Festival aims to attract tourists

Sonny Reynolds will portray Johnny Appleseed during the festival.
LISBON -- The Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce is growing, has its new offices in a building that belonged to village founder Lewis Kinney and is turning its eye toward tourism.
And, for the second year, the chamber is running the Johnny Appleseed Festival Sept. 16-17 on the village square, returning the event to where it had been held for years.
The committee that ran the festival had moved it to the Columbiana County Fairgrounds at the northern edge of the village. Billie Kren, chamber president, said the festival was not held for several years before the chamber revived it.
Now, Kren and Carla Douglass, the chamber assistant, said that slots for concessions and craft exhibitors at the festival were rapidly filling up.
There will be no festival queen this year. Kren said the queen contest should return next year.
But two authors will be signing copies of their books, one each day of the festival. And an auction house will be appraising antiques during the second day.
Wayne Cole, a retired English teacher, will sign "Ghost Rails II," which is part of a series he is writing on rail lines in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
Lynda Durrant will sign copies of her book, "The Sun, the Rain, and the Appleseed." The book is a novel about Johnny Appleseed of tree-planting fame.
At the festival, Sonny Reynolds will portray Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman. Kren said he's been playing the role for several years.
More history
The chamber had been based on the second floor of village hall on the village square for many years. But it recently rented office space in a house on West Lincoln Way. Chamber members are refurbishing rooms before an open house is held.
Douglass said the building was erected by Baptist minister Lewis Kinney, who established Lisbon in 1803.
West Lincoln Way is also known as state Route 30, which once was designated as part of the Lincoln Highway that crossed the United States. The Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway has begun running a garage sale through Ohio and Indiana each summer and also having car-cruising events.
The chamber can now put a sign in front of its office on Route 30 so motorists can stop and get tourism information and maps. "It's a one-stop thing," Douglass said.
The chamber even has a new phone number based on the year the state and village were founded: (330) 424-1803.

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