Spring Festival To Celebrate Appalachian History

By
Kelsey Borza
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Tue, Apr 24, 2012 1:48 pm

The Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council is an organization that works to share the history of Southeast Ohio's former coal mining region.

The council will sponsor the Appalachian Spring Festival April 27-28 in Nelsonville.  The event uses exhibits to teach the community about the region's history.
 
Event coordinator John Winnenberg says one popular aspect of the event is the living history characters who will be giving the show life.
 
"Ron Luce, who is the director of the historical society here, will be portraying Chris Evans, a union organizer from the 1884 Hocking Valley Coal Strike. George Stuart, the builder and owner of Stuart's Opera House, portrayed by Bob Garbo, will host the show that evening and Kathy Devecka will also be doing dramatic readings from the Millfield mine disaster," said Winnenberg.
 
The group is also hosting an event in May called the Little Cities Cemetery Tour.
 
"People will see the gravestones of many of the immigrants that came here during the coal boom in the late 1800's and see a bit about the story from the perspective from those who are no longer with us," said Winnenberg.
 
The Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council has also joined the Nelsonville Main Street Program.  Winnenbery says he hopes to bring more events to the area through the partnership.
 
"The history of the area comes together on Nelsonville's Public Square so we think it's a perfect match for tours and other things like that," said Winnenberg 
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