Welcome Otterbein Students!

This time every year, Westerville gets an influx of new residents equipped with laundry baskets, comforters, futons and posters. Otterbein University’s 2016-2017 school year begins Monday, August 22 and students will spend the end of this week moving toin their residence halls and rental houses. To those students and their parents: Welcome to Westerville!

In addition to learning where their classes are located and which building houses their advisor’s office, Otterbein freshmen will quickly learn which of the many Uptown Westerville shops are their favorites, which restaurants have their favorite burger and, of course, which doughnut will be their late night go-to snack at Schneiders.

Once they spend a little time in Westerville, they’ll also learn about why we were once known as “Dry Capital of the World,” what happened during the Whiskey Wars and the Underground Railroad history present here.

We hope our community has an impact on each student who calls Westerville home for the next few years. We are also looking forward to the impact these students will have on Westerville: as interns and employees, as musicians, performers and artists and as community servants and volunteers.

The Cardinals have come to roost! Have a great year!

Sold Out: Westerville Loves the Arts

Did you know that all four scheduled performances of Westerville Parks and Recreation Civic Theatre’s production of The Little Mermaid sold out so quickly that another matinee performance had to be added? Have you visited Arts Alley during a 4th Friday event or taken Westerville’s Art in Public Spaces tour? If you answered “yes” to all three, congratulations! You know what’s happening with the arts in Westerville! If you answered no, but are a lover of the arts, keep reading and learn something new!

Former WVCB Board of Trustees member Jane Denick was a champion of the arts in Westerville. Before she passed away in 2014, she was instrumental in forming The Arts Council of Westerville, she played tuba in the Westerville Concert Band and she, her husband Ralph and their business partners bought Java Central Coffee House and Gifts and made it into a comfy place where art thrives to this day.

Jane expressed frustration that creative kids and adults alike were not getting the recognition their talents deserved. She believed achievements in all forms of art should be celebrated just as much as football, basketball, lacrosse or other athletic endeavors. She wanted to draw attention to the band member, the sculptor, the storyteller, the painter and the actor. She believed that art comes in many forms and those who engage their minds in the creation of such forms should be recognized.

Former WVCB Board Member and champion of the arts in Westerville Jane Denick

From the Westival Community Band and Art Festival to the poetry readings and stage productions that take place in our community, the arts are alive and well in Westerville, thanks to folks like Jane who want to see to it that the arts matter.

Each year, the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau presents the Jane Denick Advancement of the Arts Award to a group or organization that promotes and builds appreciation for the arts in Westerville just as Jane did. If you would like to submit a suggestion for this year’s winner, contact the WVCB at 614-794-0401 or info@visitwesterville.org.

Moving Right Along

Staff at the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau is excited to be moving back into our Uptown office after two month absence. Our building at 20 W. Main St. has been renovated and it looks fantastic! It will take us most of this week and some of next to get everything organized, but we’ll have our doors open soon!

Just to give you an idea of how many things so on in Westerville during the busy spring/summer season, here is a list of just some of the events that happened just in the two months we’ve been out of Uptown:

  • Curtain Players presented, “By the Skin of Our Teeth”
  • Westerville Public Library hosted author Anthony Doerr
  • Westerville Uptown Merchants hosted seven “Uptown Friday Nights” and Auctioned Art Umbrellas
  • Our office held two Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays Uptown
  • The Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce presented the annual Music & Arts Festival
  • Westerville Community Bands performed their Spring Concert
  • Westerville Historical Society heard Otterbein Archivist Steven Grinch speak about Women at Otterbein.
  • The City of Westerville presented Party At the Creek at Alum Creek Park
  • Honor Flight held its annual Jukebox Review
  • The Sunrise Rotary once again wowed us with the Field of Heroes
  • Hoover Sailing Club hosted their Open House
  • Otterbein Summer Theatre performed Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • The Lion’s Club served up its 43rd Annual Chicken Dinner
  • The Chamber’s Young Professional’s Group had their Uptown Shuffle
  • Parks and Rec hosted the Baby Bargain Boutique
  • The Arts Council of Westerville and the Westerville Community Bands teamed up to present Westival

And summer’s not over yet! For a complete list of events still to come, visit our Upcoming Events page!

July 4th Detour

If you could pick something your community does really well, what would it be? Maybe where you’re from, they keep the streets really clean. Maybe they hang gorgeous flower baskets on all the street lights in the summer. Maybe different organizations go above and beyond to bring residents and visitors together for some fantastic, fun, family friendly events.

I really hope these things happen where you live, because they are all things we enjoy in Westerville, Ohio! It is always nice to have hard-working city services. Keeping the city clean, pretty, safe, fun, electrified and fiscally responsible are things Westerville does very, very well.

There are, however, less visible workers that make Westerville a great place to live, work and visit. Consider the Honor Flight volunteer serving at the Pancake Breakfast. The Lion’s Club member greeting you at the Chicken Dinner. The volunteers helping the Sunrise Rotary make sure each row of American Flags is straight for the Field of Heroes. These folks provide the energy that keeps Westerville moving forward.

