OHIO TRAVEL & TOURISM GUIDE TO OHIO ATTRACTIONS
September Edition ©


New at Iconic Rubbermaid Store

The modern-day Everything Rubbermaid Store in downtown Wooster, Ohio turns 24-years-old this year.  But its roots in Wooster date back over 100 years!

Rubbermaid began as Wooster Rubber in 1920.  Five businessmen started the company by making toy balloons, paving the way for Rubbermaid. The historic store’s original purpose was to test customer response to new Rubbermaid products being manufactured in the former nearby factory.  The first such product was a patented rubber dustpan in 1933.  Since then, Rubbermaid, now Newell-Rubbermaid remains a leader in developing cutting-edge technologies and products that have organized the lives of nearly every American for decades.

There are still four floors of the best selection of Newell Brand Products, all in one location, with the main emphasis on Rubbermaid.

The following highlights some of the new items in the store today.

FreshWorks, one of the most advertised items, can be found here. They are in three different sizes to keep all those fruits and vegetables fresher, longer.

Another new item in the store is called Brilliance.  It’s a liquid-tight container which can also be put in the microwave.  It has a very special feature:  When you lift the latches there are vent holes in the lid that allow steam to escape and the splatter to stay contained.

Not as new, but just as wonderful to have and use are the Freezer Blox.  These sturdy blue boxes seal tightly and stack neatly in your freezer.  They are just the thing to preserve the fruits and vegetables from your garden harvest.

Elmer’s products are now in-store.  Plans are to grow this introductory product line in the coming months.

Contigo and Bubba bottles are now part of our family.  They are made to keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold. And they do just what they claim on the label.  They are designed to fit well in just about any cup holder and are pretty much spill proof. These make wonderful gifts.

The newest product line to be introduced is Ball canning supplies.  The inventory received so far has been greeted with enthusiasm.  Therefore, this product line is expected to expand moving forward.

When visiting the store it is a good strategy to start at the top floor, there’s a large elevator for you and your carts, and work your way down to the main floor.  This means starting in Bargainland!

The items in Bargainland, on the fourth floor, are reduced from 10-50% off of the original retail price.  Items on this floor could be discontinued, have slight cosmetic flaws or may just be part of a production overrun.

The third floor features residential and commercial garbage cans, commercial totes, a large variety of commercial food storage and Step 2 toys.

Venture the second floor for your basic necessities such as dish drainers, mats and trays, ice trays, butter dishes and glass and plastic food storage containers.  There are also plenty of laundry baskets, hampers and cleaning supplies.  Calphalon bake ware, utensils and a small selection of pots and pans can also be found here.

And finally, the first floor features outdoor sheds, coolers, garage organization, mail boxes and more.

Every month the store features an in-store special.  This has been done for years. The first thing many customers ask upon arrival is, “What’s the special of the month?”

Newell has made a number of new acquisitions in the last year so the store plans to bring more of those items to the shelves soon.  The plan is to introduce Coleman, Oster, Crockpot and Yankee Candle, just to name a few.  Be sure to visit their website – http://www.everythingrubbermaidstore.com/ – to keep abreast of the latest changes at the iconic Everything Rubbermaid Store in beautiful downtown Wooster, Ohio.

Ohio’s Fall Foliage Railway

Ohio’s Scenic Railway & Wonderland
Fall foliage tours and…dare say? Santa Claus is coming to town!

Tucked back in the rolling hills of Southeast Ohio Appalachia is historic Nelsonville – a town redefining itself through art, niche shopping and the historic railroad depot offering leisurely rides along the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

Nearby the Nelsonville depot, there’s an eatery where train enthusiasts like to grab a bite before boarding time. Sometimes the air is filled with lively railroading stories. Go ahead, interrupt and ask your questions, they don’t mind. It’s all part of that Hocking Valley charm. Before boarding time, be sure to take advantage of the photo ops that abound. Stroll among railroad history and see lines of coaches, cabooses and engines depicting the eras of railroads past. The railroad itself operates on a line that dates back to the Civil War.

Riding this nostalgic railway can be a new adventure for youngsters, a trip down memory lane for grandparents, or just a fun thing to do for people in-between. Whatever your age, there’s a certain mystique about the conductor’s cry of “All Aboard” just before the train’s whistle blows for all to hear. It’s time to roll. And so the train gently sways into motion and glides across its steel ribbon of rail. It meanders through some of Ohio’s most beautiful countryside across meadows, through woods and over bridges.

These trips are never more beautiful than during Fall when you see the foliage turn color. And it’s never more fun than when Santa boards to talk to each and every child in December. Fall Foliage and Santa train rides often sellout so you may want to plan ahead. Tickets are available now at http://www.hvsry.org/tickets/.

