My friend Rich Stevick is one of the organizers of a special event in Holmes County this weekend, held at an Amish youth center. Rich invites anyone who’s interested to come tomorrow (Friday, May 3rd). Here’s Rich:

For any of you who might be visiting Holmes County, Ohio, this weekend, you will find an authentic Amish event just outside of little Charm, home to one of my favorite eating stops—the Sweet Shoppe—and an almost “Amish town”.

A choir from Embrach, Switzerland, will be giving a concert starting at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow night, May 3rd. John Schmid, singer and local entertainer, will open with a half hour of songs in Pennsylvania Deitsch (John is the closest thing to a celebrity among the Amish that I know of.)

At 7:15, 25 Swiss singers and musicians will fill the hills of Charm with the sound of music. Besides singing in German, they will regale their mostly plain audience with yodeling, six alp horns, a fluegelhorn, and a guitar. Their theme is Peace, and the concert will end before 9:00 p.m.

The setting for this event is the brand new Oasis Youth Center, a 13,000-square-foot building designed primarily to give local youth a wholesome setting and alternative to what many Amish adults describe as the wild Rumspringa. Organizers do not know what kind of turnout to expect, but they are prepared for at least 600, with a stand-by church bench wagon that can seat an additional 200.

The center is three-quarters of a mile east of Charm (turn left at Keim Lumber and right on 159 at the top of the hill. You will see the immense structure on your left – or simply follow the carriages).

Doors open at 4:45, and a food court (lunch stand) is available—no shoo-fly pie here—this is Ohio, not Lancaster County, PA. For most English people like me, this will be indeed a truly authentic Amish experience.

Before the concert on Friday, the entourage will visit some of the premier local spots in this area—Behalt at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center; the Amish-owned Homestead Furniture factory; the new Coblentz Chocolate factory; and Yoder’s House and Farm on C.R. 515. After the concert, the Swiss folk are looking forward to staying overnight with Amish host families.

If you can’t make it this year, I think that the group will return for a reprise in the next year or two. But if you are free or in the area tomorrow night, Du bist wilcom fer cumma 🙂

Charm photo: Sumoflam Productions/pinterest

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