March 2005 Issue
Toledo's take on the great outdoors includes a season full of fairs and festivals, as well as the chance to get back to nature.
This month, Toledo is gearing up for a host of spring and summer activities in the great outdoors. Visitors can head to the Glass City for a day of hiking and picnicking, an afternoon or evening at the ball park, or a few hours sampling entertainment, culture and great food at the city's popular fairs and festivals.
Walk on the wild side
When You Go ...
Greater Toledo Convention & Visitors Bureau, 419/321-6404. www.doToledo.org.
33rd Annual Historic Old West End Festival, 2024 Scotwood Ave., 419/241-1717. www.oldwestendtoledo.com. June 4 & 5: Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free
The Pharm Lights the Night Fireworks, Promenade and Festival Parks, Water Street, downtown Toledo, 419/249-5018. www.citifest.org
Lagrange Street Polish Festival, 419/255-8406. www.lagrangedevelopment.org. July 8-10: Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m. Admission $2, children 5 and under free
Irish American Festival, International Park, 26 Main St.; 419/475-6448. July 15-17: Fri. 6 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 2 p.m.-1 a.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m. Admission: $5 per day, $10 for weekend pass, children under 18 free when accompanied by parents
German American Festival, Oak Shade Hill and Picnic Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., Oregon, 419/382-6198. www.gafsociety.com. Aug. 26-28: Fri. 6 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 2 p.m.-midnight, Sun. noon-10 p.m. Admission: Fri. and Sat. $4, age 15 and under free; Sun. $2, age 15 and under free
Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival, Consaul St., 419/693-1500. birminghamethnicfestival.org. Aug. 21 noon-9 p.m. Free
Greek American Festival, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 740 N. Superior St., 419/243-9189. www.greekfesttoledo.com. Sept. 9-11: Fri. and Sat. 4 p.m.-midnight, Sun. noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. admission $4, free for children under 12; Sun. admission $1
Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, Promenade and Festival Parks, One Water St., downtown Toledo, 419/242-9587. www.uhs-toledo.org. Aug. 4-7: Thur.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission $2, children under age 12 free
Toledo Blues Festival Promenade Park, One Water St., downtown Toledo, 419/249-5018. July 30 2-10 p.m. Admission $7
Metroparks of the Toledo Area, 5100 W. Central Ave., 419/407-9700. www.metroparkstoledo.com
Bend View Metropark, 8505 S. River Rd., Waterville. 419/407-9740
Swan Creek Preserve Metropark, 4659 Airport Highway, 419/407-9758
Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 5100 W. Central Ave., 419/407-9749
Lake Erie Wing WatchWeekend, 800/441-1271, www.LakeErieWingWatch.com; April 8-10: Fri. 6-9:30 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $10 entire weekend, Fri. $5 (advance), $6 (at the door), Sat. $7 (advance), $8 (at the door), Sun. free
Kitty Todd Nature Preserve, 10420 Old State Line Rd., Swanton; 419/867-1521. www.nature.org/ohio/
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 West State Rte. 2, Oak Harbor; 419/898-0014, www.fws.gov/; open daily sunrise to sunset
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, 13229 West St. Rte. 2, Oak Harbor; 419/898-0960, ext. 31. May 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Migratory Bird Day, free
Crane Creek State Park, 13531 West St. Rte. 2, Oak Harbor, 419/836-7758. www.ohiodnr.com/parks/
Toledo Harbor Lighthouse 101 Year Festival, Maumee Bay State Park Amphitheatre/Inland Beach, 1750 Park Rd., Oregon, 419/691-3788. www.toledoharborlighthouse.org. July 8-10: Fri. 4-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Toledo Mud Hens, Fifth Third Field, 406 Washington St., 419/725-HENS. www.mudhens.com. Call for ticket prices.
Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, Highland Meadows Golf Club, 7455 Erie St., Sylvania, 419/531-3277. www.jamiefarrowenscorning.com. July 4-10: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets $15-40
Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr., 419/936-2986. www.toledogarden.org. Open daily 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Crosby Festival of the Arts, June 25 and 26: Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission $7
Toledo Jazz Society, 425 N. St. Clair St., 419/241-5299. www.toledojazzsociety.org.
Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., 800/644-6862 or 419/255-8000. www.toledomuseumofart.org. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.- 10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Juneteenth, June 17 and 18: Fri 7-9 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Free
There's no better place to enjoy the great outdoors than in one of Toledo's Metroparks. Encompassing more than 8,500 acres, the 11 parks in the system offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and picnicking, as well as a nature lovers' list of guided walks, history programs and special events.
Celebrate the magic of the full moon on April 24 at 8:30 p.m. and May 23 at 9 p.m. at Swan Creek Preserve Metropark, when a naturalist conducts a night hike filled with lore about this bewitching natural satellite. On May 7 from 1 to 3 p.m., join in a hike that takes you through the redbud trees along the Towpath Trail to Bend View, with its picturesque glimpses of the Maumee River. Travel back to Civil War times May 21 and May 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. Visitors will see battle re-enactments at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and have the opportunity to visit with costumed interpreters to discover what life was like for soldiers and the families awaiting their return.
Northwest Ohio has built a reputation as a bird-watching hot spot. Located just east of the city, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,755-acre haven for waterfowl, shorebirds and migrant songbirds in Oak Harbor. Birders flock to the Lake Erie Wing Watch Weekend April 8 to April 10. Highlights of the three-day fete include a Saturday morning "Breakfast with the Birds" field trip. A host of classes ranging from bird
photography to identification will be offered along with exhibits featuring bird-related items. On Sunday, April 10, field trips will be conducted to nature sites throughout Ottawa, Erie and Lorain counties.
The Nature Conservancy's 700-acre Kitty Todd Nature Preserve is a perfect place to spot 128 species, including red-headed woodpeckers and lark sparrows. Meander through paths flanked by black oaks and fields of dotted horsemint and dwarf dandelions. Birdwatchers' Weekend May 7 and 8 features guided hikes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as a plant sale featuring native wildflowers and grasses. A Butterfly Weekend July 2 and 3 includes guided hikes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when naturalists will lead a search for Karner blue and silver-bordered fritillary butterflies.
Celebrate Migratory Bird Day May 14 at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, one of only four remaining beach ridges along the southern shore of Lake Erie. Activities include bird-banding and -watching. Adjoining Magee Marsh, Crane Creek State Park offers a year-round slate of fun: find a perfect picnic spot, fish for walleye, yellow perch and bluegill, and take a hike.
The Toledo area is also a boater's paradise, with a summer's worth of opportunities to enjoy our Great Lake and the Maumee River. For 101 years, the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse has guided boats through the Maumee Bay channel to the river. From July 8 through July 10, the structure will be honored with a festival featuring a sand-sculpture contest, arts and crafts with a nautical theme and tropical Junkanoo music. Weather permitting, boat tours encircling the lighthouse will be available for $20 per person.
Enjoy the festivities
Toledo celebrates its rich cultural diversity with a variety of outdoor events focusing on arts, crafts, ethnic heritage and food.
The Victorian and Edwardian ages are splendidly represented in Toledo's Historic Old West End. More than 700 historic homes, also including many from the Arts and Crafts movement, make this one of the largest neighborhoods of its kind east of the Mississippi River. More than 4,000 visitors are expected to attend the 34th Annual Historic Old West End Festival June 4 and 5. The fete features home tours and a juried show of the work of more than 100 artisans. It begins Saturday at 10 a.m. with a parade featuring antique autos, local bands and dance teams.
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang at The Pharm Lights the Night show at Promenade and Festival parks. The event, which begins at 1 p.m., features jugglers and storytellers, musicians and children's activities, capped off at 10 p.m. with a fireworks show that's billed as the largest in northwest Ohio.