In October, a Friday excursion train to Logan is added to the regularly scheduled rides on Saturday and Sunday.  Friday trains depart at 1pm between October 6 and 27, 2017 and last approximately two hours. The Saturday and Sunday trains run from Memorial Day through the end of October departing the Nelsonville depot at Noon and 2:30pm. The Noon ride is roundtrip to Haydenville, spanning 1 ½ hours. The 2:30 trip is to Logan, spanning two hours. These trips feature full narration on board, describing the area history, sites along the way, and the history of the train itself. You also have many options available to you as far as seating. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating options include climate controlled coaches (air or heat), two open-air cars, and enclosed (but not temperature controlled) coaches.

Toward the end of the train ride, there is a stop at a quaint recreated town called Robbins Crossing. This village is a recreation of a typical 1840s-era Ohio pioneer village, which showcases candle-making, a working blacksmith shop, a general store, a one-room school, and a lot more in original log cabins.

But not to be outdone, this all-volunteer operated railway takes most of November off to decorate the train and depot in the holiday spirit as it readies for the arrival of Santa Claus in December. These are just about as equal in popularity to the October trains, so be prepared for a crowd if you plan to make the trip to “North Pole Nelsonville.” While Santa’s reindeer are stabled elsewhere, Santa boards the train and walks through from end to end, visiting with each and every pajama-smiling child along the way! Of course, the coaches are heated throughout—one of them with an old coal stove—and the festive mood of Christmas is evident enough, as the coaches are decorated for the season. Old musical favorites of the holiday season, from Bing Crosby to the Chipmunks, are played during the whole ride over the train’s PA system. Plus, each child receives a candy cane treat.

With some luck by way of Jack Frost, the winter journey will include a blanket of snow-covered countryside, sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. It’s a great ride with Santa Claus and the kids or grandkids. It usually takes about two hours to complete. Santa Trains operate weekends between November 25th and December 17th at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., plus an evening version at 6:00 pm on December 2nd and 9th only.

While you’re in this lovely small town, you may want to also make time to see the Historic Dew Hotel, where President Roosevelt, President Taft, President McKinley, and President Harding all made whistle stops while on the campaign trail. There’s also Stuart’s Opera House, built in 1879 and the restored, picturesque, Nelsonville Public Square. Next to the Nelsonville depot is The Rocky® Outdoor Gear Store. And of course, there’s plenty of lodging throughout the Hocking Hills Area State Parks, which is known as the hot-tub capital of the Midwest!

If you plan to ride the rails of this rolling countryside, visit http://www.hvsry.org for the latest fares, specials, operating times, how to charter a private train and other details along with directions. Make your next whistle stop, Nelsonville, Ohio to board the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

Think Sidney for Autumn

Think Sidney for Autumn & Winter Adventures

West central Ohio is the place to be for fun and interesting things to do all year ‘round. Here are some can’t-miss ideas for you this season.

The third weekend in September returns the Fall Harvest Festival to Lake Loramie State Park. This three-day festival features a mountain man encampment, craft show, antique power show, live entertainment, games for the kids, and lots of yummy food. The festival kicks off Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

For those yet to visit Lake Loramie State Park, you’ll find it as one of Ohio’s premier natural resources. The 1,600 acre lake with 30 miles of shoreline offers visitors a quiet and scenic retreat in rural Ohio. You can swim from a sandy beach, hike along the old canal towpath, wet a line from the lakeshore or a rented boat, ride a bike through the park and explore the nearby villages of Minster & Fort Loramie, and spend the night in a shaded campsite or cabin to totally unwind in the great outdoors. A long weekend at Lake Loramie State Park is sure to recharge your batteries for the week ahead.

Now open weekends from September 1st through November 6th is Vandemark Farm in Sidney.  At the Farm, you’ll enjoy their seasonal corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, mini golf and driving range. Those daring enough can also take a ride on their Night Hawk Zip Line adventure. For additional information, check out the Vandemark Farm Facebook page for operating hours, ticket prices, and more.

If stories of ghosts blended with a little local history are of interest, you’ll certainly want to make plans to visit Sidney on October 10th and 11th for the annual Ghost Tour led by the Shelby County Historical Society. On this year’s tour, you’ll meet a variety of living history characters who died tragically and learn how their wealth and fame didn’t protect them from an unfortunate death. This year’s tour will include visits to the Old Shelby County Jail, Sidney Masonic Lodge, and the Ross Historical Center. The Ghost Tour usually sells out so those interested in attending should purchase their tickets early.

On October 29th the Shelby County Historical Society will conduct walking tours of six churches in downtown Sidney. Visits to these churches will offer you a flavor for the architecture in downtown Sidney, but this tour is about more than just buildings.  Each church on the tour route has its own story to tell and participants will also hear about area churches that didn’t survive the years as well. Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting the Shelby County Historical Society.

