September Archives




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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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?

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 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.

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.

Sweet September Summer

Conkle's Hollow in Hocking Hills

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It seems as if summer vacation season gets shorter and shorter. Schools remain in session until well into June and teachers and students are back in the classroom by mid-August. This leaves about eight weeks for the traditional family vacation. Popular vacation destinations are often crowded and prices are at their peak. Thank goodness for September!

For anyone not tied to a school schedule, and there are millions of us, the world is our oyster. Summer weather continues, all the attractions are open and the pace is far more relaxed. September in the Hocking Hills is the perfect destination for a Second Summer vacation. No need to travel far to feel like you’re a million miles from home.

Begin your Second Summer by selecting the accommodations best suited to you. Looking for a getaway with a special someone or maybe just a solo trip? Hocking Hills has a wide variety of cabins, cottages and Inns providing as little or as much seclusion as you desire. Need to immerse yourself in Mother Nature once more before the cold wind blows? Award winning campgrounds, tipis, Gypsy Wagons and camping cottages set the stage for nature’s late summer serenade.

Get the gang together for a football weekend at one of Hocking Hills’ luxury lodges. It’s your own private resort complete with gourmet kitchen for all those game-time goodies, great room with plenty of seating and a big TV for the big game. After the game relax on the deck or around a fire as you soak in the last sunlight of the day.

Once you know where you will lay your head it’s time to plan a few adventures. With more than 50 ziplines the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest. If you prefer to stay a little closer to the ground take an all-terrain Segway tour or canoe trip to Ohio’s largest natural bridge, Rockbridge State Nature Preserve.

Trade your in-box for a tackle box and drop a line in Lake Logan. The catch of the day may be Northern Pike, Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish or Saugeye. While you’re waiting for a nibble be sure to watch for eagles and hawks overhead and Blue Heron, swans and ducks on the lake.

Test your endurance at the Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run. This trail run winds through vast wooded areas of the Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking State Forest, crossing streams, deep gorges, shimmering waterfalls and lush forests, leading uphill and down. The Indian Run is the ultimate challenge to a runner’s power of concentration.

When you’re ready to relax tour the region’s four wineries. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Hills as you taste the creations of these local vintners. Stroll through a vineyard, picnic on a patio and enjoy a little live, local music (weekends).

Before long it will be time to park your baby for a winter’s rest so get out and cruise Car and Driver Magazine’s “Midwestern driving roads of choice”. Begin your country cruise at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center where you will find the Hocking Hills Road Tour map featuring multiple routes for maximum scenery while taking into consideration the importance of road quality to you and your baby.

September is for savoring. Savor your Sweet September Summer in the Hocking Hills.

Best Wine Hotel & Restaurant

gervasi-vineyard

The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard was voted #1 in the category as “Best Wine Country Hotel”, and The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard was ranked #7 as “Best Winery Restaurant” in the nation, according to the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards focused on categories related to wineries, revealing each category’s top 20 nominees across the country. Nominees for all categories were selected by a panel of relevant experts, which included a combination of editors from USA TODAY and editors from 10Best.com.  The top ten winners were elected by popular vote over a four-week period.

“As a destination winery, we are truly honored and excited for Gervasi Vineyard to be voted in two categories within the top ten USA Todays’ 10Best in the country,” said Scott Swaldo, General Manager. “With our Villas ranking number one the nation and our historic Bistro restaurant ranked within the top ten, we celebrate this significant achievement with our staff who have worked so hard to make Gervasi Vineyard a world class destination. In an unconventional location like Canton, Ohio, we competed against destination wineries in Napa Valley and other major cities in the U.S.  We are tremendously proud!”

Voted as the top spot for wine hotels in the country, The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard, features an upscale, Tuscan-inspired boutique Inn, with high-end amenities and a beautiful view of the vineyard, spring-fed lake and picturesque landscape.  Each extravagant guest suite displays distinct Tuscan décor with a cozy stone fireplace, complimentary homemade Italian-style breakfast, complimentary beverages and refrigerator, a spacious bathroom with walk-in stone shower, heated floors and towel bars, luxury toiletries, and optional in-room spa services.

