OHIO TRAVEL & TOURISM GUIDE TO OHIO ATTRACTIONS
May Edition ©


Find Your Adventure in Grove City

Whether you’re 8 or 80, life needs adventure. Big or small, physical or spiritual, inside or outside, art or athletics, heart pounding or heartwarming…adventure makes us feel new again.

Of course, adventure comes in as many shapes and sizes as adventurers.  For some, adventure lies in the quest for adrenaline-inducing activity. For others, adventure is learning or sharing or the simple quest for moments of stillness surrounded by nature, which is part of what makes Grove City, Ohio so special.  Just a short drive from Columbus, this unexpected nature’s paradise caters to everyone from thrill seekers to wine sippers (and all those in between).

The first thing visitors notice is the abundance of parks. Grove City is like one never-ending glorious playground. Every green space offers up a remarkable range of outdoor activities from freshwater kayaking and tree-canopied cycling to cross-country skiing and the thrill of fishing and hunting for wild game at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. Serious players and amateurs alike can tee it up with friends at the award-winning Pinnacle Golf Course or take aim at LVL UP Sports Paintball Adventure Park. Adventure innovators won’t want to miss Kickmaster Footgolf, the first dedicated footgolf course in the country. If that’s not enough activity you can always catch some air at the skatepark or backpack from dawn to dusk down the one-of-a-kind REI River Trail, ending the day by sleeping under the stars. 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. Leisurely canoe paddling down a State and National Scenic River offers time for self-reflection and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of wildlife enjoying their sanctuary. Family camping trips mean stories around the campfire and a chance to count constellations. You can feed your curious mind in the historic Grove City Town Center and your hungry appetite in a variety of local eateries. If adventure is sweeter with man’s best friend by your side, join your dog on a walk (or run) at one of many pet-friendly parks. And Mother Nature’s handiwork is on display everywhere you look, especially in parks and gardens. Bottom line, you may not like your adventure heart pounding, but Grove City’s natural beauty means it will always be breathtaking.

Adventures in learning include outdoor summer festivals and events, like Arts in the Alley and EcoFest exploring everything from arts to sustainability. You can always find your favorite libations at Plum Run Winery or popular craft beer pubs. Celebrate the finer things in life at the Grove City Wine and Arts Festival, a two-day outdoor festival showcasing Ohio’s wine industry and local creatives.

From heart-pounding exhilaration to heartwarming family time, Grove City is up for fun and down to earth. Invigorating and relaxing. Close to the city, but far from its temperament. It’s a natural escape to workout or 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.

To start planning your adventure, go to visitgrovecityoh.com or call 800-539-0405.

The Right Place at the Right Pace

Warm temperatures, longer days, and the greening of the landscape tell us that that travel season is upon us. While many of us dream and plan that memorable one or two-week vacation, most of our summer is filled with weekend getaways or day trips to new places. But let’s face it when we think of the hassle of driving to and from, getting around from place to place, and the cost of traveling even a short distance, enthusiasm can ebb away and weekend adventures turn into a backyard cookout.

What if there was a place close by, maybe an hour or so by car where the people were friendly, lots of fun things to do without breaking the bank, and memories just waiting to be made? Such a place does exist an hour north of Columbus in Marion. Loaded with historical sites such as the Home of President Warren G. Harding and a museum dedicated to the history of popcorn, filled with a varied population of truly local restaurants and eateries, and a countryside that is a pleasure to drive, Marion is truly the right place at the right pace this summer.

Getting away is all about experiencing new places at a pace that lets you relax. Whether it is enjoying a glass of wine and a sunset, sharing laughs with friends at a local dining favorite, or standing in the spot a president made famous, come visit Marion, Ohio this year. Spring and summer weekends are a delight on the many walking/biking trails as you see Mother Nature come to life. Summer sizzles with old-fashioned root beer floats, vista-like tee shots, and music in the air. Whenever you visit, plan on a few stops along the new Eaterarian Trail – a collection of local eateries that are known for their savory offerings and welcoming atmosphere.

Find out more at www.visitmarionohio.com.

Iconic Ohio Amish Shop Turns 40

Really, not much has changed in Miller’s 40 years of business. For an Amish family-run business, that’s just how they like it. But in four decades, they certainly have grown!