Guess what happens when you put two sharp-witted, incredibly talented musicians behind two grand pianos where they play a wide range of music from classic rock to country, show tunes to the top 40 all while party goers shout song requests? A great time happens, that’s what! Dueling Pianos International will be presented at the Historic Sidney Theatre for one show only on October 27th. Your evening is sure to be a side-splitting good time so come prepared to laugh and sing along with 450 of your new, soon to be best friends.  Advanced tickets are available.

Sidney Alive is presenting a number of fun and unique things to do this season in downtown Sidney. September 8th is their annual Chocolate Walk where patrons aged 18 and over tour a variety of downtown Sidney businesses while enjoying samples of delicious chocolate treats along the way! On September 28th, Sidney Alive is hosting its first ever Open Air Dinner on the Shelby County Court Square. If you’re looking for an evening of murder, mayhem, and delicious food, be sure to mark your calendars for October 28th when Sidney Alive presents their annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Bridge Restaurant in downtown Sidney. This year’s theme, Zombie Asylum, is a can’t miss good time. Tickets to all the above can be purchased in advance through Sidney Alive.

Sidney’s annual Winter Wonderland Parade is scheduled for November 17th when downtown shops and sidewalks get all dressed up for the holidays and those attending are treated to a festive evening parade, complete with Santa & Mrs. Claus. The Reason for the Season Lighting Ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. with the parade stepping off at 7:30.

The Christmas of Yesteryear celebration in downtown Sidney is planned for December 2nd where you’ll enjoy the sights, tastes and sounds of a Historic Downtown Sidney Christmas, complete with roasted chestnuts and horse and carriage rides.

Lastly, on December 3rd, you’re invited to come and take a magical, musical Christmas journey with the 3 Redneck Tenors, guaranteed to liven up your holidays this year. The 3 Redneck Tenors Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR is Christmas music like you’ve never heard before (and won’t easily forget). Shows are 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. and tickets can be purchased in advance.

For every leisure and recreation interest, the possibilities are many in Sidney. Additional information about all of the incredible attractions in west central Ohio can be found on the Sidney Visitors Bureau web site at VisitSidneyShelby.com.  A quick look at the web calendar is sure to entice you with an eye-popping array of seasonal fun.

An Eventful Time in Coshocton

As summer comes to an end and leaves turn from green to orange, we welcome the autumn weather and you to beautiful Coshocton County. Fall is one of Coshocton’s most bustling and enjoyable seasons as there is so much to do. Immerse yourself in unique history, delicious wine tours on the Three Rivers Wine Trail, bluegrass music, shopping, dining, and much more. Our goal is to send everyone home happy with plenty to talk about and this fall, you will experience just that.

Coshocton is the proud host of the 3rd Annual Appalachian Bacon Nation Festival which is on September 1st & 2nd. Back by popular demand, the Bacon Festival draws in crowds from all over Ohio who share a mutual love for the sizzling strips of hog heaven. We are home to one of Kraft Heinz Foods largest bacon producing facilities of Oscar Meyer bacon, therefore it only makes sense that this delicious festival takes place in our town! Before the celebration is the Bacon ‘N’ Legs 5k Run through the streets Coshocton. You can purchase your tickets for the 5k here.

For those who love sweet treats, art, exciting rides, animals, and music, then you should not miss the Coshocton County Fair. It begins September 29 and ends on October 5. There is free nightly entertainment in the Grandstand, so whether you are into rough trucks, racing, or music, they have got it all. To check out the entertainment schedule for the fair, please click here. Put your dancing shoes on for the Fall Harvest Big Band dance on October 14. It will be a festive evening at the historic Lake Park Dance Pavilion which is a beautifully restored 1930s big band dance hall.

The free Fall Foliage and Farm Tour takes place on October 21 & 22 and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and autumn lovers alike. The Drive-It-Yourself tour allows you to experience the history of Coshocton County as well as the beauty of nature and agricultural land. For more details about the tour, please visit the OSU Extension website.

To top off our wonderful fall events, the 48th Annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival is returning on October 20 – 22, 2017 in Historic Roscoe Village. Take a trip back in time in our 1800s canal era town by riding the canal boat, taking a Living History Tour, and a Spirit of Roscoe lantern tour (Friday & Saturday only). Numerous food and craft vendors will line the street offering plenty of shopping and dining options as well as things to do. And you cannot forget the wonderful smell of fresh apple butter that brings the festival to life.

Fall Adventure in Grove City

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If adventure had an Ohio zip code it would surely be 43123.  Just a short drive from Columbus, Grove City is an unexpected natures paradise.  Whether you like your adventure heart pounding or heartwarming, Grove City offers options for everyone from thrill seekers to wine sippers (and all those in between) with a range of activities that can only be called Altogether Adventure.