The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard are rated by AAA as a Four Diamond property and are a member of Select Registry.  Six on-site Villas host a total of 24 suites offering four suites per Villa, including a Double Queen Luxury Suite, two King Luxury Suites and one Two-Level King Luxury Suite. Each Villa features four suites, with a spacious lobby featuring warm Tuscan-style décor, as a portal to each of the four private suites, as well as an outdoor patio facing the 5-acre lake. Guests have the option to reserve an individual suite, or the entire Villa for their stay.

The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard, rated #7 in the nation, is most known for its upscale cuisine, high-end service and breathtaking views of the spring-fed lake and vineyard on the 55-acre estate. The Bistro offers an extensive, authentic Italian menu in small and large plate portions for sharing. The menu features fresh seasonal ingredients, including antipasti, salads, brick-fire pizzas, entrees and desserts, plus offers a full bar, award-winning Gervasi Wines, GV craft beer and domestic beer.

The rustic, restored barn is the original restaurant on the property and is reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse.  When the winery at Gervasi Vineyard first opened in 2010, The Bistro originally housed the winery in the lower level.  As the property has grown, the winery was relocated to a new expanded location, and The Bistro was able to extend the its dining space, offering multiple dining options, including private dining space in the charming “Cantino” cellar room, and quaint, intimate seating in the “Balconatta” lounge.

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site’s uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. In 2012, 10Best.com averaged more than 700,000 monthly unique visitors generating approximately 28 million page views.  It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.

All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the 10Best.com website. After 4 weeks of online voting, winners are revealed.  Rules allow the public the right to vote online for one nominee per category, per day. While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on 10Best.com – a standalone travel media site – it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media.  Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page.

Located in the heart of Canton, Ohio, Gervasi Vineyard is a unique Tuscan-themed, upscale winery featuring award-winning wines, craft beers, and fabulous cuisine. The vineyard offers breathtaking views of a spring-fed lake, homegrown vineyards and nostalgic landscaping across the picturesque 55-acre estate. Gervasi offers an exceptional wine portfolio featuring 27 varietals with a focus on classical European varieties and includes three premier estate-grown North American hybrids.

Enjoy three on-site restaurants, featuring exceptional cuisine made with only the freshest ingredients. The Italian Bistro, in the historic barn, features rustic upscale dining, or guests may dine in a casual setting at The Crush House Bar & Eatery, featuring a contemporary flair. The seasonal Piazza features traditional, yet casual menu for dining al fresco adjacent to the lake. Enjoy boutique shopping in The Marketplace Gift Shop featuring Gervasi wines, specialty items and collectibles.

Overnight accommodations are available in The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard, extravagant guest suites featuring the warm feel of Tuscany with luxuries at every turn. The Villas are rated a AAA Four-Diamond property.  Special events are offered throughout the year including wine tours, wine education classes, wine and food pairings, seasonal vineyard tours, Cucina classes, live music, art classes and more.

Gervasi Vineyard is located at 1700 55th Street NE, Canton, Ohio. For more information about Gervasi Vineyard and GV Destinations, visit www.gervasivineyard.com @gervasivineyard on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or call 330-497-1000.

A Standout in Contemporary Art!

contemporary-art-center-cincinnati

Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is FREE! And it hits the mark when it says it impacts communities by providing changing arts experiences that challenge, entertain and educate. There is regular changing over of exhibitions throughout this architectural gem called the best new building since the Cold War by the New York Times. Yes, it’s a piece of art in its own right both inside and out and on every floor. A variety of mediums are sure to electrify the senses and forge great conversation. It is a place of genius, innovation and inspiration. And regularly, a whole new world rotates in calling you back for a revisit. Learn more at contemporaryartscenter.org/.

standout-in-ohio-award-seal

This award recognizes Ohio’s standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at ohiotraveler.com/standouts-in-ohio-tourism/.

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

Autumn Adventures Await

hocking valley scenic railwayin Southeast Ohio

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When thinking of the fall colors, it’s easy for one’s mind to travel to the spectacular, quintessential views of New England and the cool, crisp air of New Hampshire and Vermont. The country roads gently traversing the storied colonial hills of America’s first heartland have been host to many a visitor to the region.

