MOUNT VERNON — An organizational meeting Tuesday night helped cement the bricks of the 2009 Heart of Ohio Tour — a tradition as much a part of Knox County’s culture as farming is to the county’s heritage.
Led by Lee Walker and Rob Clendening of the Knox County Soil & Water Conservation District, members of the HOOT committee met with representatives of several of this year’s tour stops to go over basic information about the weekend and what is required of each of them.
The tour, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4, will travel from Mount Vernon to the Knox-Coshocton County line and back toward Danville and Brinkhaven.
Stops on this year’s tour are the Ohio Eastern Star Home, White Oak Inn, Bridge of Dreams on the Mohican Valley Trail, Dick’s Wicker and Buggy Shop, Mohaven Camp & Retreat, Mohican Wilderness, Bratton Poultry Farm, Young’s Locker Service & Meat Processing, and Danville Feed & Supply Inc.
Wolf Pen Spring and Country Furniture & Woodcraft/Knox County Visitors Center are also on the tour, but will only be open for tours on Saturday.
Clendening told this year’s hosts to expect the unexpected.
“The general population is pretty removed from agriculture. They are going to ask you all kinds of questions, even some off-the-wall questions,” Clendening said. “You don’t need to prepare any speech or something you repeat over and over; just talk about your everyday operations.”
From parking to crowd size and the need for trash cans, hosts were educated on preparation and told of the delight in being part of the annual weekend.
“It is an extremely polite and clean group,” said Wally Thomen, committee member and former tour host. “I have always been impressed by just how polite and considerate the people really are.”
Signs directing visitors will be posted along the tour route. Those taking part in the self-guided tour are asked to remember that tours start at 1 p.m. and close promptly at 6 p.m.
“Our hosts do have other chores and things they need to do before and after the tour each day,” Clendening said.
County residents and visitors have been touring the nooks and crannies of Knox County’s highways and back roads during the HOOT since 1970, with the exception of 2007, when no tour was organized.
More information detailing each of the 11 stops, as well as a map, will be published in the News on Sept. 30.