Covered bridge festival set

By Wayne Allen

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A covered bridge festival is set to take place this weekend in Otway. The festival is being used to celebrate the last covered bridge in Scioto County and raise funds for maintenance. Volunteers with the Otway Historical Society are organizing the festival, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Otway Covered Bridge was restored in 2014. The process to restoration involved a lot of people, including Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman.

“They will be featuring a quilt show in the covered bridge, they are going to have quilts running from end to end inside the bridge,” Opperman said.

The 200 feet of quilts are made possible by the Late Bloomers Quilt Club. Over the course of the festival, participants will be asked to choose the people’s choice best of show quilt.

There will also be a Blacksmith at the festival, demonstrating the art of iron and steel forging. There will be food and drinks available to participants for a fee.

Opperman said since the restored bridge was opened to the public, there has been a number of people visit the bridge.

“Every time I’ve been out there, there someone there walking to driving through it. That’s shows the bridge gets used a lot,” Opperman said.

He said the bridge is closed in anticipation of the festival. Opperman said his crews have done some minor improvements in anticipation of the festival.

According to the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, the bridge is located southwest of the junction of state routes 73 and 348. The bridge was erected in 1874 and was in use until it was bypassed in 1963. This historic structure is listed on the National Registry and was completely restored by the village of Otway in 1974. What makes the Otway Bridge so unique is that, of the 80 or so covered bridges that were built in the history of Scioto County, it is the lone survivor.

For more information, visit the Otway Historical Society and Covered Bridge on Facebook.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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