Note: This story appears in the Sunday, Aug. 18 newspaper on Page A3.
NELSONVILLE — The Parade of the Hills returned to Nelsonville this week and welcomed visitors with the scent of fried treats and the sounds of rides and live music. Several events ran throughout the week, like the Taste of Nelsonville vendors, who sold fresh, local food every night from 4-10 p.m.
The festival also offered an educational and interactive dinosaur program which featured twice-daily performances.
The event, called Dino-ROAR, is performed by Northeast Ohio’s Imaginos Productions LLC. This company involves a touring group of energetic entertainers who are passionate about educating children and families.
“I’d describe it as a mixture of an educational show, slapstick comedy and WWE,” said Imaginos founder Jacob Whitson, present at the Nelsonville shows. “Everything that’s going to make you and your kids giggle and be thrilled throughout the show.”
At Nelsonville, Whitson and his team invited Parade of the Hills attendees to examine different fossils and explained the varied bone structure between species.
“I liked the T-rex tooth the best, I liked that I got to touch it,” said Gabriel Sarver, 12, a Nelsonville child who enjoyed the show.
Dino-ROAR got hectic after a dinosaur “accidentally” got loose, but eager audience volunteers helped tame the wild animal.
“As you might expect this dinosaur show gets a little chaotic, but mostly our dinosaurs are under control,” Whitson said.
Whitson’s company, which travels around the nation to different fairs and festivals, has a goal of both entertaining and engaging young learners. Whitson said this is the most rewarding aspect of the job.
“The reaction we get from kids who are obsessed with dinosaurs is obviously great, but we also hope to spark their curiosity and make them want to learn more about science and the world around them,” he said. “It’s really nice to see kids who come back to our shows because they can’t wait to see the dinosaurs and us again.”
In addition to Dino-ROAR, the festival had daily concessions and live music every evening including performances by Chris Higbee, The Guardians, Dwight Icenhower and The Road Runners. Thursday evening also featured the annual children’s bike parade and charity pie auction.
The Ohio State Old Time Fiddler’s Contest was held Friday evening. A recap will soon be published on The Messenger’s website and in the upcoming Tuesday edition.