Traditions Continue in Uptown

Congratulations are in order for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce as employees and members celebrate 50 years of serving Westerville businesses and residents. Next year the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau will celebrate 40 years of bringing visitors to our community.

Marking anniversaries are fun, but there are just some things that have been going on so long, their beginning defies pinning down. One of those things is Midnight Madness. Several generations of Westerville residents have shared memories of coming Uptown to shop late, visit with neighbors and get a treat or two from the merchants. For decades, kids have enjoyed circling the historic buildings in a wagon while dressed as Disney princesses and various super heroes.

Parents snapped photos, not on smartphones, but on real cameras, that required film, that needed dropped off to be processed and picked up before you could see the results. That’s how long Midnight Madness has been going on.

There have been scarecrows along the streets and monsters in the windows. Who remembers vampires playing the keyboard in the fountain near City Hall and a catwalk in the courtyard? There was always fun to be had at Midnight Madness and this year, October 27th will be no exception.

Horse-drawn wagon rides, art activities, spooky science fun, a Haunted Garden at Uptown on Main, scary movie and trick or treating in participating shops will all be part of the evening. Generations Performing Arts Center and Sounds Educational Center are performances not to be missed. Java Central will host the Haunted Hollow Experience along the Brickwalk. Families can strut their stuff on the Halloween Catwalk and get treat bags from the Westerville Division of Police.

Uptown shops will participate in a Window and Storefront Decorating Contest, so make sure to vote for your favorites! There will also be opportunities to get books, airbrush tattoos, kettle corn, cookies, brats, hot dogs and more. Midnight Madness is a Westerville tradition that your family won’t want to miss.

Here’s to another Midnight Madness, whatever year we’re celebrating…

For more information about Midnight Madness, Click Here!

New Event Celebrates Local Breweries/Dry History

Henry Corbin's Saloon on State St. in Westerville was dynamited in 1879.If Bill & Ted brought Henry Corbin on an excellent adventure back to Westerville on October 14, 2017, he would certainly be surprised to see beer being served on E. Main St. just a block from where Corbin’s Saloon stood 140 years ago.

You see, Corbin opened a saloon in 1875 on W. Main Street, but the tee-totallers came after dark with dynamite and did their best to stop the alcohol from flowing in Westerville. In 1879, Corbin tried again, this time on State St. Another explosion put an end to Corbin’s business ventures in the “Dry Capital of the World.”

On October 14, 2017, the beer will be savored once more along the same streets rocked by those famous Whiskey Wars explosions. Uptown Westerville, Inc. invites the Central Ohio community to its first-ever Uptown Untapped event from 6-11pm. Sponsored by Amish Originals, the event will recognize Westerville’s past as a hub for the temperance movement while celebrating Uptown as a modern destination for food, shopping and entertainment.  Westerville is dry no more and Uptown Untapped will tout local breweries, restaurants and musicians. Uptown Untapped Logo

To get your tickets for Uptown Untapped, click here!

For more information about Westerville’s temperance history and its role in Prohibition, click here!

Veterans to Take Another Flight

There are no shortage of heroes.  That’s why Westerville’s community sponsored Honor Flight will take off again September 30th for Washington D.C. so another group of senior veterans can visit the memorials built in their honor.

Honor Flight Columbus June 2017You can show your appreciation to these heroes for their selfless defense of liberty. Teachers, students and community members are being asked to write letters of thanks to our veterans. These will be distributed during the mail call portion of the trip to Washington, D.C. Correspondence should be sent to Lisa Reschke at
Cherrington Elementary School no later than Monday September 18. Cherrington is located at 522 Cherrington Road in Westerville. Students should sign their letters using only their first
names. Postcards are available as well, by contacting reschkel@westerville.k12.oh.us .

In addition, the entire Westerville community is invited to meet at the John Glenn International Airport at 8:45 p.m. on September 30 to welcome our veterans home. This is a memorable
opportunity for families, scouting organizations, clubs and individuals, all of whom are encouraged to bring flags and signs of support and gratitude for America’s true heroes.

If you are looking for another way to support Honor Flight, take your family to dinner  at City Barbecue on Wednesday, September 27, where a portion of sales from 10:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. will be donated to Honor Flight Columbus. Learn more at www.honorflightcolumbus.org.

