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Annual pawpaw festival showcases local vendors, entertainment for all

Attendees could find everything from candles made out of beeswax to locally made ceramics. As visitors would walk around the grounds, different tents would hold handcrafted jewelry, take home bags of pawpaws and even find a butterfly tent to check out.

While grazing through the many distinct booths, one might find themselves at Kelly Lawrence’s tent for her business, Green Mantle Studio. Lawrence specializes in ceramic sculptures with an emphasis on Celtic design. Her booth held items such as hand sculpted mugs, ceramic leaf face masks and pawpaw earrings.

Lawrence has vended at the pawpaw festival for at least 18 years and continues to enjoy the laid-back vibe of the Athens County fall favorite.

“It’s beautiful out here. I get to see all my friends and the people who run it are very sweet,” Lawrence said. “I always start the summer with the Nelsonville Music Festival, and end it with the pawpaw festival.”

Some of the more popular tents included Snowville Creamery’s with its pawpaw-flavored ice cream and free samples of the business’ chai latte and chocolate milk. Another crowd favorite was the beer garden. Two long lines held guests eager to try the different pawpaw infused beers crafted by local brewers.

Several beers included Devil’s Kettle’s refreshingly-tart golden ale with coriander, a hint of sea salt and a generous dose of pawpaw puree, Jackie O’s Brewery’s imperial wheat fermented with 400 lbs of locally harvested pawpaw fruit and Weasel Boy Brewing Company’s English-style pale with 20 pounds of pawpaw and Ohio honey.

If one wasn’t in line for a pawpaw beer, they were at the merchandise tent purchasing pawpaw festival attire. This year’s hoodies and T-shirts donned an illustration of Bigfoot with 2019 Ohio Pawpaw Festival written across the front. Shirts from years past were also being sold with different animals sported on the front,

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