For more high-octane fall adventure, visitors can take aim at LVL UP Sports Paintball Megapark where you can play on themed fields, X-ball courses or woodsball courses.  Turn up the excitement with a round of glow-in-the-dark footgolf at Kickmaster Footgolf, then scope out their indoor soccer theme park for year-round fun.  Every green space offers up a remarkable range of outdoor activities from fresh water kayaking and tree-canopied cycling at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, to the thrill of fishing or archery in the new 3D range at Scioto Grove Metro Park. This is a place to get your heart rate up and let your spirits soar.

If you like your adventure a little softer, Grove City is also an ideal spot for bliss seekers to naturally refresh both mind and soul. Morning yoga at one of many local studios offers a chance to find your focus for the day.  You can feed your curious mind in the Historic Town Center with two museums, then feed your hungry appetite in a variety of local eateries. Take part in a leisurely ride with Heritage Cycles and end with a relaxing brew on the patio at Hop Yard 62. Mother Nature’s handiwork is on display everywhere you look, especially in parks and gardens with fall foliage better than any painting.  Bottom line, you may not like your adventure heart pounding, but natural beauty means it will always be breathtaking.

And because true adventure lovers don’t sit inside all winter, Grove City activities span the calendar. Sledding, ice skating and cross-country skiing make the most of frosty temps and pristine snow. Take the mile hike out to see the bison at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park then warm up with a cup of hot coffee at Lilly’s Kitchen Table.  Adventures in learning include year-round outdoor festivals and events like Arts in the Alley, Old Time Harvest Day, OktoberFest and Mistletoe Market exploring everything from arts to Grove City’s rich German heritage.  You can always find your favorite libations at the Plum Run Winery and other local brew pubs.  While treasure hunters can pursue antiques or artisan gifts in the cluster of eclectic shops including Country Hearth Primitives, The Unforgotten Piece, Farm Table on 62, Old World, New Home, Down Home Designs, Kitty Kottage, Never Grow Up Boutique, and more.

From heart pounding exhilaration to heartwarming family time, Grove City is up for fun and down to earth.  Close to the city but far from its temperament. It’s a natural escape to workout or to rest up. Best of all, there is no rush hour in Grove City; your journey is perfectly paced for you . . . and anyone else you bring along for the ride.

Start planning your fall adventure at visitgrovecityoh.com or call 800.539.0405 to receive your free Grove City Visitors Guide. And be sure to follow @visitgrovecity on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more trip ideas.

September Ohio County Fairs

Ohio County Fairs in September:

Hancock County Fair in Findlay
http://www.hancockfairgrounds.com

Mahoning County Fair in Canfield
http://www.canfieldfair.com

Montgomery County Fair in Dayton
http://www.montcofair.com

Van Wert County Fair in Van Wert
http://www.vanwertcountyfair.com

Geauga County Fair in Burton
http://www.geaugafair.com

Washington County Fair in Marietta
http://www.washcountyfair.org

Highland County Fair in Hillsboro
http://www.highlandcountyfair.org

Morgan County Fair in McConnelsville
http://www.morgancofair.org

Hardin County Fair in Kenton
http://www.hardincountyfair.org

Wayne County Fair in Wooster
http://www.waynecountyfairohio.com

Williams County Fair in Montpelier
http://www.wcofair.com

Hocking County Fair in Logan
http://www.hockingcountyfair.com

Guernsey County Fair in Old Washington
http://www.guernseycountyfair.org

Wyandot County Fair in Upper Sandusky
http://www.wyandotcountyfair.com

Delaware County Fair in Delaware
http://www.delawarecountyfair.com

Ashland County Fair in Ashland
http://www.ashlandcountyfair.com

Tuscarawas County Fair in Dover
http://www.tuscarawascountyfair.com

Brown County Fair in Georgetown
http://www.browncofair.org

How About a Little Glamping?

There’s nothing like late summer for glamping.  The days are still nice and long, the weather more moderate and the cool, clear nights are perfect for a campfire and star gazing.

According to Glamping.com, “Recently, a global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping.  When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no long journey to find a bathroom. Whether you’re staying in a tent, yurt, airstream, pod, igloo, hut, villa, cabin, cube, teepee or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”

Nowhere in the Midwest is there a better place for Glamping than the Hocking Hills.  Conveniently located in southeast Ohio, just an hour from Columbus, the Hocking Hills are Ohio’s natural crown jewels.

Long known for the multitude of cabins peppered throughout the Hills amongst the region’s famous parks and forests with prehistoric caves, waterfalls, deep ravines and scenic clifftops, the Hocking Hills was a Glamping mecca before it became a global trend.

In addition to the cabins and lodges there are some really unique lodging options.  There’s treehouses, Tipis, Yurts, a Caboose and even Gypsy Wagons.  Enjoy hiking, ziplining, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing and rappelling during the day then retreat to a little Glamping in a truly unique setting.