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!

 

Westerville July 4th Info and More!

Almost every community has some kind of Independence Day celebration, but Westerville’s is one of the biggest! From the Rotary Run-Walk in the morning to the fantastic parade in the afternoon, to the Symphony Concert and Fireworks at night, it is a day that sets Westerville apart and causes the hearts of residents to swell with pride.

Here’s something else that sets Westerville apart from many other communities: We have a City Manager form of Government. Yes, we have a Mayor (Kathy Cocuzzi,) who is the head of our non-partisan, at-large-elected City Council. But the head of our local government is our City Manager (David Collinsworth.)

This form of Government is more prevalent in other areas of the country and in other areas of Ohio, but Westerville was the first village in Ohio to adopt the Council/Manager system. You can read more about it here.

During this long holiday weekend as you enjoy your family barbeques the parade, the concerts and the fireworks, you can share a few new tidbits of information about Westerville. You’re welcome! 😉

Have a fun and safe 4th of July!

Rotary Run/Walk & Children’s Fun Run
Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.
6:30 a.m.  Registration begins for Rotary Run/Walk and the Children’s Fun Run
8 a.m. Rotary 5K Run/Walk
9:15 a.m.  Rotary Children’s Fun Run
9:25 a.m.  Awards Ceremony

Parade (1 p.m.)
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 313 N. State St. to Electric Ave.
The Parade will begin at the intersection of N. State Street and Old County Line Road. It will then proceed south on State Street to Electric Avenue, then east on Electric Avenue to Westerville South High School.

Live Music, Food Trucks and Family Fun (2 p.m. – dusk)
Westerville South High School (WSHS), 303 S. Otterbein Ave.
Please note posted parking restrictions in the area surrounding WSHS for emergency vehicle and neighborhood access.

Fireworks (Dusk)
Fireworks will simulcast with 104.9 The River.

Fireworks will be set off from Alum Creek South Park and will be easily seen from WSHS. Concert-goers staying for fireworks at WSHS should bring chairs/blankets.

Other popular viewing areas include the Westerville Square Shopping Center and the Alum Creek South Park area.

For timing updates, follow the City of Westerville Twitter account: @tellwesterville. All events are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Westerville.

Welcome Columbus!

Westerville is happy to welcome families from all over Central Ohio to the Columbus Children’s Festival presented by Meijer on Saturday, June 17th. There are so many aspects to this event, which are outlined below, that you’ll have plenty to do. However, don’t forget to take a look around our community while you’re here. Use our website to take a sneak-peak!

6th Annual Columbus Children’s Festival and Westerville Food Truck Fest to hit Westerville North High School grounds on 6/17!

What: Come PLAY at KidsLinked’s 6th Annual Columbus Children’s Festival, a Youth Sports, Fitness, & FUN Extravaganza, presented by Meijer.

This year’s Festival is moving to a new & bigger location! Westerville North High School’s large, grassy campus allows for the event to grow, and for lots of free, nearby parking for guests. We are pleased to partner with the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau for this event.

  • 1st Annual Westerville Food Truck Fest presented by G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers
    Satisfy your street food cravings at the Westerville Food Truck FEST! This event is on the fringe of the 6th Annual Columbus Children’s Festival, in the NW lot of Westerville North High School, from 10-5
  • Jump with Jill Live Tour, presented by Meijer: The world’s only rock & roll nutrition show, Jump with Jill is poised to rock the 2017 Columbus Children’s Festival Stage at 11am on 6/17.

  • Columbus Eagles Soccer Game:

The Columbus Eagles Women’s Premier Soccer Club will play a women’s soccer friendly on June 17th as a marquee event of

​​

KidsLinked.com’s Columbus Children’s Festival! Game time is 4pm at Westerville North High School. Tickets for this event are $10 online at KidsLinked.com/FEST and at the gate.

