People, Vendors, Music in the Streets for 2018 Season
Westerville, Ohio The Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau is celebrating the kickoff of another season of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays with some big changes.
Visitors to what has become Central Ohio’s largest series of festivals will notice, “wide open spaces and plenty of room to move,” according to Executive Director Jeff Hartnell. That’s because State St. (State Route 3) between E. Park St. and W. Home St. will be closed for the 6 to 9p.m. event beginning at 5:30p.m. until approximately 9:15p.m.
In August 2017, the WVCB, in conjunction with the City of Westerville, ran a pilot during the Dog Days of Summer event. Hartnell said the feedback was all positive.
“The two words we heard the most were ‘strollers’ and ‘safety’ and because of all the great support we get from the (Westerville) Divisions of Police and Fire and the Service Department and Electric Division and all the other City departments, we all felt doing it for the whole 2018 season was in the community’s best interest.” (See Road Closure Info below.)
Attendees will not only enjoy extended hours in the Uptown shops and restaurants, but street vendors and food trucks along State St. as well as the side streets featuring all manner of products, services and food truck fare to celebrate the coming of spring.
The theme of the April 27th kick-off event is “Spring into the Arts” and will highlight Westerville’s arts community and how art enriches the lives of people of every age.
Westerville Artist David Myers opened his studio and gallery in Uptown Westerville in 2002. He will host his annual “Joy of Spring Exhibit,” featuring the original work of the studio artists as well as the artists of Parkside Village, an assisted living and retirement community in Westerville.
“The arts in Westerville are thriving and continue to evolve,” Myers said. “We are grateful to have been part of the extraordinary Westerville community for over 16 years and be a place where you can learn, transform and express yourself as well as exhibit your own art or see other local and regional artists work.”
Just across State St., former 4th Friday vendor Wendy Emory opened her shop, Ohio Art Market, and has been nominated through City Scene Magazine’s “Best of the Bus” for Best Suburban Art Gallery and Best Locally Owned Boutique.
Emory said Westerville is a great place for art. “Consider the beautiful parks in our community where people gather to enjoy a concert or sip coffee among sculptures. There are artists all around us. Every person has the ability to create and realize ways to improve their community.”
The Arts Council of Westerville will present Passport to the Arts near Union Savings Bank, 44 S. State St. featuring hands-on art activities for children as well as Arts Alley where original art by local artists will be on display.
Further south at the Westerville Public Library, the front lawn will be set up with family activities and the Library itself will be open to check out books, movies or put items on reserve until 9p.m.
Musical entertainment for the evening will include “String Theory” on the Arts Council of Westerville Music Stage located on the newly renovated Civic Green in front of City Hall, 21 S. State St. And Ransom Band will perform on the Meza Wine Shop Stage, which will be in a brand new location in front of Church of the Messiah right on State St.
Look for Generations Performing Arts Center dancers on W. College Ave. from 6-7:15p.m. and new this year, The Magic Devon will be on Winter St. entertaining with rope tricks, card tricks and sleight of hand.
Parents looking for the bounce houses will find them near Hanby School. The Union Savings Bank Kids Corner is in a new location in the back parking lot of Union Savings bank , 44. S. State St.
Mix 107.9 will be on W. Main St. close to the drop-off point for the AAA Ohio Auto Club 4th Friday Shuttle at 20 W. Main St. Attendees can park at The Point at Otterbein University, 60 Collegeview Ave. and ride the free shuttle Uptown to enjoy the festivities. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes until 9p.m.
For cyclists, the Westerville Bicycle Club will sponsor a free Bike Corral. This year, it will be next to Jimmy V’s, 1 S. State St,. and will be accessible from the City Hall parking lot or State St. They will do short maintenance checks and keep bikes secure while their owners enjoy the event.
Road Closure Info
The streets and parking lots normally used for 4th Friday activities will close at 4p.m. and include:
- E. Home St. and the parking lots on the north east and south east corners of N. State and E. Home Streets
- E. College Ave. from State St. to Vine. St.
- W. College Ave. from State St. to the City Parking Lot
- Winter St. to the parking lot entrance. Access to the Union Savings Bank drive-thru will be maintained via Winter St.
A barrier placed at Walnut St. will feature “Local Traffic Only” signs for motorist traveling northbound. In addition, the State St. closure will necessitate the closure of:
- W. Main St. from State St. to the Middlefield Bank drive thru. The drive-thru will remain open all evening during all 4th Friday events.
- E. Main St. from State St. to the parking areas behind the Uptown businesses/Haywood Alley.
To allow for better traffic flow, no parking will be permitted on Vine St. between Park St. and Old County Line Rd. from 4p.m. to 10p.m. Questions regarding public safety should be directed to Lt. Ron McMillin of the Westerville Division of Police 614-901-9873. The map showing the closures can also be viewed at www.visitwesterville.org.
For more information about Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays, contact Jeff Hartnell, WVCB Executive Director at 614-794-0401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.