There’s still the clickety-clack all along Wheat Ridge Road in West Union, Ohio, where Miller’s Bakery, Furniture and Bulk Foods is located. The bustling Amish community that formed here decades ago simply became known as the Wheat Ridge Amish. Those early families who settled along this sprawling, peaceful, rolling countryside included a young couple, Harry and Lydia Miller, and their children. The year was 1977.

The Miller family farmed their land, but what they really loved to do as a family was bake. Before long, this family of eight was turning out pies left and right for their neighbors, friends and friends of friends from an overworked oven inside of their modest farmhouse. Word spread and before Harry and Lydia knew it, they were in the baking business.

Harry and his sons would return from trips to Amish-country in Northeast Ohio with some pieces of Amish-made furniture built by friends to sell. Just like the bakery, folks wanted more. Soon thereafter, a furniture business was running alongside the bakery. Over the years, the Miller family branched out across their 300-acre farm. Eventually, they built a 34,000 square foot building just to showcase their furniture offerings. Outside they added outdoor furniture, barns, playsets and more. In addition, they built a separate building for their bakery and another one for their bulk foods store.

Today, the Miller family is in its third generation. Most of Harry and Lydia’s children run things now. Daniel is at the furniture store, Larry at the bakery, and Harry Jr. at the bulk foods store, complete with a deli counter and seating. Malinda helps too. The other two sons, Gerold and David, come back often to visit. Altogether, the six children have provided Harry and Lydia with more than 20 grandkids. Many of them also help out with the family business. Things at Miller’s should be in good hands for generations to come, God willing.

Throughout the rest of 2017, the Millers have special events planned to thank customers for their blessings of being in business for so long.

  • May 13, 2017: Mother’s Day Weekend – Miller’s 40th Anniversary featuring free cake, ice cream and more.
  • May 26, 27 & 29, 2017 (closed on the 28th): Memorial Day Weekend Storewide Sale offers 10% off all items in stock at furniture store only (excluding outdoor building and gazebos and select bedroom sets).
  • September 1, 2 & 4, 2017 (closed on the 3rd): Labor Day Weekend Sale offers 10 percent off all items in stock at furniture store only. Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets. It is recommended to order early for Christmas.
  • September 2, 2017 (Labor Day Weekend): The 20th Annual Amish School Benefit Cookout. The menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, noodles, Chip’s fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks.
  • October 7, 2017: The 40th Annual Miller’s Anniversary Customer Appreciation Day. Visitors get a free Miller’s calendar for the upcoming year complete with sales dates and special event dates. The menu includes BBQ chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks.
  • October 13, 14 and 15: Wheat Ridge Old Thyme Herb Fair & Harvest Celebration is 10am – 6pm at 817 Tater Ridge Road in West Union, Ohio. For more info, call 937-544-8252.
  • November 24 & 25, 2017: Storewide Thanksgiving Sale offering 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only).
  • December 23, (not the 24th or 25th) 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 2017: The End of Year Clearance Sale! This includes free coffee and cookies at the bakery and free cheese and candy samples at the Bulk Foods Store. Get 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only).

Many people travel near and far to visit scenic Southwest Ohio Appalachian Country and to shop at Miller’s Bakery, Furniture and Bulk Foods. It’s known as destination shopping. There’s even a picnic pavilion to relax and breathe in the fresh air. You can plan your pilgrimage at WheatRidgeAmish.com or by calling 937-544-8524. Miller’s stores are open Monday through Saturday (Always Closed on Sunday) from 9am – 5pm.

Service with a smile – it’s not something from Yesteryear. It’s this year and every day, always at Millers!

The Lusty Month of May

It’s not just a song title from the beloved musical “Camelot”.  The lusty month of May is a great description of how we feel about spring.  It’s a little easier to find yourself lost in a daydream while the first hummingbird of the season hovers out your window.  Mother Nature’s pallet contains endless varieties of green.  Wildflowers carpet the forest floor.  Dogwood, redbud and flowering crabapple trees burst with colorful blooms.  The air is sweet and the evening’s song is provided by a chorus of peepers.

