Summer in Amish Country
by Kyle Valentini
The unmatched hospitality of the residents, the family style cooking, the unique shops and the beautiful scenery that make up the landscape of Ohio’s Amish Country would make a dozen visits worthwhile, but there is a host of entertainment to be found across the region as well. From musicals to rock concerts to an outdoor staged production that includes live horses and pyrotechnics, Ohio’s Amish Country has much to keep a family busy as they visit the world’s largest Amish community.
The region brings an opportunity to slow the pace of life, taking time to enjoy the things that matter most. With a variety of venues to choose from, visitors can do some shopping, tour an Amish farm and visit the theater or perhaps visit a cheese factory, a winery and then off to the opera?
With so many choices the difficult part will be deciding how to make the most of your time in the region. Spend a day, a weekend or even longer to enjoy all the region has to offer. Explore and discover Ohio’s Amish Country.
The Confession is new to the region and the first production of its kind for visitors. This Amish-themed musical has been playing to record audiences at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Ind. and at the Bird-in-Hand family restaurant at Bird-in-Hand, Pa. Produced by award-winning producer Dan Posthuma, the story is based on the New York Times best-selling novel, The Confession, by Beverly Lewis, a part of her trilogy, Heritage of Lancaster County, which includes The Shunning, The Confession and The Reckoning. The music was produced in Nashville and the script was written by veteran writer Martha Bolton, who is best known for her work with Bob Hope, Mark Lowry, and Chonda Pierce. The musical will run from June 7 to Dec. 15 at Carlisle Inn at Sugarcreek.
The Carlisle Inn has spared no expense to ready their new tiered seating auditorium for this production, which is certain to be a hit and add a bit of nightlife to the region.
The full-length, family-friendly musical is the captivating story of a young Amish woman caught in the midst of secret and scandal, love lost and love found, personal heartache and healing. The production begins with the character Mary describing the Amish community of Hickory Hollow and she explains that all communities have secrets, but once one is put in place, others seem to build on it.
From the foot-stomping barn raising show opener to the pure, emotional ballads, this musical will show visitors that the Amish do much more than make quilts and furniture.
Tickets for performances of The Confession are currently on sale through the box office at 877-722-7547. Call to ask about dates. Motor coach groups, churches and other large groups are welcome. Special performances may be arranged for groups of 50 persons or more.
The Carlisle Inn is located at 1357 Old Route 39 at Sugarcreek.
The Amish Country Theater is Walnut Creek’s newest attraction. Featuring family comedy variety shows that appeal to audiences of all ages, shows include live country music, comedic actors and magicians, family-friendly comedians, homemade concessions, and souvenirs, in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of an Amish barn and farm.
Guests can choose between afternoon and evening performances that are guaranteed to bring smiles and laughter that will last long after curtain call when they attend a performance in the new 300-seat auditorium. An on-site gift shop called the Hen House will allow guests to take a little something home from this unique show.
Amish Country Theater is located at 3149 OH 39 at Walnut Creek. Their phone number is 888-988-7469.
The Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Kent State Tuscarawas is a contemporary 50,000-square-foot facility that is quickly becoming the pride of the region. An 1,100-seat theatre with a mezzanine level and a communication balcony can accommodate large national acts that include music, comedy and theater and smaller regional productions like ballet and barbershop chorus productions. A state of the art light and sound system enhances the experience of guests attending a show at the PAC.
The facility also features a multipurpose rehearsal room, classrooms and various sizes of dressing rooms for the convenience of the performers. A two-level lobby will seat more than 380 guests for receptions, fundraisers and conferences and can be rented for private events.
An annual schedule that includes entertainment for audiences of all ages, the PAC also strives to include educational programming and serves the youth of the region with special discounts on tickets for classrooms attending daytime performances.
The PAC is home to the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, a full symphony orchestra that performs a varied concert series each season.
Tickets and ticket packages can be purchased online, by phone at 330-308-6400, in-person or by mail. The PAC is located at 330 University Drive NE at New Philadelphia.
Ohio Light Opera (OLO) at The College of Wooster’s Freedlander Theater is celebrating its 34th season with four new productions this summer and bringing back the traditional favorites that have made OLO a regional favorite for the more than 22,000 visitors that attend performances annually.
Individual tickets are available for evening and matinee performances. Tickets for students are discounted as well as admission for children. Group discount rates and special packages are also available. VISA, MasterCard, and Discover Card are accepted. The box office is located in Westminster Church House at 353 E. Pine St. during the off-season, and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Freedlander Theatre is located at 329 E. University St. at Wooster.
Trumpet in the Land has been entertaining audiences for more than 40 years in this outdoor drama that details the history of the founding of Schoenbrunn, Ohio’s first settlement. An unforgettable experience is brought to life in Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Green’s Revolutionary War tale of a peaceful people, their influence on the war and the circumstances that led to their untimely massacre at Gnadenhutten when they refused to take the side of the Americans or British.
The 1,400-seat outdoor amphitheater is located in the very hills where the story took place all those years ago. Incredible acting, authentic costumes and the use of pyrotechnic special effects result in a production that has stood the test of time as visitors continue to flock to this engaging summertime event that is Ohio’s first and longest running outdoor drama.
The Schoenbrunn Amphitheater where the performance takes place is conveniently located on Trumpet Drive, just off University Drive near Kent State Tuscarawas at New Philadelphia.
Roadhouse Amphitheater at Breitenbach Amish Country Wines is the world-renowned winery’s latest endeavor. A large castle-like structure sits high on the hill overlooking the gateway to Ohio’s Amish Country. Called the Tool Shed, the 16,000-square-foot facility serves as a living, working, agricultural exhibit of vineyard and wine-making demonstrations that will be more interactive than the current tours in the wine cellar.
The former Alpine Hills musical venue has been totally renovated and will be hosting musical events, the annual Breitenbach Dog Show and much more that is still in the planning stages.
The new facility provides better security, parking, a charging station for electric vehicles and room to grow for the winery that is a trendsetter in the region. Surrounded by 10,000 grapevines and 2,000 blackberry bushes, visitors can see firsthand how the fruit becomes the award-winning wines of Breitenbach Amish Country Wines.
The new facility is located at 6840 Old Route 39 at Dover.
Historic Roscoe Village is a beautifully restored 1830s Ohio and Erie Canal town that now serves as home to numerous shops, restaurants and a museum. More than just a place to shop and dine, Roscoe Village is a living history community that allows visitors to imagine life in another era. Costumed interpreters and demonstrations from the blacksmith, the weaver and the broom maker bring the past to life. Learn to tin punch, dip candles or weave when you step back in time at this charming 19th century town.
In an effort to promote Roscoe Village, numerous events are held throughout the year that showcase the uniqueness of the village and the people that live and work to make it a destination for visitors to the region. The annual Taste for Summer Festival, the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival and the Christmas Candle Lighting are just some of the seasonal offerings.
The Johnson Humrickhouse Museum, an accredited member of the American Association of Museums, features a Native American Collection, an Americana Collection, an Oriental Gallery, the Eclectic Collection, and special rotating exhibits that change from season to season.
Antiques, the general store, kitchen supplies, a music shop that celebrates Ohio’s musical heritage and everything to decorate your home can be found in the privately owned businesses that make shopping at Roscoe Village so enjoyable.
These businesses, in cooperation with The Roscoe Village Foundation, which derives funds from admissions income, sales of craft items and educational materials, endowment income, and charitable contributions from individuals and corporations, keep history alive in an atmosphere that is enjoyable and a must-see destination for visitors to Coshocton.