Each July, Toledo's Lagrange Street is transformed into an authentic Polish Village, featuring plenty of pierogies, kielbasa and pastries. The Lagrange Street Polish Festival, held this year July 8 through July 10, also showcases a variety of arts and crafts (many created while you watch), polka bands, dance contests, and children's activities including face-painting and sand-sculpting. Celebrate a polka Mass Sunday at 4 p.m.
Get in step at the Irish American Club Festival July 15 through July 17. Traditional music by Brigid's Cross and Norman Payne will be featured along with performers from the Heinzman School of Irish Dance. Snack on Irish soda and sweet breads and browse through booths featuring traditional Irish clothing and jewelry.
Feeling a little blue lately? The Toledo Blues Festival, held this year on July 30 from 2 to 10 p.m., will ease the pain. Considered to be one of the Midwest's best blues events, it features an impressive lineup of regional and national acts.
From beer to bratwurst, the city's German American Festival celebrates Oktoberfest in style August 26 through August 28. Popular Bavarian beers and favorite fare - including roast pork and foot-long sausage - will be served to the strains of authentic German bands. You won't want to miss the Swiss stone-throwing contest, in which contestants of both genders compete for prizes by hurling 138- and 75-pound rocks.
Pass the chicken paprikash. Or would you prefer stuffed cabbage? Those are just two of the favorite dishes served at the Birmingham Ethnic Festival August 21. Held on Consaul Street in East Toledo's Birmingham neighborhood, the festival is a smorgasbord of Hungarian specialties.
Toledo's Greek heritage shines at the Greek American Festival, held annually the weekend after Labor Day (this year it's September 9 through September 11). Festival-goers will enjoy homemade pastries â€” such as melt-in-your-mouth baklava â€” dance lessons, children's games and church tours.
Hot or mild. The choice is yours at the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off 2005 August 4 through August 7.
Professional baseball has been a favorite summer pastime in Toledo for more than a century. The Toledo Mud Hens, the Class AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, will host a variety of exciting promotions, beginning with the team's home opener against the Durham Bulls, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 15. Fireworks displays will take place following 27 home games this season, including July 3, when the Richmond Braves come to town. Other special events include appearances by Cartoon Network characters Snagglepuss (May 1), Fred Flintstone (May 8) and Scooby Doo (June 12).
Although he makes his home in California, Toledo native Jamie Farr, best known for his role as Cpl. Max Klinger on the hit TV show "M*A*S*H" returns to his hometown each summer to participate in the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. Since it began 21 years ago, the golf classic, which is held at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, has raised more than $4.3 million for 80 northwest Ohio charities. This year's event, held July 4 through July 10, features defending champion Meg Mallon and more than 100 top lady pros, who will compete for a purse of $1.2 million.
Surrounded by beauty
See how the Toledo Botanical Garden grows. The garden is bursting with glorious colors and scents emanating from 60 acres of peonies, daylilies, herbs, arborvitae and wisteria. Flex your own green thumb by visiting the garden's 2005 Spring Plant Sale May 5 from 4 to 8 p.m., and May 6 through 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On June 25 and 26, more than 250 artists from across the country will showcase their talents in the 40th annual Crosby Festival of the Arts. This juried show spotlights award-winning creations, including jewelry, ceramics, paintings and glass. Jump-start your weekend on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in July and August with The Toledo Jazz Society's ninth-annual Jazz in the Garden series.
A visit to the Toledo Museum of Art this season proves that great work isn't confined indoors. On June 24, as part of the museum's 87th annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition, artisans will demonstrate their crafts outside on the Monroe Street steps from 7 to 9 p.m. On June 17 and 18, celebrate African-American culture at Juneteenth. The event includes a variety of outdoor activities, including a mask-making workshop on June 17. The following day, try your hand at decorating Adinkra cloth, a traditional textile in Ghana, or create a paper freedom quilt. Other highlights of the day include a military drill re-enactment of the Civil War's Ohio 5th Infantry Regiment U.S. Colored Troop, a drum and dance workshop and a bake-off competition featuring a tempting array of sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and pound cake.