PHOTOS: Glouster Festival Brings Family Fun

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It was sky's the limit — literally — when Cody Woolever of Glouster got his bride-to-be a wedding gift Saturday.

The two took a helicopter ride around the Trimble Twp. area while attending the Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival at Glouster Community Park.

"It was her wedding gift," Woolever explained after he and Chelsea Guy deplaned (de-coptered?) after their excursion. Chelsea and Cody are planning to marry this coming Saturday.

"It was fun. Got to see a lot," Chelsea said of her flight. Vertical Advantage Helicopters had two 'copters available at the festival for rides, costing $40 per person.

Fun is the idea behind the Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival, which ran Friday through Sunday and featured live music, the helicopter rides, kids games, a magic show and dozens of craft, food and commercial vendors.

"It's a nice place to bring the family, especially when the weather is nice," said Tonya Kittle of Glouster. "We've really enjoyed it so far."

She was there with her two children, Kennedy, 7, and Cameron, 11, and family friend Brennan Triplett, 11.

Asked if she liked the festival, all Kennedy could manage was a positive shake of her head as she worked on a rather large piece of pizza. Brother Cameron cited the food as his favorite part of the festival, while Brennan liked the games.

This was the second year for the event.

"Busy, busy, busy," is how chief organizer Chuck Wood described his day as he drove a four-wheeler around the park to see how things were progressing.

As the festival got underway Friday, a power line blew.

"We got it all worked out," Wood said. "I think you can't do something like this without some kind of problem."

Wood said this year's festival included more crafters, more food and more commercial vendors (businesses that set up booths at the festival). Music was planned for all three days, and Saturday was bluegrass music day.

Wood said putting on the festival involves "a lot of community support." People wearing "staff" T-shirts were abundant, all of them volunteering their time.

But perhaps the busiest at the festival was River, who was frequently seen on the run, trying to keep his ducks in order (and his sheep).

River, a border collie, was showing how he could control and herd animals, courtesy of demonstrations put on by Sheep Valley Farm of Athens. River seemed equally adept at making ducks and sheep go where he and his handler, Wayne Boyd, wanted them to go.

"This draws a crowd because no one does it anymore," Boyd said. He takes River — who understands hand signals, voice commands and whistles — to schools, festivals and other events to give demonstrations.

"We call it animal outreach," he said. Sheep Valley Farm had other animals at the Glouster festival for people to see.

Joylynn Casto, a craft vendor from Logan, said business was a little slow, but added that it takes time to build a show and the Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival is only in its second year. She said organizers have done well.

Nine-year-old Kaitlynn Nagel of Trimble got into show biz briefly Saturday, volunteering from the audience to assist magician Dave Lehman during his show. Somehow — and we doubt Lehman would tell — individual cloth rings that Kaitlynn put into a bag were linked into a chain when she pulled them out, and, in a second attempt, they had joined into one large ring.

Watching from the sidelines was Samantha Lane of Glouster, who was at the festival with children she was babysitting. The youngsters weren't the only ones having fun at the festival.

"It's kind of cool,"  Lane said. "I like looking at everything."