 

Registrations open at KidsLinked.com/FEST:

 

Columbus Foam Fun Run – $10 registration fee includes:

  • A chance to run through and play in loads of foam bubbles!
  • Souvenir Foam Fun Run T-shirt (First 250 registrants)
  • Frisbee finisher awards for the first 300 finishers provided by The Little Gym Polaris
  • Free Polynesian Pancake Luau Breakfast
  • Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen
  • Free pass for 1 ride at Cyclebar Westerville
  • Presented by Primrose School of Canal Winchester, Primrose School of Columbus Downtown, Primrose School of Pinnacle, Primrose School of Reynoldsburg
  • KidsLinked’s 2017 Race Series presented by Ohio ENT & Allergy Physicians

 

 

Polynesian Pancake Luau Breakfast – $6/child, $8/adult, $20/4-pack breakfasts – includes:

  • All-You-Can-Eat pancakes–catch them from Chris Cakes Ohio
  • Souvenir Lei
  • Meet & Greet, photo ops, and themed activities in celebration of Disney’s “Moana”
  • Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen
  • Presented by Allstate Insurance: Angie Mikel

 

 

Bounce Park & Attractions Fun Zone Wristband – $12 – includes:

  • All-Day-Unlimited-Play in the Visit Pittsburgh Fun Zone at the Columbus Children’s Festival!
  • Human Gyroscope
  • Big Baller
  • Surf Shark
  • Huge inflatable Slide
  • 2 Lane Obstacle Course
  • Inflatable Basketball game
  • Whack-A-Wall Game
  • 2 Lane Bungie Run

​–provided by Ohio Party Bull​

  • Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen (first 1,000)

 

 

Columbus 3v3 Soccer Cup – $160/team includes:

  • Opportunity to be a part of the largest summer 3v3 tournament in Columbus Ohio
  • 1st place teams will recieve a trophy and 2nd place teams will recieve medals
  • All consolation game winners receive a prize
  • All games will utilize Bownets
  • Tournament is a qualifier for 3v3 nationals at Disney World
  • Stay and enjoy free admission to the Columbus Children’s Festival
  • Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen

–contact KidsLinked’s Customer Service at ​customerservice@kidslinked.com to inquire about remaining available slots for teams

  • Presented by Ohio Soccer Academy

 

 

Archery Tournament/Learn to Shoot- Entry fee: $3 – includes:

  • Certified instructors to make sure your experience is both fun and safe
  • Test Your Archery Skills Shooting Bows & Arrows
  • Balloon Games
  • Target Shoots
  • Win Prizes for Highest Scores
  • Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen
  • Presented by Velocity Archery

 

 

“Fashion in Full Bloom”: Youth Fashion Contest – Entry fee: $5 – includes:

  • Show will be emceed by Alissa Henry, featured reporter of ABC 6 and FOX 28, along with Ben Buchanan, an ABC/FOX Broadcaster
  • Judges include: Karen Sigal of Sigal Models, Olivia Dorado – a local teen fashion designer, and Caeilen Lozano – Pure Design’s Fashion Stylist

–Some prizes include:

  • Mia Mermaid Birthday Party valued at $300 (girls)
  • Mani-Pedi session value to be determined (tweens)
  • Modeling session by Sigal Models valued at $350 (teens)
  • Featured in the fall issue of Pure Design Magazine (teens)
  • All contestants receive a Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen
  • Presented by Pure Design Magazine

 

 

​​• Johnson’s Real Ice Cream-Eating Contest:  FREE Entry

  • Four age groups in the competition – from kids to adults
  • All contestants eat vanilla ice cream
  • Win Johnson’s gift cards
  • All contestants receive a Free $6 Kids Meal from 101 Beer Kitchen
  • Presented by  Johnson’s Real Ice Cream

______________________________

 

Some highlights of the Festival:

 

 FREE Admission & Parking!