In addition to the lovely, lingering late summer weather there’s plenty of fun and festival activity in September.  Check out the Ohio Paw-Paw Festival at Lake Snowden in Albany from September 15 to 17, 2017.  Test your endurance at the annual Hocking Hills Indian Run on September 16.  Pick your challenge at this 60k, 40k, 20k, 10k or 5k trail run departing from the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center.  Ohio’s largest free air show will take to the skies on September 17 at the Vinton County Airport.

The Annual Hocking Hills Artists & Craftsmen Show and Sale will be in a new location this year and will be part of the inaugural Hocking Hills Fall Fest in Historic Downtown Logan on September 23 & 24.  In addition to all the wonderful one-of-a-kind works of art the weekend will include live music, food trucks, kid’s activities and a Chili cook off.  Historic Downtown Logan is coming back to life with new shops, eateries and performance venues, all conveniently located just a short drive from your Glamping headquarters in the Hocking Hills.

How about a little moonlight adventure?  There’s MoonShine Full Moon Zipline Tours, Night Flight Rappelling Adventures and canoeing on the Hocking River under the full moon on September 8 & 9.

September is still summer so get out and take advantage of the perfect summer Glamping getaway to the Hocking Hills.

DIY Mohican

DIY takes on a whole new meaning in Mohican. It is all about Drive-It-Yourself during Mohican’s Fall Foliage Tour.

Drive through one of Ohio’s most popular park and forest – Mohican State Park and Mohican-Memorial State Forest. With a combined total of over 5,000 acres, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and driving will help in some of the most beautiful views of autumn. Whether it is overlooking Clear Fork Gorge, up high in the fire tower, from the Memorial Shrine, or a stroll through Wolf Creek Grist Mill; Mohican in the fall is full of color and fun.

Mohican in the fall is on fire, with color of course. The leaves are transforming the hills of Mohican into a brand new landscape full of reds, yellows and oranges. Local farmers markets have pumpkins, mums and more out and ready to sell. Visitors are amazed at the view of the Clearfork Gorge Overlook as it changes to sea of color each day. It truly is a sight to behold.

As the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio, canoeing is not over. What a treat to float down the Mohican State Scenic River under an arbor of color. Some of the canoe liveries are open through October. It is a perfect time to grab a camera with family and friends and enjoy the serenity of the river.

Fall is full with activities that will keep everyone having fun while enjoying all there is to offer. Whether staying for a week or weekend, discover why Mohican rocks any time of year. Stay in a castle, resort, Inn, or a choice of one of many private cabins. Several of the private cabins or cottages have hot tubs, spectacular views; all the amenities of home and some are even pet friendly.

The 26th Annual Mohican Bluegrass Festival returns to Mohican Wilderness Campground, September 14th – 16th. This family friendly event that takes place in the beautiful Mohican River. Performances include the International Bluegrass Music Association’s, award winning, Claire Lynch, and many more. Don’t miss this first class event.

September 30th is the annual Oktoberfest at Wolf Creek Grist Mill. Taste & enjoy 100 varieties of domestic and international beer, and wine to support fundraising efforts for Wolf Creek Grist Mill Historic Park & Museum. Live music, games, food, and more. Free busing to and from the event for patrons staying at any of the following sponsorship lodging locations: Red Window Townhouse, Mohican Adventures, Wally World Riverside Resort, Arrow Point Campgrounds Inc, Mohican Little Brown Inn, and The Mohican State Park Campground.

There are plenty of events happening this fall. October 3rd-7th is the 129th Loudonville Street Fair. Family fun and affordable, with five days of free admission, free entertainment, food, rides, and more.

October 9th – 22nd, is Mohican is the Fall Foliage Drive-It-Yourself Tour. Take a leisurely drive through the Mohican State Park and the Mohican-Memorial State Forest during the peak of the season. Hike or bike the trails and enjoy nature as the trees and wildlife get ready for winter. Then enjoy time at the restaurants and independent stores. Special offers are available for a limited time. Visit DiscoverMohican.com for a map and more information.

Fitness with a cause is a good excuse to get into shape for October 15th, to run or walk in the Mohican 5k. The 10th Annual Mohican 5K Run & Walk benefits the Loudonville-Mohican bike path with proceeds helping to maintain the area’s bike path.

September and October also brings in ghost enthusiasts at Landoll’s Mohican Castle. Throughout the year, they offer public Ghost Walks. These walks will take one through the history of the property and also allow the opportunity to communicate with the “other side” by using ‘tools of the trade.’ If wanting to go more in-depth ask about the possibility of a Ghost Hunt. This will take several hours and permits the visitor to conduct a paranormal investigation.

