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The Appalachian Community Development Association’s Organizational Mission

To promote the social, educational and cultural development within the Appalachian Community of the Greater Cincinnati area; our objective is to improve the urban Appalachians' self image, and to encourage both Appalachian and non-Appalachians value and appreciation of the cultural heritage of Appalachians.

Organizational History

The Appalachian Community Development Association (The A.C.D.A.) began as an outgrowth of the Junior League of Cincinnati, who sponsored the Appalachian Festival from 1970-1974. Since 1975, The A.C.D.A. has produced the Appalachian Festival. The organization's directed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees, with at least at least 75% of those members being of Appalachian descent. The Appalachian Festival has been held annually during Mother's Day weekend attracting at least 30,000 visitors, with an additional 4,000 school children taking part in "Education Day”, which is the first day of the festival each year. In 2003, we’d also began co-sponsoring an annual Appalachian Culture Fest with the Cincinnati Museum Center, as part of their Passport to the World Series.

Popular Appalachian Festival Began As Junior League Project

(CINCINNATI, OH) -- What has become one of Cincinnati's most popular annual festivals -- The Appalachian Festival-- began 45 years ago in the basement of Cincinnati's Music Hall as a quaint crafts' exhibition developed by the Cincinnati Junior League.

Today, the Appalachian Festival draws nearly 50,000 people over the three-day event to Coney Island on the shores of the Ohio River.

"Of course, when we first set out, we hoped that the Appalachian Festival would become a Greater Cincinnati tradition and institution," says Sally Brush, one of the Junior League organizers of the first Festival, "but, truthfully, we never dreamed it would reach the size and scope that it is today."

Ms. Brush was one of three Cincinnatians who, in 1969, first proposed the crafts' exhibition idea to a national Junior League conference on Appalachian culture. The goal was to create an event in Cincinnati that would raise awareness of the Appalachian culture, and to have the event ultimately managed by the Appalachian community itself. And, indeed, the Junior League would help establish the Appalachian Community Development Council (ACDA), the organization that took over management of the event in 1975.

The first Junior League Appalachian crafts' exhibition in 1971 was a success -- for months prior to the event organizers had searched the mountain hollows of Appalachia to track down authentic artists and crafters. They also traveled to Nashville to persuade country star Roy Acuff to appear as the headline performer at the first Festival.

"Back then, it was a real challenge to convince authentic mountain crafters to come to Cincinnati for this new Appalachian event," says Diane Smart, who was chairperson for the first and third Junior League Appalachian events. "But after the success of the first year, getting crafters was no problem. We always had more requests for space than space available."

As the event grew in popularity, so too did the need for more space to accommodate visitors. From the basement of Music Hall the event would move over the next two decades to a more spacious Music Hall ballroom, then to the Cincinnati Gardens, the Greater Cincinnati Convention Center and, in the mid-80s, to its present site at Coney Island.

Today, the Appalachian Festival is bigger and better than ever... with more than 130 crafters, dozens of entertainers on three stages, cultural and educational programs and a new mountain life exhibit area.

The Appalachian Festival is sponsored by the Appalachian Community Development Association, a nonprofit organization promoting awareness of and appreciation for Appalachian culture. Proceeds go toward grants to organizations involved in Appalachian life.


Coney Island Is The Home Of The Annual Appalachian Festival

The History of Coney Island Is Unlike Any Other in Amusement Park Lore

(Cincinnati, OH) – It's a story like no other in amusement park history – the incredible chronicle of Coney Island Amusement Park is the tale of long summer days and star-filled summer nights, of children's laughter and happy screams of teenagers on rides, of young lovers, and picnics in the shade of a tree.

In a way, the remarkable history of Coney Island is like one of its rollers coasters of the past: a wild, 100-year-long ride with many ups and downs. Coney Island has survived floods, the Depression, World Wars and the wrecker's ball ... and, like the legendary Phoenix, it rose from the ashes to once again flourish. Coney Island was one of the world's most popular amusement parks for a century, and it still goes strong today though the twists and turns of fate have retailored her course – and sorely tested her resolve – over the years.

It is a century-long success story unlike any other in its industry. As Coney Island's President Vic Nolting says: "I doubt that there has ever been another amusement park in history that has been virtually demolished then, bit by bit, completely rebuilt into a successful and thriving entertainment complex."

Happily, perhaps improbably, as it has for the past 112 years, Coney Island keeps on going. It's a century-long successful formula – keep it entertaining, keep in clean and fun for families, and keep it affordable. There's no rush-rush at Coney Island, no standing in long, hot lines. Coney Island is a state of mind – a feeling of relaxing and sharing with friends and family on a long summer's day, a place where grandparents can share memories with grandchildren.

And so, with each generation Coney Island has redefined itself; with each generation old memories are rekindled; with each generation new memories are made.


The Appalachian Community Development Association
PO Box 141099
Cincinnati, OH 45250

PHONE: 513.251.3378