Sandusky, Ohio was home to the Ohio Grape Festival, held from September 19 to September 22, 1940. On the first day of the Festival, sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the selection of the Ohio Grape Festival Queen took place. Jerry Brumfield, of Huntington, West Virginia, was crowned Ohio Grape Queen. Her attendants were: Betty Scott, Pat Howard, Helen Knapp, Doris Kennedy, and Clara Bence.
Exhibits were displayed at the Cedar Point dock at the foot of Columbus Avenue. A tour of the city and area wineries was held on Friday, September 20, with the queen and her court in attendance. A banquet was held on Friday evening, with Ohio Governor John Bricker as the speaker. On Saturday, September 21, a Grape Growers’ Institute was held at Sandusky High School, then on Adams Street. The Ohio Grape Festival Parade was held at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Thousands lined the streets of Sandusky to view the many floats, bands, and marching groups. The Engels and Krudwig float was judged as the best float. Its theme was “God Bless America.”
The John G. Dorn Winery float featured huge grapes made from balloons. Sisters Dorothy and Lois Eberly rode the Dorn float.
The float sponsored by Mantey’s Vineyard and Winery, from Venice, Ohio, featured a revolving book, to represent a “best seller.” Mary Mantey held the pages open.
The Sandusky Star Journal of September 22, 1940 reported that an estimated 75,000 people attended the various events during the 1940 Ohio Grape Festival. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to see more historic photographs from this and other Grape Festivals held in Sandusky, Ohio.