By Anna DeWine
SPRING VALLEY — Potatoes and potato-lovers will be celebrated again this year as the 39th Annual Spring Valley Potato Festival returns to the village.
The community festival will be held 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Admission is free.
Visitors can enjoy potato soup, loaded baked potatoes, potato cookies, and potato candy. Along with potatoes, the festival will feature 150 arts and crafts exhibitors.
Saturday morning will kick off the festival with the annual 5K Tater Trot Run/Walk. Registration will open at 8 a.m. and the race will begin at 9 a.m at Walton Park.
Following the race, kids games will be available in front of the Pavilion, along with other entertainment including the Step’n Tyme Cloggers at noon, the Kiddie Tractor Pull and Shakertown both beginning at 1 p.m., and the Puttin’ on the Hits show at 3:30 p.m.
The Citizen of the Year Award, which goes to individuals who have consistently worked behind-the-scenes for Potato Festival success, will be presented at 4 p.m.
Deb Smyth will be honored this year for both her work with the Potato Festival and her dedication to her community. Smyth joined the community in 1986. She was vendor chair for several years, chairman of festival in 1998, oversees trash removal and also works in the information booth. Smyth also served on the library board, on the Spring Valley Village Council for six years, as a volunteer firefighter/EMT for 11 years, as a school psychologist from 1990-2012, and now works in Dayton Regional STEM School. Smyth said of Spring Valley, “I love the town, the township, the schools. I love the people and their stories.”
Betty Cummings will also be honored this year for her dedication to the Potato Festival and the many roles she has played in it. Cummings grew up on a fruit farm in Montgomery County where she picked and sold fruits and vegetables. Among her well-known foods that she makes today for the festival are her cookies and chicken and noodles. Along with holding various careers inside and outside of the township over the years, Cummings continued to play other roles in the community, always providing a helping hand, like as Halloween costume contest judge or Christmas party decorator. Cummings recalls that Spring Valley was her home ever since she first walked into Copsey’s Grocery and they welcomed her by name.
The festival day will end with more musical acts, including The Little Hippies at 4:30 p.m., followed by White Rabbit at 6 p.m.
More festivities will commence on Sunday at 9 a.m., including the Honey Creek Cloggers at noon, followed by the Pet Parade contest at 1 p.m. Music from Three Road Junction and Jim McCutcheon will be heard throughout the village until the close of the festival.
All proceeds from the festival will go to Spring Valley Area Community and Township Services (ACTS). This money helps the ACTS function during the year and makes it possible for community programs to continue, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Halloweenie Roast, and more library programs and community events.
Visitors can park at Walton Park for $3 a car. Walton Park is located at the corner of State Route 725 and Main Street right off of State Route 42 South.
For more information call Spring Valley ACTS, Inc. at 937-862-5250 or 937-862-4110 or visit www.springvalleyoh.com.