Waterfalls erupt in thunderous motion as spring rains feed their fury.  Clifftops offer up miles and miles of the season’s awakening.   Inviting warm days make it impossible to resist going outside to play.   What better place to succumb to the lusty month of May than the Hocking Hills, Ohio’s natural crown jewels.

This May give in to those urges.  You know the ones, taking a road trip, taking a mental health day or two, playing outside like you did when you were a kid.  The Hocking Hills has a plethora of playgrounds.   From hiking among wildflowers and waterfalls to playing in an adult sandbox with really big toys it’s all here in the Hills.

Get a bird’s eye view of spring’s splendor on a zipline canopy tour.  With more than sixty ziplines the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest.  The Hocking River is moving, making canoe and kayak tours effortless.  See a side of spring which can only be seen by horseback.  Drop a line and catch dinner.  There’s nothing like a fresh fish dinner cooked over an open fire on a cool spring evening.

Don’t miss the Hills’ newest attraction; Hocking Hills Sandbox.  This adult sandbox features real earth moving equipment.  Play with a bulldozer, track loader, excavator and high lift.  All the construction equipment you craved as a kid is waiting for you in a grown-up sandbox.

After a day of being a kid, kick back on the deck of your private cabin in the woods.  Gaze at the star filled night sky while you toast the marshmallows soon to be melting over chocolate and graham crackers for the ultimate ooey gooey sweet dream inducing treat.  Your every sense will be satisfied when you spend a little bit of “The Lusty Month of May” in Mother Nature’s Camelot.

Foodie Events at North Market

 

The historic North Market in Columbus is cooking up a couple of the best foodie events in Ohio – The Apron Gala in May and the Peddler’s Picnic from June through October.

Apron Gala is on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. North Market merchants prepare unique dishes exclusively for this event, served in three courses: appetizers, main bites and dessert. Entertainment includes dancing to the music of Ohio’s only “yacht rock” band (Yachtly Crue), and a live auction.

Ticket prices start at $75 for young professionals (ages 21 to 35). General admission is $100 for individuals. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $125. Click here for tickets. The Apron Gala is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the North Market Development Authority, the not-for-profit organization that operates the city’s historic public market.

Peddler’s Picnic is back! North Market’s outdoor market will once again be located at the Market’s outdoor pavilion on Sundays starting in June and running through October from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Peddler’s Picnic will remain dedicated to showcasing handmade, vintage, fine art, jewelry, and more from best-in-class, local vendors.

With over 45 local vendors over the course of the season varying in offerings, the Peddler’s Picnic offers fruit preserves, pies, cakes, candles, handmade baby & toddler products, dog collars, jewelry, handmade bags, accessories and wallets, dog treats, air plants and succulent arrangements, leather goods, fragrances, skincare products, curly hair products, soaps, lotions, wood crafts, vintage antique items & housewares, artwork, prints, note cards, paintings, photography, and more.

North Market has been in operation since 1876. It is Columbus’ only public market. More than 30 merchants offer a wide variety of fresh produce, meat, poultry, seafood, flowers and other specialty food items. The North Market provides an international selection of prepared foods, distinctive gifts and personable service from the small business owners who get their start as North Market merchants. It is also home to the oldest farmers’ market in Central Ohio. The North Market is open daily and located steps away from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Nationwide Arena and the Short North. For more information, please contact the North Market at 614-463-9664 or visit www.northmarket.com.

Google 360 Captures Dayton Trails

Google has incorporated 360-degree virtual imagery of hundreds of miles of Dayton-area trails and park destinations into its Google Maps.

Five Rivers MetroParks partnered with Outdoor Adventure Connection and Dayton Hikers, and collaborated with dozens of regional partners, to capture more than 600 miles of hiking, equestrian, mountain bike, water and paved trails. This includes panoramic street view imagery-of regional hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, water and paved trails, providing outdoor recreation enthusiasts with interactive visual resources to plan and inspire adventures. People across the world now have the ability to virtually explore many of the region’s trails and landscapes.

“The information Google Maps provides is valuable to local trail enthusiasts and tourists,” said Amy Dingle, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks. “People can use these images as a tool to plan experiences on our amazing trails and public lands.”

Users can access the images of the Dayton region’s trails and landscapes by visiting www.google.com/maps. Captured areas include:

“This project is the most comprehensive of its kind in Ohio,” Dingle said. “Its success is a true reflection of the outdoor culture here and showcases Dayton, Ohio, as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.”

