Harmar Days delights many

For around 30 years, the Harmar Days Street Festival has graced Harmar Village, bringing forth a flurry of shoppers and creating sights to see during an activity-packed weekend.

While it may not be the biggest festival to grace the area, Chuck Swaney, board member for the festival, said it is a big draw for many.

“In the big scheme of events, in terms of the Sweet Corn (Festival) and the River Roar, it’s Harmar Village,” he said. “We raise a little bit of money.”

In fact, the usual amount is about $1,000, and Swaney said the Country Store is the main source of income.

Vendors will include a little bit of everything, he said.

“Vendor-wise, there will be jewelry, hand-crafted crochet items and some other artisans,” he said. “It’ll be a nice selection.”

In addition to vendors, many storefronts will be open, including a couple of relatively new shops.

Log Cabin Country Quilts has been in Harmar, at the corner of Maple Street, since April 2012 and owner Ginny Guthrie says business has been plentiful.

“This is a great spot for a quilt shop,” she said. “It’s very visible and I get a lot of foot traffic…The neighbors are great, people down the street are supportive and encouraging, and great to work with.”

She said that while she does not sell fabric, she happily quilts quilt tops and items that customers bring in.

“There are some really interesting ones I’ve had,” Guthrie said. “People will open a drawer after their mom passed away and they’ll find quilt blocks. There was a woman who had a quilt made with her and her brother’s clothes…I feel honored to be a part of that tradition. I also once had a quilt made out of Royal Crown bags in a drunkards path, with half-circles inside of a square. When you put it together, it makes a crooked path. I couldn’t not (make it).”

Guthrie said she’s looking forward to the crowds of Harmar Days.

“We get a lot of foot traffic,” she said. “It’s always fun to meet new people.”

For the last year, Cheeseman’s Bait Shop has been reopened to the public. Owners Rick and Kim Flowers bought the shop and opened it during Harmar Days last year. Kim said that her great-grandfather started the shop in 1957, and her cousin took it over after he died. After her cousin’s death a few years ago, Kim said she and her husband had to buy it.

“My husband and I bought it in the spring of 2013,” she said. “We’ve been open just about a year. We’ve been pretty busy…we’re looking forward to getting busier and busier.”

While the shop may be one of the only actual bait shops in Marietta, Flowers said the store is more than just a simple bait shop.

“Of course, we’re a bait shop, but we have a little of everything,” she said. “We have crafts, jewelry, bait and fishing supplies…My husband is an antiquer; he loves to do (antique) auctions. I wanted the building because it was my great-grandpa’s. We just decided to do it all.”

Flowers said she’s more than ready for all the people who will flock to the Harmar area, filling the streets and buying locally.

Swaney added that Sunday will be a big draw for car lovers.

“(The car show) always gets a big turnout,” he said. “We usually get about 40 cars.”

Those 40 cars usually range from street rods to imports, and everything in between. There are six categories for winners, including Best Chevy, Best Ford and Best in Show.

While there are many things to keep attendees happy, Swaney said there is one main reason for Harmar Days.

“The turning of the Railroad Bridge is a big deal,” Swaney said. “It allowed paddle wheels to go up the river and (transport) all kinds of goods that went from Marietta to Zanesville…Sure, you can visit shops (and vendors)…but there’s also this 150-year-old turning bridge that needs to be fully restored and saved (for the long-term)…That’s really why this is happening.”

The bridge will be turned at noon on Saturday and again on Sunday.