Bob Smith of Sugarcreek left the opening day of New Philadelphia's First Town Days Festival with another souvenir to hang in his office.
Smith, president of Smith Ambulance, bought the first numbered plate for $300 during the festival's annual plate auction Thursday night.
"I just do it to support the festivals," he said. "I enjoy being part of the community. I like doing it, and it's a fun way to give to the festivals."
In addition to the first plate, Smith also bought the eighth numbered plate for $65, as well as three wooden clocks - two depicting a pond and fountain and another of the original Tuscora Park entrance - for $150.
The auction, at which the first 10 numbered plates were sold, brought in a total of $925 - $115 more than last year. The purchasers were No. 2, Tuscarawas County Commissioner Jim Seldenright, $100; No. 3, John James, $95; No. 4, Tuscarawas County Commissioner Kerry Metzger, $85; No. 5, Nick Martin, $60; No. 6, Teddy Wallick, $45; No. 7, Kevin Petitte, $50; No. 8, Smith, $65; No. 9, Olivia Martin, $55; and No. 10, Don Wemple, $70.
The theme for this year's plate was the Bicentennial of Tuscarawas County. The plate is a collection of works by three area artists. The center features the county bicentennial logo created by Cathy Straub of Dover. The background features several images provided by New Philadelphia photographer Jim Celuch. Artist Greg Scott combined the images to create the plate design.
Tiffany N. Hanzel, queen of the 31st annual First Town Days Festival, and her court, Savanna L. Vance, Christan V. Miller and Lindsey Ross, walked among the crowd and displayed the plates, while Don Wallick auctioned them off.
Festival Chairman Sam Hitchcock said 300 plates were purchased for the festival. The remaining 40 numbered plates each will be sold for $22 with the rest being sold for $20 each at the festival office.
The First Town Days Festival began as a way to raise money for repairs of the park's 1928 Hershel-Spillman Carousel. The festival lives on, and all the proceeds still go to improving the park or the festival.
By Katie Alberti
Posted Jul 03, 2008 @ 11:06 PM