But what if those similar views and similar adventures can be had in a historic area that is hidden right out in the open and just a close day’s drive away? What if Ohio’s own scenic wonderland of Southeast Ohio and the Hocking Hills could take you away to those spectacular fall views?

Traveling to Logan and the Hocking Hills, it’s easy to get lost in the vast areas and myriad of activities available starting September and right on through October. Nearby Nelsonville—and further down U.S. 33, Ohio University’s hometown of Athens—provides very similar results for a traveling couple on a romantic weekend getaway or the growing family taking in the world one mile’s breathtaking view at a time.

It is in a traveler’s great interest to first make a stop at the Hocking Hills Visitor’s Center (Website: www.explorehockinghills.com; Phone: 1-800-HOCKING) off Ohio Route 664, less than a mile away from U.S. 33 on the north end of Logan. There, friendly volunteers will assist with the area events of the weekend (or weekday—the fun doesn’t end on the weekends!), attractions, parks, shopping and much more. The Athens area also has many events and attractions, and the friendly visitor center operated by the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (Website: www.athensohio.com; Phone: 1-800-878-9767) is just as valuable of a resource too.

Some of the more notable events of the region include the 17th Annual Paw Paw Festival, Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival, Ohio Smoked Meat & Barbecue Festival, Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run, The Plains Indian Mound Festival, Starbrick Clay National Cup Show —plus many more!

A drive along Ohio’s “Windy 9,” a curvy, care-free escape through the hill country is, of course, a given—not to mention the views that can be had along the backroads off the state highways. Those county road drives are among the best without question!

But in addition to the obligatory leaf drives, what else is one to do? The area boasts of many activities, including the world-famous Hocking Hills State Parks, providing some of the more amazing natural scenes Ohio has to offer—Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, Ash Cave. Then there are the man-made (or human-assisted) but still great activities like canoeing the tranquil Hocking River (with two top-notch canoe liveries at your service), cruising the zip lines of Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, biking/walking the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway or Moonville Tunnel Trail, taking in a relaxing guided horseback trail ride, culturally-stimulating art walks, plays and musicals at Stuart’s Opera House—and that’s just scratching the surface.

Another must-do activity while in the region is a train ride aboard one of Ohio’s top tourist trains. The all-volunteer-operated-and-managed Hocking Valley Scenic Railway operates trains every Saturday and Sunday through October before taking most of November off in preparation for an equally-busy season. Following the November hiatus, the trains travel the rails once more before the close of the operating season for the annual—and very popular—Santa Trains and, later, the New Year’s Eve Train—with an impressive fireworks display. In October, the schedule expands out into the weekdays, offering more options to see the leaves via train. The quaint depot is located in the historic town of Nelsonville, once an industrial center of Ohio. Once aboard, the diesel-powered train—a history lesson itself—takes passengers along an approximately two-hour round-trip ride along the Hocking River Valley through Haydenville, another brick and clay tile center. Historic sites, events, anecdotes and the area’s current active industries are pointed out along the way via the on-board live narration. Fares vary on fall trips and special event trains (such as the All-Caboose Train, Labor Day Train, and Robbery Train). The Robbery Train, offered three times throughout the year, is one of the most popular events of the schedule and always sells out. Kids under the age of 3 years old do ride for free on every train (unless otherwise specified). Food and drinks aren’t provided but are permitted on the train. Pets, however, are not permitted except for certified service animals. Group rates are available as well for non-special event trains. A vintage steam locomotive is scheduled to be put back into service soon, so you’ll want to keep tabs on that as well. But for now, it’s safe to assume that one of the equally-historic diesels will be pulling the train during a visit. Many cabooses and other railroad cars, including an impressive snow plow, are also available to see around the depot while you wait for the train. Information on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway can be found at www.hockingvalleytrain.org or by calling 740-249-1452. The non-profit group is also very active on social media, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/hvsry), Twitter (@hvscenicrailway), and Instagram (@hvscenicrailway). It’s a lasting experience not to be missed!

Food options are as varied as the area, from fast food to true local establishments, one won’t go hungry for sure. Just a small sampling of local eateries include The Boot Grille, Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, Kiser’s Barbeque, Avalanche Pizza, Caleb’s Coffee, Casa Nueva, Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ, The Olde Dutch Restaurant, and Tammy’s Country Kitchen. By no means is the list comprehensive but its easy to get a picture of what’s available.

