompaniment to the slice of pecan pie we purchased.

I promised Dave that we could take a closer look at the buffalo when we left the festival. Although it should go without saying, make sure to watch your children near the buffalo herd, the buffalo are behind a fence, but a child could easily squeeze through the bars. These are not domesticated animals! It was pretty hot yesterday though, so the herd was pretty content to sit under the shade of the trees. 

My rating for the Great Trail Festival:


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