 Huge Fun Zone & Entertainment

  • Presented by Visit Pittsburgh
  • Bounce Park & Fun Zone Attractions provided by Ohio Party Bull
  • Mr Game Room game truck
  • Trampolines & sports trainers from Recreations Outlet
  • CCF Passport Scavenger Hunt

 

 Smiles 4 Life Festival Stage

(tentative schedule – final stage schedule TBA on KidsLinked.com/FEST)

 

10:00 -​ Welcome, Announcements, and Music

10:15 – ​Cardio Drumming with Christine

10:30 – ​Columbus Youth Ballet

11:​00 ​  Jump with Jill ​Live Tour – ​The world’s only rock & roll nutrition show​, presented by Meijer

11:30 – Phil Hoffman, Magician​

12 – 1:30 – ​Johnsons’ ​Real Ice Cream-Eating Contest​

1:30 -​ Street Angelz – Christian urban dance crew

2:00 -​ ​ PRO Martial Arts – Board-breaking Demonstration & Competition

​2:30 – 4:00 – ​”Fashion in Full Bloom” Youth ​Fashion Contest​ presented by Pure Design Teen Magazine​ – emceed by Alissa Henry, featured reporter of ABC 6 and FOX 28, a​nd​ Ben Buchanan, ​​ABC/FOX Broadcaster ​

4:00 – ​​ ​​Martial Arts ​D​emo​​​

4:30 -​ TBA

 

 

♦ Vendor Midway & Family Marketplace

 

_______________________________

When:  Saturday, June 17, 2017, 10am – 5pm

 

Where: Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Rd, Westerville, OH 43081

 

 

 

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.

These Groups Aren’t Afraid To Get Their Hands Dirty

No matter what color your thumb, you’re eyes are bound to be drawn to the colorful plants and flowers that make spring such a fresh and happy time of year. Both the Inniswood Volunteers, Inc. and the Westerville Garden Club have plant sales this month where you can purchase annuals and perennials to beautify your yard or someone else’s. The proceeds go back to these local organizations that work all year long in the Westerville community.

Although Inniswood Metro Gardens is part of Columbus & Franklin County Metroparks and gets its staff and operational funding through the county, the gardens just wouldn’t look the same without Inniswood Volunteers, Inc. and the Inniswood Garden Society. These two organizations work together, sharing several members, to enhance not just the appearance of the botanical garden, but the educational opportunities offered their as well. While IVI has interest groups ranging from container design to taxonomy to railroad, IGS plans events where anyone can learn all aspects of gardening from nationally known speakers. IGS also assists with funding special projects like the Sisters’ Garden and the new Greenhouse Multipurpose Center. IGS will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, June 4, which is open to the public.

The Westerville Garden Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year with a host of activities, including The WEsterville Garden Club maintains the kitchen garden at the Hanby House State Memorial.the installation of a Blue Star Memorial at Hanby Park, the release of a cook book and a flower show. Each year, the Garden Club maintains the kitchen garden at the Hanby House State Memorial on W. Main St. and, since 1992, has sponsored the WesterFlora Garden Tour. The groups holds its monthly meetings in March, April, July, August, September, October and November at the Westerville Public Library.

This weekend and next, be sure to visit the plant sales and support these groups responsible for bringing color and beauty to our community. Go see what’s blooming!

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!

You Artsy, She Jane

Would you describe yourself as “artsy?” Why or why not? What makes one “artsy” or a “lover of art?” Some people say, “I’m not an artist, but I can appreciate the talent that went into it.” Others say, “I don’t get it at all!?!?”

Westerville, Ohio has a rich arts community that not only includes Otterbein University’s talented students and faculty and the Westerville Symphony, but also the Westerville Community Bands, theatre and choir, the Arts Council of Westerville, the Westerville Art League made up of hundreds of local artists.

What is art? Paintings? Dance? The spoken word? Quilts?

Who is an artist? A child? An actor? A sculpture? A tuba player?

Each year, the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau recognizes one local art initiative in memory of Jane Denick. To Jane, art was a passion. Recognizing creativity of every kind was a cause she championed. At our annual meeting in February, the WVCB awarded the Jane Denick Advancement of the Arts Award to Curtain Players.

Since 1963, Curtain Players has been part of the Westerville Community and has brought more than 200 shows to the area, promoting the educational, cultural, and entertainment value of live theatre.

If you have never experienced Curtain Players, you will have your chance beginning March 24 with Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by David Lindsay-Abaire. Curtain Players perform their shows in a quaint 78-seat theater is on the east side of the Hoover Reservoir.

Be sure to check out their website and take in one of their performances soon. While you’re at it, visit a gallery, go to a concert. Who knows, you might decide to be “artsy.”