It has really been a long winter season,, Thank goodness its about over!  This is a great time to get your carriages and harness ready for this years' driving events. We have several confirmed, and several more  drives still pending. I will keep the list updated, making changes as I get the information. The first drive is coming up in May so lets get started!  Here is is list that I have as of 2/13/11. 
 
April  10 - Safety Clinic at the Hancock County Fairgrounds 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ( I didn't have the date confirmed in the last issue)
 
May  14 - Civil War Days in Kenton, Ohio
 
May  22 - Independence Dam, Defiance, OH Joint Drive hosted by Henry Co Draft Club and BSDC
 
June 3-5 Carriage Roundup at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
 
June  18 -  Higgins Drive at Beechy/Gingerich Farm
 
August   21 - Carriage Display - Cedar Cove, Ada, OH
 
September 25 - Coon Hunters Drive, Tiffin, OH
 
October 4-9 - National Drive at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

October 16 - Parker Bridge, Upper Sandusky, OH
 
As I stated before, we still have some events pending, so PLEASE watch the newsletter for last minute dates and times.
I did receive more information regarding the Cedar Cove event in August. This will give you an idea of where we will be,,
 
Here is information for the Hardin County Visitors Guide.  We had over 5,000 visitors last year.
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Cedar Cove, located at 0298 State Route 235, three miles north of Ada, is open to the public from dawn to dusk from March 1 through October 30, 2011.  The 5.5 acre garden includes over 250 varieties of trees, shrubs, roses, and ornamental grasses as well as hundreds of perennials.  Most plants are labeled.  A 20-foot high treehouse gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the property.  A cedar cabin, which accommodates 20 people, is available for meetings and parties.  The property also features a beautiful 2/3-acre pond.  There is no admission charge and and use of the cabin is free.  Privately-owned, Cedar Cove has become a popular place for garden viewing, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and meetings. To reserve the the cabin, contact Monty Siekerman at 419-303-3439. 
The Black Swamp Driving Club will display more than a dozen old-time carriages and buggies from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Cedar Cove, 0298 State Route 235, which is three miles north of Ada.  Club members from Ohio and Michigan will be on hand to describe their century-old vehicles.  Cedar Cove will also be open that day for garden tours, swimming, fishing, and picnicking.  The day's events are free and open to the public.
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This is a great place to put our carriages on display and have a wonderful day of fellowship and relaxation.
The drive directions will be in the BSDC newsletter.
 
We also had some of the members attend the CAA Sleigh Event in St. Paul, MN. Roger Murray from the club was a judge at this event. The Murrays' gave a presentation of this event at our club meeting in February. We appreciate all the time and effort it took to prepare the presentation.
 
The club also attended Dr. O's sleigh gathering on February the 6th. I was a great presentation of sleighs, bells and chimes, fur coats and sleighing information. We appreciate the invitation to this event. Very nice!
 
I know that some of the information in the article is past timelines, but it gives everyone idea of what we do.
It also can be used for reference information and dates to keep in mind in the future.
 
The Safety Clinic at the Hancock County Fairgrounds is an important event to consider. It will be held April 10th from 1-4 p.m. in Findlay, Ohio. I am not sure this information will be published before the event or not, but the dates and times were just finalized. We will be covering several topics such as trailer safety, carriage maintenance and harness, to choosing the right horse and vehicle, and the most recent information from Diamond M Veterinaries The clinic has been an annual event and is open to the public. I will also provide a list of contacts at the end of the article that you can call for information. Refreshments will be served.
 
The are some important issues coming up for the club. We have some proposed updates to the bi-laws, and we are addressing some insurance concerns. Some of our members attended a seminar on this issue, so we are in the process of bringing the insurance issue to the club to make sure you and your family are covered correctly. As the updates are given I will put them in the article. This issue effects everyone and would be beneficial for everyone to attend.
 
Here is a contact list for the Board of Directors of the Black Swamp Driving Club:
                                
     Julie Emmons, 740-361-3885
     Angie Hohenbrink, 419-274-6435
     Molly Owen, 419-569-6573
     Mary Elliott, 419-561-1332
     Sandy Young, 419-569-5389
     Jackie Minges, 419-344-7974
     Roger Higgins Jr., 740-251-7193
 
As you can see, we have a lot going on and a lot more to do. If you have questions about the Black Swamp Driving Club please give us a call. There is an "open" invitation to everyone to attend our events, everyone is welcome. Come and check out the club, we would love to have you attend.
 
Until the next month,,,,  Enjoy!!!
 
Roger Higgins Jr. - Reporter