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Today's Family Magazine

Constitution Day Festival promises lots of family fun at the Lake County History Center

Photo credit: Rich Jeschelnig

By Deanna Adams

If you’ve never heard of Constitution Day, you’re about 232 years behind.  It was back on September 17, 1787, that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created.  And so, Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution, recognizing those born in the U.S. or by naturalization, and becoming citizens.

You can relive that historic event at the Lake County History Center on Saturday, September 14 from 11 am until 2 pm.  The Constitution Day Festival is sponsored by the Lake County Commissioners, Lake County Historical Society, and the New Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution.

This is the first year the center has presented the event.  “We’re very excited to be the host site for this occasion,” says Amy Kapostasy, the center’s managing director.  “It’ll be a great day filled with free activities and fun events for the whole family, and historians alike.”

There will also be guest appearances by notable dignitaries such as George Washington, Samuel Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Betsy Ross.  Fans will have the opportunity to get their photo taken with these historical luminaries.

The day will be filled with a number of things to see and participate in.  Among them include a thespian reenactment of the first Constitutional Convention, a Gatling and musket gun demonstration, Deepwood Special Olympics dancers and singers, and American folk tavern music, along with many children’s activities in the Museum and Pioneer Village. 

And, of course, there will be food through vendors and concessions, as well as a Founding Father’s lunch from noon until 1:30.  The banquet will offer meals in the vein of the time period, along with “libations” (ritual pouring of drinks) with beer and wine from Debonne Vineyards. Those interested must make a reservation by September 7.

“We invite everyone to come for the whole day,” Kapostasy adds.  “Although the event itself ends at 2 pm, our museum remains open until 4 pm.” She emphasizes the importance of celebrating the founding of our country and its most important document.  “We want to bring more awareness to that important time in history.  After all, if you don’t know where you come from, you can’t know where you’re going.”

General parking will be at Riverside High School, and Laketran shuttles will also be available. Entrance fee is donation only.  Senior and veteran groups can call Laketran by September 3 to arrange transportation at 440–354-6100.

The center’s mission is to preserve, educate and learn about Lake County, Ohio history, and they are always in need of volunteers, including teens. There are a number of opportunities to fulfill anyone’s interests, skills, or schedule.  Volunteers help with varied events, work with children in school programs, help with grant writing, do light clerical work, and help with site maintenance.

The center is also expanding!  This will include added restrooms near the back barn, and plan to add more amenities to make more room for bigger events, such as weddings and other special occasions.  Groundbreaking begins this month.

The Lake County History Center is located at 415 Riverside Drive in Painesville. See, or call 440-639-2945.

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