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 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!

A Long Time Ago…There Was Midnight Madness!

Nobody’s sure when it started, but everyone agrees it has been going on for a long time. Not as far back as the Whiskey Wars, but certainly 1984 Midnight Madness in Uptown Westervillebefore there were 4th Fridays, there was Midnight Madness.

The Westerville Local History Archives have this photo from 1984 showing Nancy Wasserman, owner of Uptown business, The Difference, with customer Mimi Gresler at 1984’s Midnight Madness. That’s at least 32 years that the Westerville Uptown Merchants’ Association has been showcasing the 2009-north-state-stshops in Uptown during the Halloween season. At the very least, that’s parents, kids and grandkids who have roamed the Uptown streets in costumes, participating in various contests, enjoying fun decoration and taking advantage of sales offered by the many merchants who have called Uptown home through the years.

The other photos, from 2009 and 2010, respectively, show some of the good times had when the leaves are down and sky is dark in Uptown.

You’ll hear the clip-clip of hooves again2010nightwalkuptown this year, as WUMA offers free horse-drawn wagon rides. You’ll see shop windows with decorations both spooky and whimsical and you’ll be able to bring your lawn chairs and blankets to watch family-friendly movies at Westerville Automotive on E. Main St.

Will there be candy? Yes. Will it be cold? Maybe. Will you make memories? Definitely.


Westerville/Civil War-Era Music Forever Linked

As soon as the trick-or-treaters go home on October 31st (and maybe Home of Bishop William Hanby, Abolitionist, Underground Railroad "Conductor" and his son, Benjamin Hanby, who wrote the Christmas favorite, "Up On The Housetip."even before), you’ll begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio and in the malls. Each song as its own unique story. If you’ve been to Westerville and especially if you live here, you most likely know who wrote the song “Up On the Housetop.” His name was Benjamin Hanby. But did you know that Ben penned more than just this Christmas favorite?

Here’s an excerpt from
Bishop and Ann’s oldest child, Benjamin Russel Hanby, was in the second graduating class of Otterbein University in 1858. He was a United Brethren preacher, a teacher, an abolitionist and a composer. During his short life, he composed over 80 songs including Darling Nelly Gray, Up on the Housetop, and Who is He in Yonder Stall? The latter is included in the current United Methodist Hymnal.

You may not be familiar with Ben’s catalog, but people of his day would have certainly recognized many of his melodies.

On Saturday, October 22nd, you can enjoy an afternoon full of Civil War music to benefit Ben’s Westerville residence, The Hanby House Historic Site. The songs, written about or by women during the Civil War period, will be presented by Columbus musicians Steve and Lisa Ball. Not only will the lyrics and the harmonies take you back 150 years, the guitar Steve plays is a Civil-War era Martin!

All proceeds from this concert will help support the programming and educational efforts of Hanby House. For more information about Hanby House and how to order advance tickets for the concert, visit the Hanby House website.

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 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.

There’s More to September Than Pumpkin Spice

‘Tis the season for Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING! September 1st must be the unofficial date where strawberry- and peach-flavored treats are replaced by everyone’s favorite orange gourd. But don’t be too quick to leave summer behind just yet.

Of course Westerville’s calendar is filled with fun fall activities like the Ned Mosher Apple Butter Festival, Midnight Madness and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Fall Fest. But we’re still wringing out all the summertime we can get with The Great Westerville Food Truck Fest and Cops and Kids Day.  To ease the transition between the season of humid to the season of crisp, you can take in the Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market, enjoy garden walks at Inniswood and then bundle up for a high school football game. Then, and only then, can you embrace autumn, buy your pumpkins from the Boy Scouts and put pumpkin spice creamer in your morning joe.