Professional photographers, travelers, organizations and those who wish to promote areas of cultural, historical or touristic significance may apply to participate in the Google Street View camera loan program. A Street View Trekker backpack or a Street View app-compatible 360 camera is provided to organizations so they may capture comprehensive imagery of a designated area or site.

Similar to the camera unit affixed to vehicles that capture Google’s Street View images along roads, the Street View Trekker backpack has 15 cameras that capture images about every two seconds. Volunteers from Five Rivers MetroParks and Dayton Hikers collected the images last summer.

The Street View Trekker backpack was mounted on a kayak to capture rivers and lakes, and on a utility cart to record images of the nation’s largest paved trail network, with more than 300 miles of connected trails. In addition, volunteers Jim Lewis, Laney Ketring, Dan Murray and Andy Niekamp wore the 50-pound Street View Trekker backpack to capture 80 miles of the area’s hiking trails.

Data collected from the Street View Trekker backpack and detailed information about each “trekking” session was sent to Google upon the project’s completion. Google has been processing the images since then to incorporate them into Google Maps.

Celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

Sculptures on the Square

Presenting “LAS BICICLETAS,
Urban Art from Mexico to the World”

Summer 2017 brings the return of one of Troy, Ohio’s favorite cultural events to its beautiful downtown. Throughout the months of May, June and July, Troy Main Street will present the eighth installment of Sculptures on the Square featuring LAS BICICLETAS, Urban Art from Mexico to the World.

“We are really excited to bring this exhibit to downtown,” said Troy Main Street executive director, John Wilson. “There will be many opportunities for our community to interact with the sculptures through pictures, conversations and learning opportunities. We expect that LAS BICICLETAS will create excitement and interest in downtown Troy, while providing an art experience for our residents and visitors.”

LAS BICICLETAS is an urban art exhibit created by Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. It comprises 250 bicycle sculptures in black, white, red, and orange; colors that were used by the Mayan culture to symbolize the four cardinal points.

From May through July of 2017, 30 of these colorful steel sculptures will grace Duke Park, Treasure Island, the bike path along the nationally recognized Scenic Great Miami River, and the sidewalks of downtown Troy. Troy will be the first community of its size in the United States to host LAS BICICLETAS. The exhibit has visited, and was well received, in Chicago, New York City, Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington D.C., as well as major cities throughout Mexico.

“It has been a long process to bring an exhibit like this to Troy, but we are honored to have this international display in our region,” said Debbie Robart, sculptures committee chair. “The bright colors and unique designs are a welcome addition to our sculpture series.”

The mission of LAS BICICLETAS is to promote, through art, the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation and to procure better living conditions for all people in friendlier cities. The artist’s objective is to display bicycles as universally recognized vehicles of happiness and health.

The presence of LAS BICICLETAS in downtown Troy will have a significant impact on the local economy. They recognize that the draw of visitors could substantially increase commerce among the downtown retailers and restaurants, as well as their local hotels and all Troy businesses.

Sculptures on the Square is a bi-ennial public art exhibit in downtown Troy made possible by grants from the Troy Foundation and Robinson Fund, partnership with the City of Troy, and the generosity of individual and corporate donors. For more information, call Troy Main Street at (937) 339-5455, or visit the website at www.troymainstreet.org. More information about the exhibit can be found at www.lasbicicletas.org.

Ohio’s Largest Gem Stone Collection

An adventurous trip to Brazil brought 60 tons of semi-precious stones back to Ohio Caverns’ rock shop. Visitors to Ohio Caverns may now purchase hand-selected, cut and polished agate, amethyst, citrine, quartz and many other rock-types as show pieces or in the form of bookends, lamps, candleholders and a lot of jewelry.

The journey to bring such a collection to Ohio for the first time was a learning experience for Tim Grissom of Ohio Caverns.

“It was a trip to remember,” Grissom said. “And it wasn’t easy.”

The venture began out of need. For decades, Ohio Caverns had a supplier out of Indiana for its amethyst and other pieces to retail in their gift shop. Amethyst is especially popular because of its brilliant purple color. It’s a quartz based mineral best known for being the birthstone for February.