During November and December, make sure to plan an individualized adventure in Mohican. Fishing, outdoor sports and more occur all year long. Live demonstrations and more are available for free and open to the public at the Mohican State Park and Mohican State Park Lodge & Conference Center. These programs will keep everyone entertained while learning about the nature of Mohican. Take a tour through the local museum. Be amazed at the wealth of history that changed the world.

All of this and more await – Discover Why Mohican Rocks!

Running Shoes and Lederhosen

Needed for Grand Events this Month

Here comes the annual Minster Oktoberfest and Grand Lake Marathon at Grand Lake St. Marys!

Lace up those running shoes, the 4th annual Grand Lake Marathon will take place Saturday, September 23, 2017. This fast, flat, Boston Marathon qualifying course begins & ends at Lake Shore Park in Celina, Ohio along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake St Marys. So if you’re a rookie or an old pro, escape the concrete jungle and head to the countryside to enjoy a quick loop around the Grand. It’s almost as if Grand Lake was designed to have a Marathon around it…the course is that smooth & flat! While in the country, enjoy friendly, entertaining groups cheering you on your way.  Also enjoy lots of great live music along your journey back to Lakeshore Park where you will be greeted by family & fellow runners as well as a terrific after party filled with music, drinks, & great local food.

If you’re more of a short distance runner there will also be a Half Marathon, the Grand Lake Marathon 5K, or you can even choose to do a relay with your friends. Also new this year…is the Senior Marathon. The Grand Lake Marathon truly has a race for everyone and every caliber runner. Participants & spectators of all races will also have the opportunity to meet Olympic Marathon Runner Jared Ward! Jared will be at the race and at the Expo, which takes place on Friday, September 22nd where runners will pick-up their race packets, mix & mingle with fellow runners, and visit various venders who will be on site to get you all geared-up for your BIG run!

There is still time to register and be a part of this amazing Marathon. To find out everything you need to know about the Grand Lake Marathon visit GrandLakeMarathon.com.

The following weekend, September 29th through October 1st, it will be time to put on your lederhosen and do the “Chicken Dance” as  the region’s largest German heritage festival, the Minster Oktoberfest takes place in Minster, Ohio.  This annual celebration attracts more than 60,000 people each year and is rated as one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation.  From singing and dancing to the taste of hearty German foods, the 42nd annual edition of this event will provide a fun filled time for all. Topping the list of free entertainment this year includes popular bands such as The Klaberheads, Autobahn, the happy Wanderers, Cincinnati Schnapps and Aaron and the Polka Revolution.

Mark your calendar, come to Oktoberfest and watch the spectacular gala parade on Sunday afternoon, featuring colorful floats and marching bands.  Take part in the beer tray relay, the 10K run, the Jug Hoist and a number of other games. Enjoy the car show, the arts and crafts booths and the Miss Oktoberfest Pageant.  Whether or not you share the German heritage, you may find yourself doing the Chicken Dance before the evening is over.  For more information, check out MinsterOktoberfest.com for a complete schedule of events. When it comes to having a great time the Minster Oktoberfest, ist wunderbar!

Piqua Chautauqua

Piqua Chautauqua at Hance Pavilion

Last summer, a group form the Ohio Humanities Council visited Piqua to consider it as one of their Ohio Chautauqua sites for 2017.  Unfortunately, they were not selected, but they did encourage the group to develop their own Chautauqua event.  Well, give folks from Piqua a challenge and they deliver.  So a dedicated committee officially began working on Piqua Chautauqua!  The dates for this event will be September 19, 20 & 21, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will take place at Hance Pavilion, located in Fountain Park in Piqua.

Chautauqua performances actually has a history in Piqua back when the Piqua Community Chautauqua Association held their first festival at Fountain Park in 1912.  The festival grew in popularity and after World War I, a permanent pavilion was built, and today is known as Hance Pavilion.  Bringing back this wonderful event simply makes sense for the residents of Piqua.

What is a Chautauqua?  It began as any traveling show and local assembly that flourished in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that provided popular education combined with entertainment in the form of lectures, concerts, and plays.  Today’s Chautauqua’s are very similar; hiring humanities scholars who perform as 1st person historical figures while providing entertainment, and light refreshments.

The line-up of entertainers are well known for their historical performances around the county.  Here are their bios as themselves and their characters.

Brief Bio:  Karen Vuranch, Scholar

Storyteller, actress, and writer Karen Vuranch weaves together a love of history, a passion for stories and a sense of community. She is known for her traditional storytelling, plays based on oral history, and living history presentations of famous American women. She brings history to life through her unique performance style, which combines storytelling and drama to create an engaging presentation.