When you bring your family to any part of Westerville’s Noon Rotary Independence Day Celebration on July 4th, watch for the worker bees. Watch for the Rotarians handing out water, setting up at the venues, or organizing the parade units. Their dedication is reminiscent of the people who in any way made our split from the British Motherland a reality. Whether famous or unknown to history, their hard work created a place for our generation. The volunteers you see in the community, whether manning the bounce house on 4th Friday or in an office answering the phone, are making our city a great place for generations to come.

So as you are setting up your lawn chairs along Monday’s altered parade route, somewhere between St. Paul’s Church and Electric Avenue, think about the patriotism that’s happening right in front of you. Say thank you, and wave your flag!

See What We’ve Been Missing!

It is said a person doesn’t miss something until it’s gone. The WVCB staff knows this all too well, since we haven’t been in our Uptown office for nearly a month. We are hard at work at our temporary office location, which couldn’t be nicer, but we are missing one thing: Visitors!

We know we are off the beaten path and not set up for company, but we sure miss the daily interaction with residents, visitors and our fellow Uptown folks. We miss chatting with our neighbors in the parking lot and getting pop-in visitors the likes of Bill Morgan with Morgan’s Treasure Fine Jewelry, artist David Myers from across the street, Debbie Bennati from A Gal Named Cinda Lou and many friends from City Hall. We even miss the fire truck sirens as they scream up West Main. We miss being steps from two great coffee shops. We miss the proximity to a variety of restaurants and a pharmacy. We miss the quick walk to the bank to make a deposit and all the smiling faces we encounter on a daily basis.

The point of sharing with you what we miss about Uptown, is to let you know what Uptown is and how it feels to be there. We know that, once repairs to our office building are finished, we will be back to enjoy Uptown once again, but what about you? Have you been Uptown lately? Have you had dinner in one of our great eateries or bought a gift for a friend in one of Uptown’s unique shops? Our candy, cookie, popcorn, ice cream and frozen custard parlors make a great outing for you and the kids. Buckeye BrewCraft and the Governor’s Smoke Shop will keep the guys busy while the ladies enjoy Deja Vu and My Cousin’s Closet. The possibilities are endless. Go ahead. Visit Uptown Westerville today and see what WE’VE been missing!

Celebrate the Arts During Westival!

Alum Creek Park North should be on your itinerary this weekend. That’s because the Arts Council of Westerville will fill it with music, art and food trucks as part of it’s Westival event on Saturday, June 4th from Noon to 9pm.

This is the second year for the event, which was called the Westerville Community Band and Arts Festival. Westerville has so much talent and this will give you the opportunity to experience it, along with the talents of other central Ohio groups, for FREE! Bring your lawn chair and spend an hour or all day. To get the complete music schedule, Click Here!

While you’re there, you’ll be shaded by not only the beautiful trees along the east bank of Alum Creek, but by large and colorful umbrellas, painted by artists and up for auction. Here’s all the info you need to bid on one and take it home. Everyone needs more art in their world, right?

Breathe Deep…It’s Memorial Day Weekend!

Sure. You are probably busy this weekend. Traveling, cookouts, sports events and other outdoor fun might distract you from the “Memorial” in Memorial Day. Many people take the opportunity to stop at a cemetery and put flowers on a loved-ones grave. Some attend parades and other events to honor our servicemen and servicewomen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In Westerville, the Sunrise Rotary Club and its many volunteers spend the weekend (and many weeks of planning leading up to it) to bring the Field of Heroes to life.

There really are no words to describe it. Breath-taking is the only one that comes close. If you visit during the day, you may find some words to describe the perfect rows of billowing flags and who and what they stand for. If you visit after dark,  any words you might think to utter are swallowed by the solemn stillness surrounding you.

To many who walk among the Old Glories, that stillness represents the voices silenced in defense of our great nation. As you enjoy this long weekend, breathe deep and reflect for just a moment on, not only those members of the armed forces who made American what it is, but also on those who have gone before that made your life what it is: the immigrant great-grandparents, the first college graduate in your family, the mother who put herself last to make life better for her children or the teacher that went above and beyond for a student who needed it. They are heroes too!

Rolling With the Punches-Office Closed

WVCB OfficeThe WVCB  office is usually a busy place this time of year. Residents and visitors alike stop into our lobby for local information as well as ideas for one-tank trips around the Buckeye State. We enjoy greeting guests and sharing tidbits. That’s why we are incredibly saddened to let you know that, until further notice, the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau office at 20 W. Main St. will be closed. Our office building sustained damage on May 10th and safety inspectors are not allowing anyone inside. (more…)

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!

Under Construction!

It’s a bit cliche, but it is appropriate: Pardon our dust! The Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau welcomes you to our new website, just be patient as we add information to the framework created for us by Andrew Streetman and his staff at Vysion Technology Solutions, a Westerville-based company.

There are literally hundreds of events planned in Westerville for 2016 and we want to share them all with you! While we are in the process of moving them from our old site, feel free to give us a call if you have questions about upcoming events. If we don’t have the info, we’ll figure out where to find it. We’ll be glad to help you out! (more…)