“Our supplier threatened retirement,” Grissom laughed. “But we didn’t take his forewarning seriously enough to develop a contingency plan.”

A couple of years ago, that supplier said it’s no bluff. He’s retiring. The folks at Ohio Caverns were fortunate enough to negotiate the purchase of their former supplier’s remaining inventory. They hoped it would last a few years. They sold it all in half that time, but already had a new plan in the works.

Believe it or not, rock pedaling is big business and very competitive. Rather than settle for mail-order rocks that serious suppliers passed over when hand-selecting their own inventory in-person, Grissom and others at Ohio Caverns decided to go directly to the source. They wanted to hand-select the highest grade of semi-precious stones with hopes of coming home with a three-year supply. After a 28 hours travel time, Grissom found himself in the mining town of Soledade, Brazil among buyers from Germany, Japan, China, Australia and elsewhere.

“It’s a very desert-like climate but this town is built on the rock business,” Grissom said. “It’s in Brazil’s southernmost state before crossing over to Uruguay.”

Trucks pour in from the nearby mines and deliver semi-precious stones to the competing family businesses to cut and polish them into showroom quality.

“I had to employ an interpreter to navigate around town because my Portuguese is terrible. I know a little Spanish so there are some similarities but not enough,” explained Grissom.

The advantage that in-person buyers have is that they can personally inspect each individual piece to ensure it’s of the highest quality. If a particular piece doesn’t have enough color, you can replace it. The rejects are likely used in part to fulfill online orders by wholesale rock buyers around the world.

Grissom learned about each vendor in town first-hand. These are family businesses. It is highly competitive from one family business to another. The families running these competing businesses are huge because they’ve been at this for generations. Within one family, there may be different variations of the same product but everyone within an extended family business cooperate and work together.

Grissom ran into one exception where a large family had a rift within it. After the patriarch of the family died, his heirs feuded over the business he left behind.

“The division within that family was in plain view,” Grissom said. “They built a wall straight down the center of the building!”

Once the buying adventure was complete, Ohio Caverns’ order filled three intermodal containers designed to stack on cargo ships, place on flat train cars and transport by tractor trailer without ever having to be unloaded and reloaded. It took 10 weeks for Grissom’s hoard to get to Ohio. Part of the process included an inspection by customs at port in New York. The containers were transported to Columbus, Ohio by train and then by semis from there to the final destination in West Liberty, Ohio. Click here for a 3-D tour of the rock and gift shop at Ohio Caverns.

The gift and rock shop inside the Ohio Caverns visitor’s center also sells bags of rough to sift through to find semi-precious stones. These are used outside at an authentic gem mining sluice. Mining is for all ages. Bags of rough come in 3, 5 and 8 pounds. So if you want a hands-on mining experience you can get your hands a little wet and dirty hoping to score iron pyrite (fool’s gold), aventurine, quartz, calcite, amethyst and much more. For the budding Paleontologist, there are even fossilized sea creatures in rocks and shells to find.

The authentic wooden, gem mining sluice has a 13-foot tower and 80-foot flume. Water is piped out of the tower and splashes its way through staggered planks of narrow chutes. Along the flume, people gather with their bags of rough. There, they slide wooden plates into grooves at the sides of the channel as they pan for real gemstones, minerals and fossils. The mining sluice is easily accessed by those with limited mobility.

Ohio Cavern’s is known as America’s most colorful caverns. It offers one-of-a-kind treasures such as the Crystal King. The Crystal King is the largest and most perfectly formed pure white crystal stalactite found in any cave. A rare discovery at Ohio Caverns is its helictites or “soda straws.” These resemble curly straws hanging from the ceiling. Somehow, they grow longer in a way that seems to defy gravity, twisting in weird directions up, down, sideways and all around. These are the only known caverns in the country where dual formations are found. This oddity consists of iron oxide tipped off with milky white calcium carbonate. Ohio Caverns is located in a quiet park setting covering 35 acres of countryside. It has a playground and two large pavilions for sheltered picnicking.

To plan a visit to buy a piece of Ohio’s largest semi-precious stone collection or to see the one-of-a-kind wonders in America’s most colorful caverns, visit www.OhioCaverns.com.

Let’s Get Out There!

The Weather’s Great – So Let’s Get Out There!

