The Newcomerstown Historical Society is joining forces with the elevenwarriors blog to honor the late Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes.

Hayes, a native of Newcomerstown, will be honored with a life-size statue to be unveiled at Lee Stadium, and then permanently on exhibit at the society's museums at 213 W. Canal St. in Newcomerstown. The statue is a gift to the Historical Society, made possible through the fundraising efforts of the elevenwarriors blog.

The unveiling is part of local festivities planned for Saturday, August 18. The theme for the "Gateway to Fall Festival" is "Bring Woody Home."

A VIP reception is planned for special guests, Archie Griffin and Steve Hayes. Hayes is the son of Woody Hayes. Archie Griffin played for Woody Hayes in 1973 - 1975, and was a Heisman Trophy winner in 1974 - 1975. Woody and Archie remained close friends until Hayes' death in 1987.

A VIP reception will be held at the Olde Main Street Museum, 213 W. Canal St., starting at 11 a.m. Tickets are $35, and can be purchased in advance for the VIP reception and lunch.

A tour of the museum and Woody Hayes memorabilia are planned for those in attendance. The reception is limited to 60 guests, and tickets can be purchased on a first come, first served basis at the box office at the museum. Tickets will go on sale July 19, and the box office will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m.

A tour of the museum, including the statue, is planned for the afternoon. This tour is open to the public, and the cost for the tour is $2.

A second annual fundraiser is shaping up to be what could be the largest community event in Newcomerstown in more than 80 years.

On August 18, the unveiling of a life size bronze statue of Woody Hayes will take place at Newcomerstown’s Lee Stadium during the Gateway to Fall Festival. As part of the Tom R. Little Community Foundation activities, organizers joined forces with the Newcomerstown Historical society to honor Hayes with a tribute as part of the festivities.

Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle says "thousands of visitors are anticipated" for the event. He said, "The last time an event was this large was when community members were celebrating Cy Young’s 80th birthday and the town was invited to a free Indians game!"

After the dedication, the statue of Woody Hayes will be paraded home to the Newcomerstown Historical Society’s museums on Canal Street, where the statue will be permanently housed.

Vane Scott of the Newcomerstown Historical Society said Woody Hayes' family, past and present OSU football players, local dignitaries and more will be making the trip for the dedication.

The festival is a fundraising event for the Thomas R. Little Community Foundation, which Mayor Cadle says allows for various organizations and more to take part.

The statue-project was initiated by the founders of eleven warriors -- an online site about Ohio State Buckeye news, analysis and more that is affiliated with the university.

Well-known Zanesville sculptor Alan Cottrell was the pick by the group for the project.

The Gateway-to-Fall Festival has gained momentum this year to also include various food concessions, merchandise and craft vendors; live entertainment and an evening beer garden; rides and games; as well as activities for both children and adults such as-- deal-or-no deal, a Newcomerstown talent show, and fireworks to culminate the evening.

A complete schedule of events will be printed in The Newcomerstown News next week.

For more information, call the museum at 740-498-7735, or stop by during museum hours.