She is known nationally for her work and has toured extensively through West Virginia and the United States. She regularly performs in Chautauqua’s, which are summer performances presented by state Humanities Councils featuring scholar/actors portraying historical characters. Her repertoire of famous American women includes novelist Pearl S. Buck, labor activist Mother Jones, humanitarian Clara Barton, Indian captive Mary Draper Ingles, Civil War soldier and spy Emma Edmunds, Irish pirate Grace O’Malley, Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, the First Lady of Food, chef Julia Child, Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons and her newest character, beloved children’s author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She has an M.A. in Humanities from Marshall University and is the Director of the Theatre Department for Appalachian Studies at Concord University.

As Edith Wharton:

Edith Newbold Jones was born to a distinguished New York family and married wealthy banker Edward Wharton in 1885. After her marriage, she began to write stories set among turn-of-the-century New York society, and won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. Her best-known work, Ethan Frome is a mainstay of high school English classes.

Edith Wharton’s full and glamorous life bridged the literary worlds of two continents and two centuries. Born in 1862 into an exclusive New York society against whose rigid codes of behavior she often rebelled, she lived to regret the passing of that stable if old-fashioned community and to appreciate the sense of personal identity its definitions provided. She became a prolific professional writer, author of more than forty published volumes, including novels, short stories.

Edith also headed the American relief committee in France during WWI, which helped Belgian refugees and was the only foreign journalist that the French government permitted to go to the front.  Her essays and articles were published throughout America, raising money and awareness for the war.

Brief Bio:  Charles Pace, Scholar

Charles Everett Pace is a founding scholar of the modern day Chautauqua in Ohio (which began in Columbus in 1998).  Ohioans last saw him as Frederick Douglass in the 2016 Ashland Chautauqua.  As well as serving as a Program Advisor at the Texas Union, the University of Texas at Austin, he has taught at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

Pace graduated from Texarkana Jr. College, The University of Texas at Austin (B.A., biology) and Purdue University (M.A., American Studies-history & anthropology).  His research area is the anthropology of performance, experience and visual communications.

He was a 16 year veteran of the Great Plains Chautauqua Society, Inc., and is a founding member of The National Chautauqua Tour. Pace has also conducted two public diplomacy missions for the United States International Communications Agency, an independent federal agency, in 25 cities and nine countries across Africa. He was also a featured Chautauqua presenters at three U.S. Presidential Debates at Hofstra University in Hemstead, New York in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

He was the featured performer in the role of W. E. B. Du Bois, at the 101st Annual Convention of the NAACP in Kansas City, Missouri in 1910.  Pace was also the featured performer at the 100th anniversary celebration of the founding of The Crisis Magazine, held at The New York Times Building in New York City in November 1910.

Charles Everett Pace is a Silver Life Member of the NAACP, travels nationally, and lives in Texarkana, USA.

As W.E.B. DuBois:

W. E. B. Dubois was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City in 1909.  He was also the founding editor of The Crisis Magazine, the official organ of the Association in 1910. Educated at Fisk University, Harvard University and the University of Berlin in Germany, he was also the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard.  As an official member of the U. S. Press Corps that accompanied President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he interviewed Black soldiers and convened the second Pan African Congress to discuss the fate of German Colonies in east and southwest Africa. The presentation present Dubois’ ideas on the legacy of the Great War, with a focus on the role of interracial leadership between Black and White Officers in the U. S. Army.

As a veteran of the Vietnam War myself, I will point out how lessons learned in World War I were applied in subsequent years to bring about a more democratic approach to leadership training and effectiveness in carrying out the nation’s political and military mission.

Brief Bio:   Paul S. Vickery, Scholar

Dr. Paul S. Vickery, Ph.D. is Professor of History at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.  The author of 3 books, one of which is about Andrew Jackson’s military career, Vickery has presented historical characters such as Henry Ford and Bishop Francis Asbury around the country. He and his wife have traveled and lived in Europe and the Caribbean. He has been an ordained United Methodist Pastor for over 20 years.  As a member of the Mediterranean Studies Association, he has spoken at eight international universities and taught classes in Korea and England.  For 25 years he has brought students on study trips across the Caribbean and Europe and spoken on cruise ships including Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Silver Seas and Azamara.  Vickery is known for bringing humor to his historical presentations.

As Woodrow Wilson:

“He kept us out of war,” claimed the slogan that won the 1916 presidential race for Woodrow Wilson.  Yet in an address to Congress on April 2, 1917, he asked for a declaration of war. “It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war,” he declared, “into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance” (Wilson). What caused Wilson to change from maintaining strict neutrality to joining the Allies against the Hun?  What factors led the nation into an anti-German attitude that promoted the burning of German books and newspapers and banned German composers such as Beethoven and Bach? The man who insisted, “I come from the South and I know what war is—for I have seen its terrible wreckage and ruin,” was now calling for war to make the world “safe for democracy” (Fried 308). Why?