Located on I-75 just 30 miles north of Dayton, Ohio you’ll find a wonderful variety of outdoor recreation sure to satisfy every travel preference.

Just a short drive off the highway is Lake Loramie State Park. With its 1,600 acre lake and 30 miles of shoreline, Lake Loramie is one of the original canal feeder lakes for the Miami-Erie Canal and offers visitors a quiet retreat in rural Ohio. Swim from a sandy beach, hike along the old canal towpath, wet a line from the lakeshore or a rented boat, and spend the night in a shaded campsite or cabin. However you like to unwind, Lake Loramie State Park is the perfect destination to recharge your battery in the great outdoors.  Organized and upcoming activities at Lake Loramie State Park include a spring campout the weekend of May 5th, a Fishing Derby May 6th, and Paddlepalooza May 27th.

And speaking of “paloozas”, how about Alumapalooza the week of May 30th through June 3rd? Alumapalooza is a family-friendly festival for people who love Airstream travel trailers. For any or all of six days and five nights, participants can camp in a field right next to the Airstream manufacturing facility.  A wide variety of seminars and fun presentations are offered throughout the week plus additional activities like live music, yoga, trailer open houses, cooking demonstrations, a barbeque, and the not to be missed factory tours. In fact, the Airstream factory tour has been acclaimed by FoxNews.com as one of the top ten factory tours in the United States.

For the second year in a row at Alumapalooza Airstream is hosting a Fine Art Invitational. Participating artists include some of the top living artists today who have won numerous national awards and have their work featured in prominent galleries across the country. This year’s artists were chosen because their work reflects the idea of “Americana” – culture, history, people, and nature.

Alumapalooza is open to Airstream owners and non-owners alike and concurrent with Alumapalooza, the nearby Village of Jackson Center, home to Airstream is hosting Community Days, a local festival featuring live music, great food, and amusements for the kids.

Additional community festivals in the area during the month of May and June include the Anna Homecoming, Botkins Carousel, Holy Angels Parrish Picnic, and Downtown Sidney’s Kids Around the Square.  Each offers their own unique variety of family friendly entertainment, live music, delicious food, and lots of fun.

The Buckeye Farm Antiques Show returns to Sidney the weekend of May 26th.  This year’s show will feature Case tractors and equipment along with many other brands as well. Special activities not to be missed include threshing & corn shredding demonstrations, a craft & flea market, primitive crafts, agricultural machine parts area, blacksmith, sawmill, shingle mill, and plenty of free, family friendly entertainment. Also featured are an Antique Tractor Pull and Kiddie Tractor Pull. A car, truck, and motorcycle show will be presented on Sunday.

If live music performed in the great outdoors is your thing, how about these options? Beginning June 16th, the Sidney Civic Band begins its Summer Concert Series with Friday evening performances on the shaded and beautiful lawn of the Shelby County court house. On June 24th, Sidney’s first in a series of Backstage Block Party concerts kicks off in the back lot of the historic Sidney Theatre. High energy live music, food, and cold drinks… what could be better than that on a mid-June summer night?

If you enjoy history, how about planning to attend the Shelby County Historical Society’s 18th Annual Graceland Cemetery Tour? This year’s featured presentations will focus on the Titans of Industry who “in their day” helped influence the growth of the local economy and contributed meaningfully to our national economic prosperity as well. Free tours will be conducted on June 15th.

One more thought… Country music fans will not want to miss this year’s three day music festival at Country Concert in early July.  Headliners include Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, and Jake Owen.  Other well-known artists scheduled to appear are Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, Jon Pardi, Montgomery Gentry, Old Dominion, the Charlie Daniels Band, and many more.  Twenty-seven performers on two big stages are sure to put Country Concert at the top of your to-do list this summer.

For every recreational interest, the possibilities are plentiful. Additional information about these and the many fine attractions of west central Ohio can be found on the web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com – “Sidney Ohio… We’re waiting for you.”

Celebrate Ted Lewis in Circleville

Circleville Ohio’s first son and one of the greatest entertainers of all time will be celebrated throughout a three-day festival from June 9-11, 2017 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Ted Lewis Museum.

The three-day affair features free film screenings, lectures, kid’s events and a special performance by the new Ted Lewis Orchestra and guest star Cathy Basic Van, the girl singer with Ted Lewis from 1955-1960.

