LIMA — The ability to listen to and perform live music has been affected greatly by the pandemic, but St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church is beginning a music series this weekend.
The Open Hearts Concert Series includes four concerts.
“There was a need for people in the community to experience the arts,” said organizer Summer Aebker. “We’ve had such a time of being secluded. And then also from the other perspective, I am a musician. These are friends. Everybody I know has suffered. I have suffered from not having gigs. My thinking was I wanted to put the two together because we had the space, and we had the opportunity.”
With respect to the venue, each artist will perform at least one religious work.
“It is also very much in our way of giving to our community ‘open hearts, open doors,’ and really focusing on multiculturalism this year, as there has been so much strife,” Aebker said. “And we want to be an agent of open dialogue and peace throughout the international language of music.”
Aebker stressed these professional artists might not have been available in a different year, as their schedules are usually full.
Each concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 2200 W. Elm St., Lima. The schedule:
Saturday: Petar Jankovic and Daniel Duarte guitar duo. Spanish, Latin, Balkan.
Dec. 5: Vitaly Serebriakov, concert pianist. Russian.
Feb. 6: Octavian Moldovean and Danny Milan, flute and piano. Romanian.
April 17: Lift Every Voice & Sing — Karrie Lester, Lima native, featuring Jamie Lewis, Jaired Birks and Josh Gooding. African American.
Other events in the area this weekend:
• Harvest Happenings and Dairy Barn Emporium, Van Wert County Fairgrounds, 1055 S. Washington St., Van Wert. Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
Historically, the Apple Festival has taken place this time of year at the fair, said Anita Smith, marketing manager for the Van Wert County Fair. But an early freeze ruining the harvest combined with the pandemic led to the event being canceled. The fair board organized Harvest Happenings as a placeholder in the calendar and to help the craft vendors. The Apple Festival will likely be added back to the event lineup in years to come.
“So we’re just starting to offer more to our patrons, and we can’t wait to see what it’ll grow into,” Smith said.
This year’s events will be grouped in the barns at the south end of the fairgrounds.
Harvest Happenings will include 90 craft vendors, seven or eight food vendors and activities for children — pumpkin painting contest, straw maze, pumpkin bowling and kiddie tractor pull. Some have an additional cost.
Dairy Barn Emporium is a separate-but-similar event held in the dairy barn. Now in its fifth year, it will include 38 vendors. That is fewer than in the past to allow for proper social distancing, event co-organizer Sabrina Niagu said. She and her husband own Touches of Time antique store and organize this event with two other parties.
“We call ourselves a vintage market,” Niagu said. “We want to sell really nice, unique items that maybe aren’t going to be at craft-type fairs.”
Masks are required inside buildings. Sanitization stations will be available. Use gates 3 and 4.
• Renegade Monster Truck Tour, 7 p.m. Saturday, grandstand, Van Wert County Fairgrounds, 1055 S. Washington St., Van Wert. Events for children begin at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for children 12 and younger and $20 for adults. Monster truck rides are available. Visit https://j.mp/379cmA1 for details.
• Wine Stroll, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Five Vines Winery, 12179 Buckland Holden Road, Wapakoneta. $25, with proceeds to United Way of Auglaize County. Tickets are $25, including five tastings and a wine glass. You must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets, visit the United Way office at the Wapakoneta Family YMCA or call 419-739-7717.
• Fair food will be available for sale from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Putnam County Fairgrounds, 1490 E. Second St., Ottawa. Traditional fair food.
• Fright the Hunger Trunk or Treat, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Lima Harley-Davidson, 3255 Fort Shawnee Industrial Drive. Prizes for best adult and kids costume. Free, with donations to veterans food pantries taken. Area bikers asked to pass candy, with some candy provided.