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Maifest features grand reopening of Bimeler House

A plant sale in the Zoar Garden, make-and-take activities and a Maypole are just a few of the activities planned for the May 20 Zoar Maifest.

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Historic Zoar Village’s German Maifest will celebrate the spring season on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This new, free event also commemorates Zoar’s bicentennial, which runs throughout 2017. 
 
The main feature of Maifest is the grand reopening of Bimeler House, which was severely damaged by flooding in 2005 and 2008. Restoration efforts began in 2012 and included raising the 1868 home off its foundation in order to rebuild the sandstone cellar according to its original design. Excavation around the work site uncovered more than 730 artifacts, many of which are now on display in the Zoar museum collection. 
 
The restored Bimeler House also features an art gallery with works from the Cleveland School of Artists including August Biehle, George Adomeit, Ora Coltman and Frederick Gottwald. Zoar’s architecture and village scenes were popular subjects for these artists in the late 19th century. Additional gallery exhibits include examples of local Zoar decorative arts from the 1800s.
 
The grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. in front of the Bimeler House and Art Gallery, 198 W. Third St., Zoar.
 
Historic Zoar Village was named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior last fall and is one of only 73 Ohio sites to earn this distinction. Visitors are welcome to help celebrate at a plaque-dedication ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m. in front of the Number One House at 292 Main St., Zoar. 
 
Dr. Marianne Wekeck, a history professor at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, will speak about 19th-century transatlantic travel and how Zoar’s Society of Separatists would have experienced sailing from the German states to America. The presentation will begin at 11 a.m. in the Zoar United Church of Christ and is made possible in part by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  
 
Dr. Lawrence Waldman, a professor at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will do a walkthrough of the Bimeler Art Gallery at 2 p.m. as well as talk about the featured artwork and explain how they are connected with Zoar’s history and influence in various art movements. 
 
Additional Maifest activities include German food and drink games, a traditional Maypole, make-and-take art projects, a plant sale in the garden, museum tours and demonstrations by costumed historical interpreters, and the Zoar photo collection, where local residents and Zoar descendants are encouraged to bring historical Zoar photos to be scanned and used in future exhibits. Look for the photo tent.
 
For more information visit www.historiczoarvillage.com or call 330-874-3011.    
 

Published: May 17, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170519967