The festival kicks off with a screening of a new digital HD transfer of Ted’s 1943 Columbia biopic, Is Everybody Happy. The screening will be held at the Pickaway County District Public Library at 1160 North Court St. in Circleville. The movie will be preceded by a memorial video tribute to museum founder Polly Miller at 6:45 PM. Admission is free and seating is general admission. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. 

The Saturday festivities begin at 10 a.m. with Kiddie Karnival, a kid’s extravaganza co-presented with the Pickaway County Library at the Ted Lewis Park at 443 North Court St. in Circleville.  There will be storytime with a new kid’s book about Ted’s childhood in Circleville, a musical instrument, petting zoo and face painting. In tribute to Ted’s youth working at local carnivals, there will be a “Wild Rosie” sideshow, free cotton candy and balloons for kids. Admission is free for kids of all ages.

Ted ran away with Dr. Cooper’s Medicine show at age 13 in 1903.  The museum will present an authentic turn-of-the-century medicine show at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Ted Lewis Park. This musical entertainment is by the Columbus Alliance Chorus Barbershop Quartet. Come and purchase a bottle of Dr. Cooper’s famous remedy, guaranteed to cure all ailments!

The Pickaway County District Public Library will host a Phonograph Demonstration on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. where collector David Van Meter will play Ted’s records and cylinders on a dozen historic phonographs.  This is followed by a special historical lecture and multimedia presentation at 1 p.m. entitled “Jazz De Luxe” – From Sideman to “Jazz King”: Ted Lewis and the Beginnings of Jazz, 1916-1919.”  England’s Mark Berresford, one of the leading authorities on Ted Lewis, will highlight Ted’s early career in honor of the 100th Anniversary of his first recording with Earl Fuller’s Jazz Band.  Admission is free and seating is general admission. 

As the highlight of the weekend, the museum will present its 2017 Scholarship Benefit featuring a performance by The Ted Lewis Orchestra on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Circleville High School at 380 Clark Drive. Tickets are $15 General Admission in advance and at the door. Children and Students will be admitted free. To purchase tickets and for more information visit www.tedlewismuseum.org or call 740-477-3630.

Taking inspiration from Ted’s 1952 homecoming and performance at the Circleville Coliseum, Joseph Rubin and the Ted Lewis Orchestra will pay tribute to the Ted Lewis Revue of the 1950s. Special guest star Cathy Basic Van will sing the songs she performed with and Lewis more than 60 years ago.

“We are thrilled to have Cathy Basic Van, the sole surviving performer with Ted Lewis, coming back to perform in the Circleville after an absence of 10 years,” said Mr. Rubin, curator of the Ted Lewis Museum and director of the Ted Lewis Orchestra.

For those who saw the Ted Lewis Orchestra revues at the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Rubin wants audiences to rest assure that this will be a brand new show with all new acts and music from the Ted Lewis Museum archives as well as all the old favorites. As Ted’s advertising used to say, “Everything is new except the old high hat!”

On Sunday at 2 p.m., Ted Lewis Park will come alive with the music of Sousa, von Suppé, Pryor and Herbert as the museum presents an early 1900s concert in the park.  Ted Lewis got his musical training playing E-flat in the Circleville Cadet Band.  A 25-piece concert band, under the direction of Joseph Rubin, will recreate a typical concert program from the era with rousing marches and light classics. The 90-minute concert is free and open to the public (Rain Location: Circleville High School).

The Ted Lewis Museum’s 40th Anniversary Festival is funded in part by the Ohio Arts Council.  The lecture is made possible, in part, by the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The festival is presented in collaboration with the Pickaway County District Public Library.

The Ted Lewis Museum is dedicated to celebrating the life and preserving the legacy of Circleville’s own Ted Lewis by making everybody happy through education and entertainment. Founded in 1977 by Lewis’ widow, Adah Becker Lewis, the museum pays tribute to one of Ohio’s greatest citizens and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. The Ted Lewis museum holds and displays Ted Lewis’ archives and music library in Lewis’ hometown, “The Capital of the World,” Circleville, Ohio. Admission to the museum is free and it is open every Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit www.tedlewismuseum.org.

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