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.”

 

 

 

No More Excuses

How many times have you said to your friend, “We’re going to have to try that place.”? How many times have you said to yourself, “Next time, I’m going to stop in there.”? No more talking. The 800-year old Jedi of Star Wars fame said, “Do or do not. There is no try.

Now is the time to come to Uptown Westerville to explore the shops and restaurants that you have talked about visiting for years. Why now, you ask? Well, there are two reasons, really.

The first is that a new Uptown brochure was just completed. You can download the PDF here. Have the lay-of-the-land in your hand as you wander the Uptown streets and pick the place you and the family are in the mood for when meal time comes around.

The second is a brand new adults-only event coming up on March 10th from 5pm-8pm, which starts and ends at Jimmy V’s, 1 S. State St. It’s called the Chocolate Walk. You can get all the details here!

There’s a a lot going on in Uptown Westerville, but if you keep driving by, you’ll never get to join in the fun.

Moving Toward 30

No matter what the groundhogs say, the WVCB is looking forward to the next six weeks. Each week that goes by brings us closer to the beginning of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays, the completion of the State St./Schrock Rd. construction project and the openings of IKEA and the Aloft and Renaissance Hotels. Each month in 2017 brings us closer to our 30th anniversary in 2018!

Sprinkled in among these milestones are countless other events that make our community such a great place to live, work and visit. We have them laid out for you, as we know them, on our events page and we’re in the process of printing them in our 2017 Community and Events Guide that will be ready in late March. To order your free copy, click here.

In the meantime, ignore the groundhogs and enjoy each day whether you see your shadow or not!

See What Our Cleveland Friends Have to Say About Us!

Even though it aired over a year ago, we are still hearing from northern Ohioans who heard about Westerville from an episode of New Day Cleveland on their local Fox affiliate, FOX8. Several merchants in the Uptown area have said customers have come in because they heard about their shop on the show and wanted to see it first-hand. From the feedback we’ve received, they didn’t leave disappointed. Watch for yourself!

Tucked Away Until You Need Us

December is such a relaxing time of year. You, no doubt, have plenty of time to sit around and make summer plans or ponder which activities your family will enjoy this spring. You have the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau phone number programmed in your phone just so you can check on upcoming events.

Are we being facetious? You bet!

We know you are busy. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, you need to be able to enjoy everything Westerville has to offer on your schedule. We tell you what’s going on and when things are happening and you can choose when and if to participate.

Once all your Christmas decorations are put away, you may start thinking about some one-tank trips. You can stop in for ideas of places around Ohio to visit.

For you out-of-towners, we can help your group of friends ward off cabin fever! Give us a call and let us help plan a day or two of fun.

What if a new neighbor moves into your neighborhood? You make the Warm snuggly pajamas.cookies and we’ll put together a packet of info to make them feel welcome.

The WVCB wants to be that warm and snuggly pair of pajamas that you pull out on an especially cold night. We want to be that trusty old screw driver that you always grab when you want to get the job done. We’ll stold screwdriversay tucked away until you need us, but you will always know who to call.

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

 

Cookie Cutter Gifts or One-of-a-Kind?

Do make all of your gingerbread men look identical? Do all of your cut-out, bell-shaped cookies have the same color sprinkles? Of course not! The chocolate chips, red hots and various colors of sugar sprinkles make each cookie unique, just like the person who is lucky enough to eat it!

Do all of the holiday gifts you give come from the mall? They don’t have to! If you take an afternoon and shop in Uptown Westerville, you will undoubtedly find perfect gifts for everyone on your list that you can’t get at the malls.

From the smallest pair of earrings to the biggest piece of furniture, merchandise in Uptown Westerville is just different. The imaginations of the artists whose items you can find at the Ohio Art Market, Java Central, David Myers Art and Pure Roots have run wild and several somebodies on your list will love what you’ll find there.

How often do you get to bring back a fun childhood memory for a friend? There’s no doubt you’ll find a “my-grandma-used-to-have-one-of-those” item at A Gal Named Cinda Lou, My Cousin’s Closet, Westerville Antiques or Abbey Rose Boutique.

If you are looking to customize, Morgan’s Treasure Custom Jewelry, Good Vibes Winery, The Cabinet Maker and Amish Originals can help you in that department. Foodies will appreciate fun goodies from Lulu’s Sweet Shop, 2 Chicks And A Cookie and Shirley’s Popcorn as well as imported olive oil and balsamic vinegars from A Twist on Olives and Blue Turtle Teas & Spices from Uptown on Main.

Still have people to buy for? Try Captivating Canines, Edwin Loy Home, Columbus Running Company, The Westerville Bike Shop or Naturally Curious Kids. Even the person who has everything would like a gift card for Uptown Deli & Brew, 8 State Bistro, Asterisk Supper Club, Westerville Grill, Jimmy V’s or Thai Grille.

There are more great places in Uptown Westerville, but you get the idea. Whether you come Uptown on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) or tomorrow, you and the lucky ducks who get those gifts will be happy you decided against making your cookies and your gifts all alike. Make sure to visit www.shopuptownwesterville.com for more Uptown info!)

Bah Humbug? There’s a Ticket For That

As your end-of-year calendar fills up and your start hearing Christmas music in the stores, you might be tempted to cross your arms and turn into Ebenezer Scrooge. But don’t don your sleeping cap just yet!

A stop in our office at 20 W. Main St. or a click of your mouse is certain to bring joy and keep the Bah Hum Bugs away. That’s because we now have tickets available for the Westerville Habitat Partnership’s annual Progressive Christmas Concert on December 9th as well as the brand new Soup for Shelter dinner that will precede it. Give us a call to make sure we’re in the office, then come by and pick up tickets for you, your friends and your family. Tickets are $10 for the concert and $15 for the dinner and you get to keep your ceramic bowl, handmade by students at Columbus Academy. We can accept cash or check.

There’s another great event that’s happening each weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s called Uptown Scrooge and is a unique version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol told  throughout Uptown Westerville. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids and are available online.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just you or a whole slew, there are events to enjoy from now through the end of December. So enjoy them, every one!