Lodging? Even more plentiful and varied, it’s much easier to just log on to the Hocking Hills Tourism Association’s website (www.explorehockinghills.com) and the website of the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (www.athensohio.com).

So, that trip to New England this fall? The close-to-home enticement of Southeast Ohio is arguably much more compelling and provides a charming escape with Southern-style hospitality, great cultural events, amazing natural beauty, and a rich history that rivals any region in America. Without a doubt, it is an experience that will have you making this regional visit a late-year vacation tradition for many years to come!

Fall Is Best Of All

wayne county ohio fall

in Wayne County, Ohio

It’s no secret that Central Ohio is known as one of the best places to view the changing colors of autumn. Pair this with the scenic back roads of Amish Country and you’ve found yourself a picturesque match made in heaven.

Wayne County likes to celebrate fall in a grand style with festivals, tractor pulls, farm tours and car shows.

Here is a sample of some of October harvest season celebrations.

  • Fall Fun Festival at P. Graham Dunn in Dalton
  • Apple Festival Days at Bauman Orchards
  • Autumn Discovery Day at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster
  • Apple Dumpling Weekend at Whispering Hills Campground in Shreve
  • Colonial Williamsburg Festival at Pine Tree Barn & farm in Wooster
  • Enchanted Forest at Wilderness Center in Wilmot
  • Winery Harvest Festival at Troutman Vineyards in Wooster
  • Community Heritage Day on James Road in Moreland
  • Farm Tour in Southwest Wayne County
  • Bucket & Beans Car Show at the Historical Society in Marshallville
  • Apple Butter Making at Smithville Historical Society
  • Kidron Beet Festival in Sonnenberg Village
  • Fall Festival at Ramseyer Farms in Wooster

Secrest Arboretum, part of The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, is the perfect place to view the changing colors. Open daily from dawn to dusk, you are invited to hike or bike the many trails or take a leisurely stroll through one of its gardens.

Organize a family outing to Ramseyer Farms Maze Adventures and Pumpkin Patch this fall. You can make friends with the farm animals, get lost in one of their many mazes, shoot a potato in the spud slinger, take a hayride into the fields to pick the perfect pumpkin or just sit back and enjoy the scenery while munching on a bag of freshly made potato chips. Visit them online at ramseyerfarms.com.

Nothing tastes as good as an apple fresh from the tree and Wayne County’s pick-your-own orchards won’t disappoint offering special dwarf size apple trees so everyone in your family can experience the delight of picking an apple right from the tree. Our Farms & Farmers’ Market section of our brochure lists hours and weekend festival dates for these farm attractions.

For a complete list of Wayne County festivals and activities see the Visitors Guide and Calendar of Events on line at http://wccvb.com/ or call 800-362-6474 to receive a free copy.

So grab a sweater, pack up the family car and come see why “Fall is Best of All” in Wayne County, Ohio!

Grand Lake Marathon

Grand Lake Marathon
The Fastest Course in Ohio!

This article is from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Ready to beat your PR (personal record) on your next half or full marathon?   Well… here’s your opportunity! Don’t miss what has been dubbed the “Fastest Course in Ohio!” … and it’s also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon!

Bring those speedy feet to the Annual Grand Lake Marathon held in September where you will experience an amazing course running along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake St Marys.  Following up on the success of the inaugural event last year, the race will once again offer a 5k, half, full marathon, relay, and a kids marathon. You are invited to escape the concrete jungle and come run in the country! A scenic loop that begins in Celina, Ohio, on the shores of Grand Lake awaits Marathoners with a route that offers beautiful views of the lake, family farms and very rural America. Half Marathon participants will enjoy a run along the northern shores of Grand Lake and a welcoming finish in the historic canal town of St. Marys, Ohio.

The Grand Lake Marathon organizers want to make your race day special by providing incredible race amenities such as great Live music approximately every two miles around the entire 26.2 loop, custom shirt with custom Grand Lake Marathon artwork, custom bib numbers with your name, custom age group awards, a wonderful Race event expo, free download of your favorite race photo, a Free beer from Big Bamboos Dockside Grill located only a few steps away from the Marathon finish in Celina, free 13.1 or 26.2 stickers to all participants, and finally, one awesome lake themed finisher medal! As pictured Seymour the Seagull is also expected to join in the fun.

