10 YEARS STRONG is the theme for the 2020 Gathering at Garst. The first Gathering at Garst was held on a sweltering July weekend in 2011. Staged on the beautiful grounds behind Garst Museum, it has become one of Darke County’s most popular events and was chosen three times in the past as “Best Summer Festival” by the readers of Ohio Magazine. Anyone who has attended the event will agree that it is unique in its variety of juried artists, amazing food vendors, talented entertainers, and the outstanding living history encampment. This year, if all goes as planned, will be the best one yet!
While the world is reeling from the Coronavirus, the Gathering committee is moving forward, making plans for the July 25–26 summer event. “We are hopeful the Gathering can take place this year, but not knowing what the future holds makes it challenging,” stated Jenny Clark, chairman of the event. We have told our vendors that June 15 will be the date that a final decision will be made about having the event this year. We have received verbal confirmations from 95 percent of our vendors that they will be returning if we have the event. Our sponsors have also pledged to support the Gathering, and we are thankful for their continued support.
Many special 10-year anniversary activities are being planned to celebrate this milestone. More details will be shared in the coming weeks, but we can’t contain our excitement any longer about this news! The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps will be marching the grounds and playing rousing melodies during the event. The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps hails from Lafayette, Indiana, and historically portrays a French Marine band, which accompanied the French military holdings near the Wabash River in the 1700s. During the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, military regiments relied on bands as a way to communicate battlefield maneuvers and regulate daily activities throughout the infantry. The high tones of the fife and the rhythmic bass of the drums proved to be heard effectively through the sounds of battle, weather, and the noise of encampment. The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps visit to the Gathering at Garst is made possible by a sponsorship from the St. Clair Manor, which is located at 224 East Third Street in Greenville, Ohio. The manor is owned by Mike and Shari Jones who, like Henry and Ella St. Clair, are community-minded citizens who support important causes in the community and have an interest in historic preservation. It is their hope that we will all be able to “gather” again on July 25–26 to enjoy the 10-year celebration of the Gathering at Garst.