a_d
Friday, October 3rd, 2008
By William Kincaid
Fort festival features guns and dogs
  FORT RECOVERY - Camp fires billowed from rings, beagles barked and beer was drunk on the eve of the annual three-day Traders Day Festival at the Ohio Progressive Sportsman Club.
"As you can see, we got a pretty good turnout already," club Secretary Don Wehrkamp said on Thursday evening.
Wehrkamp, who joined the club when he was 18 and is now 52, said the club expects as many as 4,000 people to visit the 37 acres of club ground on St. Peter Road this weekend.
"It's gotten a lot bigger over the years," he said.
At the event, vendors sell firearms, hunting dogs, knives, toys and about anything else a person could think of related to the outdoor lifestyle. The event is open to the public with a $2 admission charge.
Half of the 340 lots designated for campers were full already on Thursday night. Competitions, such as coon dog swimming and beagle barking, start today and run through Sunday.
For the swim, coon and hound dogs race 300 feet across the club's pond. An artificial raccoon is strung on a line across the pond to entice the dogs to the finish line.
Dogs are brought from 11 states, Wehrkamp said.
The club also hosts a barking contest. A raccoon is released up a pole, while dogs bark at it. Whatever dog barks the most in a minute wins. Usually the event features beagles. Hound dogs, Wehrkamp said, are at a disadvantage as they howl - not bark - for long intervals.
Traders Day dates back to the 1970s and many of the same people return each year, organizers said.
"It's just a relaxing time," Martin Griffiths of Indiana said on Thursday.
Much of the club's proceeds goes to various charities and scholarship funds, Wehrkamp said. Since 1990, the club has donated $54,000 to multiple entities, including the Center for Neurological Development, Mercer County Fair Board and cancer associations.
Traders Day opens at 8 a.m. each day. Most vendors pack up and leave early Sunday afternoon, Wehrkamp said.
"Saturday is the biggest day," he said.
Additional online stories for this date
Print and E-Edition only stories for this date
• He's still got it
• Agriculture issues highlighted by local, state office candidates
• Sheriff: Fifth-grader's hit list names students
• Mercer County reimburses for animals killed by dogs
• Four injured in accident
• New pastor at reins of St. Henry cluster
• Big MAC match looming for Marion Local
• Bulldogs lose WBL lead after defeat to the Titans
• Doubles teams from Celina and St. Marys make districts
• Minster boys golf advances to state meet
a_d
Thursday Night
67°
Patchy Fog
12%
Friday
82°
Chance Thunderstorms
39%
Friday Night
65°
Chance Thunderstorms
41%
Saturday
80°
Chance Thunderstorms
53%
Saturday Night
65°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
23%
Sunday
83°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Sunday Night
63°
Partly Cloudy
7%
Monday
84°
Mostly Sunny
8%
Monday Night
64°
Mostly Clear
11%
Tuesday
87°
Partly Sunny
14%
Tuesday Night
68°
Chance Thunderstorms
32%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_da_da_d
video_logoOnline Video
Tuesday, July 26
index pict
Boat fire on Grand Lake
Saturday, July 23
index pict
Celina Lake Festival Parade time-lapse
camera_logo Photo Albums
Saturday, July 23
index pict
Saturday, July 23
index pict
Friday, July 22
index pict