The Grand Lake Marathon course is flat, fast and USATF certified for Boston qualification. USATF Certificate: OH14003MW.   Findmymarathon.com lists Grand Lake as the fastest course in Ohio! So if you are a weekend warrior looking for a 5k in a beautiful setting or a dedicated runner wanting to tackle the full 26.2 mile challenge, sign up today for the Grand Lake Marathon. For more information or to register check out www.Grandlakemarathon.com.

Ft. Rowdy Gathering

Fort-Rowdy-Gathering

is a Labor Day Weekend Must

Come join a peaceful setting of yesteryear when visiting the Ft. Rowdy Gathering in Covington, Ohio. A depiction of a bustling, small trading village set in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s is what you will experience when you enter the Covington Community Park during Labor Day weekend.

Falling leaves and the smell of open fires lure you to the “Gathering” along with the homemade foods and arts and crafts that will have you wanting to linger throughout the weekend.

If you love good food and a great time, just amble on down to the Fort Rowdy Gathering for the taste sensation of a lifetime. Your nose will enjoy the aroma and your mouth will water in anticipation of the wonderful choice of foods you can enjoy at the Gathering.

You could be one who enjoys lemon shake-ups or strawberry shake-ups served by the Piqua Aikido Club. Or maybe you will be lured to the tent of the Covington Church of the Brethren and the Covington Outreach Association to get a taste of their delicious homemade chicken and noodles along with the great fall favorite, apple dumplings. (Hurry-they sell out quickly!) They also have coffee and hot chocolate and a large variety of cookies and donuts.

If you are looking for a snack, you might want to visit the Covington United Church of Christ booth for a sugar waffle with your beef barbeque sandwich, IBC Root Beer or Cider. French fries, shredded chicken sandwiches, brats burger, mini corn dogs, pumpkin rolls and funnel cakes can be purchased from the Covington Eagles Aux.

St. John’s Church is cooking up cabbage rolls along with mashed potatoes. Take along their fresh fruit cups for dessert. Boy Scout Troop 76 will have brats, metts, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, nachos and cheese and loaded nachos.

Young Life of Miami Co is serving pork fritters, blooming onions, breaded chicken sandwiches, cheese sticks and poppers. Check out their breakfast of gravy and biscuits or the mountain man breakfast. If you like pulled pork sandwiches and chips stopover to A.B. Cole Post 80 American Legion.

Cannons Fast Pitch will be cooking up steak and pizza burgers. If you are looking for something to put on top of your pie or apple dumplings stop by Fort Rowdy’s ice cream booth. They will feature Susie’s Big Dipper ice cream.

As you can see, they try to please everyone’s appetite and avoid duplications so you can have a big choice when it comes to the taste buds. Now there have to be several items mentioned that could lure you down to the Gathering-and they know you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it.

The Fort Rowdy Gathering is not only a gathering of people but a gathering of crafts also. They strive to bring you a wide variety of talent and interests at this event. There are ceramics of all kinds, country crafts, painted wooden items, angel food cakes, decorative afghans and throws, flower arrangements, blacksmithing, painted pumpkins and gourds, do it yourself sand art, and period trade goods just to name a few.

Free live entertainment will be provided on the festival side, as well as, food vendors from local non-profit organizations and craft vendors. Encampment activities include: Hawk & knife, spear throw, bow shoot, lizard pull, flint & steel, cooking contest, and rolling pin & skillet toss along with many games and contests for the children. Prizes will be awarded at camp meetings. A Sunday morning worship service will be held at the encampment stage.

Authentic demonstrations, contests, games and entertainment add up to fun and enjoyment for the whole family. And the 208’ long portable footbridge will carry you across the scenic Stillwater River to the Mountainman Encampment and a true feeling of the life of a by-gone era.

Covington Community Park is located on St. Rt. 36, just west of St. Rt. 48 north of Covington. The “Gathering” runs all day and offers free admission and parking.  For more information please go to fortrowdy.org.