Woolly festival of fun

VERMILION The 35th Woolly Bear festival brought in people from all over Ohio to enjoy the co
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

VERMILION

The 35th Woolly Bear festival brought in people from all over Ohio to enjoy the contests, parade and beautiful weather Sunday.

See hundreds of photos from the event in the Spotted! albums at Funcoast.com.

The festivities included a wolly bear look-alike constume contest for kids and adults.

Kelly Gargasz, 26, of Cleveland Heights, entered her dog Molly into the competition. Molly, a 51/2-pound toy fox terrier, was almost entirely taken over by the orange and black fuzzy costume she was wearing.

"It was my first sewing experience since home ec in 8th grade," Gargasz said of the costume she made for her dog. "She was a big fluff with just her head sticking out."

Sarah Snider, 20, of Akron, didn't dress up her pet, but put an orange, fuzzy costume on her 14-month-old daughter, Elianna.

"I thought it'd be cute," Snider said. "Every single person that's walked by has stopped to tell her she's cute."

The festival began after Fox 8 News' Dick Goddard got the idea to build a celebration around the folk legend of the woollybears' ability to forecast the upcoming winter weather season.

The festivals main attraction is the two-hour parade that runs through downtown Vermilion and features 13 bands and royalty from at least 23 regional festivals.

In addition to the band and royalty, there were appearances by Goddard and other Fox 8 personalities.

Sarah Hahner, 26, of Parma Heights, entered her dog Maggie into the costume competition, but said the parade is her favorite part of the day.

"We come every year for the experience and the good time," she said. "It's a good way to just show support."

The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce helped educate people on how to best read a woolly bear. If the orange part of the woolly bear is long, it will be a mild winter; if it's short, it will be severe.