Fall for Medina Year-round

Just 25 miles west of Akron and 30 miles south of Cleveland on I-71, Medina County is the kind of area that truly has something for everyone.  The vast array of festivals, shopping, attractions, parks, golf, historic architecture and eateries make Medina County a special place to visit and live.

Some of the area’s attributes that have put Medina County on the nationwide map are some of the finest, best preserved Victorian architecture; an internationally famous candle making facility and retail store, A. I. Root (Root is known for their fragrances and longer cleaner burning candles).  A strong economic base with companies like MTD, Westfield Insurance and RPM’s World Headquarters help Medina County. But today’s appeal of Medina County is its ability to retain rich traditions and values and create events and happenings around these values, the local history and agricultural base.

Each year Medina County features its annual Fall Foliage Tour with many of the area farms, parks, historical societies and shops participating to provide a superb tour.  In the past, this two-day event featured such stops as a llama farm, dairy and horse farms, Christmas tree farm, greenhouses, orchards, wineries and historical societies, among others.  Some stops have food vendors, wagon rides and other fun programs. Pioneers in the Park is a part of the Fall Foliage Tour with pioneer costumes and crafts.  The drive itself takes visitors through picturesque, rolling hills and rich farmland to provide a panoramic view of the county in all of its fall splendor.  It is held the second full weekend in October.

Each of the communities within the county has their own signature events throughout the year.  Valley City, also known as the Frog Jumping Capital of Ohio, boasts its annual Frog Jump Festival.  Stop by Wadsworth for the Blue Tip Festival (the Blue Tip Match Company was founded here). See one the longest parades in Ohio and the world’s tallest match stick.  Buzzard Day in March, located in Hinckley, marks the return of the buzzards for the summer season – and they always show up.  Come out to help the ranger spot the first arrival of buzzards.  This unique community festival also features crafts, its famous pancake breakfast and is a fun-packed day for all ages.  The Village of Seville hosts the World’s Largest Yard Sale.  The Medina County Fair, one of the area’s largest annual attractions features several acres of games, rides, ethnic foods, and top entertainment.  Brunswick’s Summer Celebration is another community event, and captures the spirit of days gone by with excellent eats, handmade country crafts and more.  The entire Village of Lodi participates in the annual Sweet Corn Festival which makes this event truly a community effort. So pick your favorites and mark your calendar for dates in the months ahead.

While visiting Medina County you may also enjoy an old-fashioned band concert in Medina’s Historic Public Square. If it’s chilly weather you prefer, visit the Square for the Medina Ice Festival, with incredible sculptures and ice carving competitions.  Tour the historic churches and historical society houses or stop in at one of our garden centers to see some the most beautiful flora in the area.  Outdoor adventures can be a hike at the many parks’ trails.  Golf enthusiasts can enjoy some of Ohio’s finest and most scenic championship courses scattered throughout the county.  Or bring the family to enjoy the enchanting miniature golf courses and go-kart racing for unique and hilariously entertaining fun.

This charming county has loads of apple orchards, wineries, breweries, several lovely garden centers, specialty shops with handmade and Amish furniture and crafts, antique stores, fascinating eating establishments and many monthly festivities.  Other community celebrations include Christmas Around the World and Walk With the Spirits of the Past which capture the spirit of centuries’ past.  Stop at Mapleside Farms for the Johnny Appleseed Festival and its crafts, good food, and entertainment. For more autumn family fun, visit Pumpkin Village and many other events all year long, including summer concerts on Friday nights at Mapleside Farms.

Medina County boasts Ohio Station Outlets with a train ride and over 50 outlets to find unique gifts, clothes, kitchen ware and more.  Just across the highway is Creek Bend Ranch, host of the Buckin’ Ohio Pro Bull Riding Series with many pre-show activities.  Rodeos are on one Saturday a month May thru September.  A great family fun activity.

Castle Noel, the newest attraction, offers holiday window displays from Bloomingdales, Lords & Taylors, Macy’s and others from New York City. In addition, there are plenty of toys, photos, the Santa Squeeze (experience what Santa feels when he goes down a chimney), and the Blizzard Vortex. There are also collections of props, set pieces and costumes from Christmas movies such as the Grinch’s 16’ sleigh, Will Ferrell’s Elf costume, a sweater worn by Tim Allen, soldiers from the Santa Claus movies and so many more items from many different Christmas movies.  End with a visit by Santa, then slide down the tall curved slide just like Ralphie did in “A Christmas Story”.  Open year round on weekends and daily for the holiday season.  Also located on the lower level is Alien Vacation Mini-Golf in Freaky 3D (black light mini-golf) soon to include props and aliens from various alien movies.

With the vast array of activities, events and some of the most beautiful historic architecture in Ohio, Medina County is well worth the visit. Plan your itinerary at VisitMedinaCounty.com.

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