by Anita Weaslemom, our friend on Facebook. The Buckeye Bash Ferret Show, held every year on the last Saturday in August at the Veteran's Memorial Hall in Columbus, Ohio is, for me, THE ferret social event of the year! The fund raising extravaganza is the "baby" of organizer, Scarlett Gray-Saling, who, with the help of many HOFA volunteers, pulls us all together for one frenetic ferret-filled frenzy of a day! The proceeds of this days' events play a huge roll in funding the shelter ferrets' needs for the rest of the year. Preface: I'd never been to a ferret show. I'd hardly even known another ferret owner until nearly 2006. Having only been owned by ferrets since 2002, I discovered the Internet ferret world when my first ferret became ill. Searching for help on-line, I found the Ferret Universe message board. This site REALLY opened the world of ferrets for me, and becoming friends with HOFA (Heart of Ohio Ferret Association) member, Lara Wilson, through the message board, I was REALLY excited about the whole idea of a ferret show. The fun and excitement of meeting up with so many of my on-line ferret enthusiasts, seeing all the gorgeous ferrets for show and sale, as well as shopping for those hard-to-find and many one-of-a-kind ferret-related items was a draw too tempting to pass up! The 2009 Buckeye Bash was my first. In three words: Ferret Lovers' HEAVEN!! It SO rocked my fuzzy world that we pulled every rabbit out of the hat for a repeat visit in 2010! First off, you MUST connect with other ferret friends and make it a group event as much as you can! Weasel hugs and squeals of delight when you personally meet your ferret buddies is a SERIOUS MUST! Now. For the SHOW! When you arrive, outside the entrance doors is the HUGE white wooden HOFA Buckeye Bash ferret sign! You will all want to have your picture taken with it! There will always be some very nice person willing to snap the shots with several different cameras! When I first walked in, my jaw dropped to the floor! I'd never in my life SEEN so many ferret-related things under one roof! The hall was filled with people! Vendors selling bedding, jewelry, figurines, coffee mugs, stickers, signs, artwork, cards, toys, treats, food, supplements, T-shirts, afghans, garden art pieces, windchimes, EVERYTHING! It's OVERWHELMING! There were play pens set up with show ferrets that would just blow your mind! Every color, size, and personality! All with magnificent coats, and with their ferrents anxious and hopeful for the judges to pick their baby for the trophy ring! One whole wall is covered with tables filled with raffle items! Many things I'd never seen or would see again! And on top of all that, there are the PEOPLE! More Weasel hugs and more squeals! If you love ferrets, you are loved, period! I talked so much, I was hoarse by the end of the day! I shopped every vendor booth, and went around a second and third time, always seeing something I'd missed before! I wanted it ALL, but limited funds made me have to be choosy. I took pictures of gorgeous ferrets, I held gorgeous ferrets, I took pictures of my friends holding gorgeous ferrets... UNBELIEVABLE! Be ready to spend the entire day on your feet (wear comfortable shoes, and even then, don't be surprised at getting blisters)! It's not possible to see it all, meet and talk enough with everyone you want to, or hear every talk or watch every judging ring! I've said both years that I've wanted about five clones of myself to cover the whole event, and all the little mini-events that went on besides! The photo contest, the costume contest, the ferret games... all are SO MUCH FUN! One day just isn't enough! Plan to stay the entire weekend and visit the Columbus Zoo on Sunday! Both years we've been able to see the Eurasian/Marbled Polecats, which will just further blow your mind. They are so exotically marked, and are the softest little things! Columbus has an excellent zoo, and the visit just really tops off the weekend of fun! FRIENDS, FUN and FERRETS! What more could you ask for?! Mark your calendars and make your reservations for Columbus, Ohio's Buckeye Bash 2011!! Hope I get to meet you there!! To see my pictures from the 2010 Buckeye Bash, visit Anita Weaslemom on Facebook, and go to the Photos tab! DOOKS & WEASLEHUGS!