Using Our Hands to Reach Outside

Let’s talk about hands. The ones you eat with. The ones you clap with. The ones you work with.What you do with your hands is what you do with your life. What you do with your hands has a lasting impact on yourself and those around you. The recent work of many hands in this community has made a huge difference.

Hands Across Westerville, September 28, 2018Last Friday, a couple hundred pairs of them joined together in the center of State Street to symbolize unity and kick off a weekend of Community Culture activities. While that was going on a dozen  pairs of hands were helping WVCB staff execute the Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday after the sudden loss of our Executive Director a month before. There was also a small army of City of Westerville employees, police, fire, service and electric, whose hands made sure streets were blocked, safe, lit and clean for the thousands of people who came to enjoy a night in this beautiful community.

In the weeks leading up to that night there were hands that sent Remembering the late Jeff Hartnellflowers, sent cards and dialed calls with words of encouragement to a small staff shaken and broken-hearted by the death of our leader and our friend. Hands that hugged and were ready with tissues when  the days was just too hard.

Now that it is time to move, “Onward and Upward”, (one of Jeff’s favorite sayings) the WVCB is counting on all of those hands to reach out, not only within this community, but outside of it. You love this community, right? Why? Why is #WestervilleAwesome ?

Jeff Hartnell worked for 11 years to reintroduce Westerville to itself. His vision was to expand our message outside of Ohio and bring people here from Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and beyond. You know people! You can help!

We’ve got two beautiful new hotels now. The Aloft and The Renaissance. If you are planning a wedding, use them. If your employer is holding a conference or meeting, talk to them first. If you know out-of-towners looking for a place to stay for an OSU game or other event being held in Columbus, point them to Westerville. The WVCB will do our best using our resources to do our job, but you are our best spokespeople! Tell your friends and family why YOU like Westerville and why they should come here for work and for fun.

If you need our help, we are here. We will supply you with Community Guides, maps and other information and can put you in contact with all the right people. There are so many fun things to do right in Westerville and not too far away. Just call or email. We will be glad to lend a hand.

Tally-Ho! A Fox Hunt in Westerville!

All of the finest communities host fox hunts, do they not? We thought it was time Westerville hosted one too. Well…sort of. This one does not require a pure-blood, carefully trained hound. Your family pooch will do just fine. In fact, this Fox Hunt will be held, not along fields and streams, but right in the heart of Uptown Westerville.

What will it cost you? Just $10. All the proceeds will be donated to Rescued Ohio.

When is it happening? During Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Dog Days of Summer between 6-8pm.

Where do you get a map? Your first stop will be Captivating Canines, 12 E. Main St. You’ll pay your money, get your map and a goody bag filled with items from the shops you’ll be visiting. Then you and your dog will head out to hunt those foxes!

What do you do when you find all the foxes? When you find all six foxes, you will return to Captivating Canines, show your completed map by 8pm and fill out a drawing slip with your name and phone number. Ron will draw three names. The winners will be announced at both music stages at 8:30pm. Winners can pick up their baskets at Captivating Canines that night or we will notify winners on Wednesday. You do not have to be present to win.

What do you do now? Tell all your friends that you are going to 4th Friday on August 24th, 2018. You can get all the details here, including details about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing and practice testing available that night. You won’t want to miss this great night!

Party in the Streets

Hmmm? What will Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays look like this year? Of course they get bigger and more fun each year, but some exciting changes are coming that will make this awesome community event even better!

If you’ve never been to a Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday, they are a fantastic way to end your week! On the fourth Friday of each month, April through September, the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau and our wonderful partners pull out all the stops to offer live entertainment, food, street vendors (more than 100) and children’s activities between 6-9pm in Uptown Westerville. The shops and restaurants stay open late so you can explore what makes Uptown such a great place to be. So whether you are from Westerville or Central Ohio or visiting from somewhere else, there is plenty for you to enjoy.

As we are planning each month’s theme and activities, we’d be interested to know if there are local groups or organization that would like to become involved in bringing these events to the public. Whether your group would like to put in volunteer hours, contribute to a theme, sponsor an activity or if you’d like to find out what opportunities are available, give us a call and Jeff and Glenda can fill you in on all the possibilities. Our number is 614-794-0401.

These events would not be possible without the support of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital and The City of Westerville. We look forward to another great season of 4th Fridays with you and your family.

