Guest Column from State Representative Theresa Gavarone The best part of summer, and even fall, in Ohio is the variety of festivals around the state to enjoy. From the big Ohio State Fair to the Pumpkin Show in southern Ohio, there are events of all kinds to take part in—fairs celebrating zucchini, strawberries, and yes, even apple butter! This year, I encourage you to traverse across Wood County and see everything your local community has to offer. Our local fairs and festivals present a great, inexpensive way to spend a summer day or night with the family. One of the biggest and most loved festivals in northwestern Ohio is certainly the Wood County Fair. Taking place this year from July 31st through August 7th in Bowling Green, this long-standing tradition supports the county’s youth and community members with exhibitions, educational opportunities, and entertainment. With a catch-a-pig contest, lawnmower derby, livestock sale, and more, there is always plenty for all ages to do. If the arts and music scene is more of what you appreciate, then the Black Swamp Arts Festival is for you. Celebrating 25 years in Bowling Green this year, the festival will be held the weekend after Labor Day, September 8th through the 10th. This event has one of the most unique atmospheres around Ohio, and up to 60,000 people come to town to enjoy the fine arts and music! With hundreds of booths to stop into, you’ll be sure to find a special piece of art for your home while listening to talented local musicians. In between all of these fairs, I highly encourage you to attend the Harrison Rally Day! One of my favorite days in Perrysburg, Mercy Health hosts this day of fun for the neighborhood. Make sure to stop by the city’s historic downtown during the day on September 16th to partake in a parade and many more family-friendly activities. It is always a pleasure to see the business community join together to support local events. Fair and festival season is always rounded out in Wood County with the Applebutter Fest, which typically falls on the second Sunday in October, making this year’s date October 8th. For 41 years, the Applebutter Fest has been a celebration of historical reenactments, handmade crafts, and of course, making applebutter. Also hosted by Grand Rapids, this festival has become a tradition over the years and stands as a cherished community get-together. There are plenty more fairs to attend in Wood County and across the state over the coming months, but these are just a few of my favorites. Ohio’s festival season is one of the many reasons to love our state, and those taking place around Wood County are some of the best. I hope to see you out in the community joining in the festivities over the coming months!