Most of us know what to expect on a trip to Holmes County: postcard-perfect scenes, horse-drawn buggies appearing (sometimes unexpectedly) over the crest of a hill, handmade signs at the roadside advertising fresh pies and other homemade goodies.
On a mid-September Saturday afternoon this year — while attending a weekend-long wedding at the Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg — my husband and I took a trip into Berlin to look for Helping Hands Quilt Shop, where I’d purchased a wall-hanging decades ago.
The town was bustling… really bustling. It turned out to be the day of the annual Harvest Parade & Rib Cook-off, and the streets were hopping with visitors, food stands and musical entertainment. While neither of us enjoys traffic jams and packed sidewalks, this event had a friendly vibe and drew us in — almost magically to a parking spot right behind Helping Hands.
I still love that store. While there are remarkable heirloom-quality quilts that cost more than $1,000, visitors can also find wall hangings, table runners, aprons, fabric and notions for far less. My dining room table is now set with a fall-leaf-themed runner, and there will be aprons under the Christmas tree for some lucky relatives.
Typical Amish Country tourists, we also took home kettle corn, a variety of cheeses and sausages and a package of corn meal mush (luckily, we had a refrigerator in our room back at the inn).
Next year’s Harvest Parade & Rib Cook-off in Berlin is scheduled for September 8; check the events calendar at visitamishcountry.com for more information. To find out more about Helping Hands Quilt Shop, visit helpinghandsquilts.com or call 330/893-2233.