By Popular Demand!

The WVCB staff is asked all the time, “Why don’t you close down State St. for 4th Fridays?” Well, the short answer is another question: Is it worth closing down State St. for a three-hour event? Well, we are about to find out!

People and dogs walking on 4th FridayOn August 25th, in cooperation with the City of Westerville, State St. between Park St. and Main St. will close at 5:30p.m. to allow more room for pedestrians during Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Dog Days of Summer. The WVCB has reached out to businesses and residents in the area to alert them to the change, but we want to continue to get the word out so there are no surprises for residents, businesses or commuters that night.

There are plenty of reasons to try it and see how it goes and there are plenty of people who won’t ever want us to do it again. 🙂 We will see how it goes, have a good time and enjoy a little more paw and elbow room. For more information about the road closures and all the fun things going on that night, click here!

 

Here’s a Park! What Do We Do?

In a matter of days the school bus traffic will die down and the sounds of children will be heard riding bikes, playing ball and exploring nature all over Central Ohio.

Or at least that’s how it should be. Westerville is a city within a park, nestled within 6,000 acres of park land. Whether it be a city park, a metro park or a state park, there is plenty of park to go around. We just have to get kids to love being in it.

Westerville Parks and Recreation wants to show them how much fun nature can be by hosting Party at the Creek on the last day of school, Thursday, May 25, from 6-8pm at Alum creek Park North, 221 W. Main St. This free event features explorations of nature, tours of scenic green spaces and waterways and family-friendly fun. Local nature and environmental groups will be on hand, plus there will be boater safety demonstrations, canoeing, food and entertainment.

On Friday, May 26th, the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau will present Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Back to Nature in Uptown Westerville from 6-9pm.child touching snake at Party at the Creek In addition to all the other 4th Friday fun, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and Delaware County Preservation Parks will have displays and information on summer programming so exciting, your kids will leave their fidget spinners  and iPhones in the dust.

May your summer be full of dirty feet and tired kids.

What are 4th Fridays?

Is “Must-See-TV” copyrighted? Okay, then we won’t use that. We’ll say, “Must-Turn-Off-TV!” “Must-Get-To-Uptown-Westerville-With-Friends-And-Family!” That’s what Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays are!

This series of six events kicks off each April and, in effect, begins the barrage of wonderful outdoor community events in the Westerville area, sponsored and organized by a multitude of community groups. Because of the support we receive from Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, the City of Westerville and other sponsors, the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau is able to present 4th Fridays as a way to showcase Uptown Westerville and give Central Ohio a reason to have fun in an old fashioned-kind-of-way on a Friday night.

Street vendors, food trucks, kids activities, live music, local performers: There’s plenty to do. You know all those shops you drive past? They’re open until 9pm or later so you can finally check them out after all these years. Odds are you’ll see someone you know if you’re from around here. If not, we are sure you’ll meet some nice folks while you’re here.

Worried about parking? Nah. If you live within a few miles, you can ride your bike and the Westerville Bicycle Club will keep it for you at it’s secure Bike Corral on W. Main St. across from the WVCB office, 20 W. Main St. If that’s not your style, AAA Ohio Auto Club has you covered with a free shuttle that will pick you up from the COTA turn-around at the Westerville Senior Center, 210 W. Main St. and drive you to the WVCB office, within  a block of the festivities. Easy-peasy!

If you have questions about Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays, visit our 4th Friday page or give us a call: 614-794-0401. Happy Spring!

4th Friday Season Ends on a Warm Note

Nowhere was there a hint of autumn during Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Fall Fest, held September 23rd in Uptown Westerville. As if our attendees had ordered an extension of summer, our temperatures were in the 80s and the crowds were large and full of excitement. Then the reality of the season dropped like a theater’s curtain after the finale. It got dark. Early.

And now the 2016 season of MCSA’s 4th Fridays is in the books. It could not have filled Uptown with fun if it were not for Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, the City of Westerville, AAA Ohio Auto Club and the Arts Council of Westerville. The Westerville Uptown Merchants Association and the Westerville Bike Club  were also key players in bringing this event to the community April through September.

We can’t forget Heartland Bank, Westerville Public  Library, Amish Originals Furniture Co. Westerville Parks and Rec and the Westerville Puppet Posse (led by Mrs. Winnie Maze). Their support helps the WVCB offer activities that appeal to kids.

In addition, there are at least a dozen individuals who have given of their time to assist the WVCB staff in the planning and execution of these six events. To these folks and the groups mentioned above: Thank you for supporting 4th Fridays!

As you bring out the sweaters, rake leaves and hang holiday lights, the WVCB staff will be working with our partners to plan 4th Friday events for 2017. Stay tuned and have a happy fall!

Too Important to Forget

Your grandparents or great-grandparents, at one time or another, probably tied a string around his or her finger to remind them of something they didn’t want to forget. The website SuperBeefy.com says,

“This is a carry-over from olden days when people tied pieces of cloth around any painful part of their body. This cloth was tied in one area to keep the “spirit of life” in that area, and so cure it and keep the pain from spreading to other parts of the body. The string on the finger was designed to “keep” the thought there, to be remembered later when it was needed.”

The WVCB staff has worked hard to remind folks that September has five Fridays. Our Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Fall Fest is happening, well, on the fourth Friday. Not the last Friday. We just want to make sure you don’t miss the last one of the season.

This time of year, there are plenty of folks in New York City and across the country that want to make sure you remember something far more important: The unimaginable tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001.

First Responders Park - HandAs more time passes, new generations of children will learn about that horrible day in history class, with no direct emotional connection to the day’s events and their aftermath. Whether you witnessed the devastation first-hand or you watched with the rest of the world as planes struck the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, you cannot let them forget.

Just like “the string on the finger was designed to ‘keep’ the thought there, to be remembered later when it was needed,” the City of Westerville’s 9/11 Observance is designed to keep your memories of that day alive and honor the innocent lives that were lost. And if you were too young or weren’t even born when the attacks took place, reading the thousands of eye-witness accounts or watching the countless documentaries that tell the stories of bravery and courage shown by the victims and those nearby, as well asFirst Responders Park the hatred demonstrated by the attackers, will provide enough background so that September 11th will always be a day of remembrance for you also.

Even if you still feel too far-removed from the events of 9/11, please consider the first responders in your own community and know that their commitment to you and your family is the same as the commitment shown by the police, fire and dispatch personnel who answered the call 15 years ago.

For more information on Westerville 9/11 Observance, Click Here.

Dog Days of Summer

It IS hot, but there is something else in the air this time of year. You know what I mean! The electricity, the excitement that comes along with a new school year! The smell of new shoes and backpacks. The diesel trail left behind by the school buses and the happy sounds of children as they wait for the doors to swing open and welcome them to a new day of learning.

As for Uptown Westerville, we are not only welcoming new Otterbein University students this week, we will be greeting the cold wet noses of man’s best friend for our Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Dog Days of Summer on August 26th. Friday marks our “4th Friday” event and the “1st Friday” that Otterbein students are on campus this year. For some students, the campus and Uptown areas will be old, familiar territory. For other, it will be a new adventure. So to for the dogs and their owners who come to enjoy all the 4th Friday offerings. Some will be familiar with the vendors and activities and have come to enjoy them again. Others will be experiencing them for the first time.

So whether you and your dog are newbies or seasoned 4th Friday pros, we hope you enjoy our Dog Contest, photo booth, puppet shows, story times, street vendors, food trucks, live entertainment and the fun Uptown atmosphere that make 4th Fridays great community events.

Click Here for all the details.

In Full Spring

If you haven’t been to Inniswood Metro Gardens during this season of greening, you must. You’ll be greeted by blankets of tulips and beautiful emerald hues everywhere you look. Elsewhere in Westerville, the Bradford Pears lining many neighborhood streets have transitioned from brilliant white to a more summery shade. Before long you will see some scraggly baskets of petunias hanging from the light posts along State and Main Streets. But don’t be fooled! In a few short weeks they will burst from their baskets and cascade toward the sidewalk like a pink and purple explosion. Spring is a great time to be in Westerville!

Check our upcoming events page for even more reasons to enjoy Westerville. Memorial Day Weekend will bring the second of our Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday Celebrations to Uptown and a breathtaking display of American flags to the Sports Complex on Cleveland Ave. The Field of Heroes is a must-see for sure. Come visit twice: Once during daylight and once at night. You won’t regret it.

Here’s to a fun-filled spring in Westerville!