May 2008 Issue
Ohio Tourism Month
Ohio Tourism Month in May is the perfect way to kick off anniversary celebrations at events and attractions around the state.
The State of Ohio toasts its 205th, Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park marks its fifth, and two premier performing-arts companies — Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Ohio Light Opera — celebrate their 40th and 30th respectively. We’re talking about anniversaries, of course, and this summer, some of your favorite Ohio attractions are reaching numerical milestones and planning exciting events to commemorate the occasion. Anniversaries aren’t the only reason to travel to the following destinations around Ohio, but chances are, they’ll make the trip that much more special. Here we highlight some of the exciting anniversary events planned in 2008, along with plenty of reasons to join in the celebration. Ohio Tourism Month in May is the perfect opportunity to begin your adventure.
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Football lore is filled with names with Ohio ties — Jim Thorpe and Paul Brown, among others — so it’s only fitting that Canton (home to the first two-time NFL champion, the Canton Bulldogs) is where the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in 1963.
To commemorate its 45th anniversary this year, the Hall of Fame has a yearlong celebration planned, the highlight of which is sure to be the annual enshrinement ceremony and Hall of Fame Game on August 2 and 3. The Enshrinement Class of 2008 includes Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman, and the game at Fawcett Stadium will pit the Indianapolis Colts against the Washington Redskins.
2121 George Halas Dr. NW, Canton, 330/456-8207. www.profootballhof.com
Canton may have its connection to the Super Bowl, but Cleveland is the native home of a super man. The Superman, to be exact. Say what you will about the planet Krypton, the Man of Steel truly was born in a North Coast bedroom, in the minds of Glenville High School students Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Seventy years after the character first appeared in Action Comics No. 1, Cleveland is planning a series of events throughout the summer to honor the pop culture icon and his creators. And the nearby Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood will honor Cleveland’s role in the development of comic book art with “Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950,” a comic-themed exhibit that runs from September 16, 2008, through January 4, 2009.
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Rd., Beachwood, 216/593-0575. www.MaltzJewishMuseum.org
Superman anniversary events: www.positivelycleveland.com
The Hoover vacuum cleaner celebrates a milestone this year: its 100th birthday. Learn all the details of the Hoover legacy at the Hoover Historical Center, part of the campus of Walsh University in North Canton. The Center is the boyhood home of William H. “Boss” Hoover, the company’s founder and one of the giants of the vacuum industry. A tour of the facility, given Wednesday through Saturday afternoons between March and mid-December, combines Victorian elegance and award-winning herb gardens, as well as plenty of vintage vacuums, advertising and war memorabilia.
1875 E. Maple St., North Canton, 330/499-0287. www.walsh.edu/hooverhistoricalcent.htm
It isn’t just comic book writers who have a fascination with the wonders of outer space: Scientists have studied our universe — and those beyond — for centuries. For the last 50 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (better known as NASA) has led the race to go where no man has gone before. Events are planned nationwide to celebrate, and two Ohio NASA facilities have open house programs scheduled this spring. www.nasa.gov/50th/home/ index.html
NASA Glenn Open House, May 17 and 18, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. This free walking tour of the research campus begins at the landmark airplane hangar. Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland, 216/433-4000.
Plum Brook Station Open
House, May 31 and June 1, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. NASA Glenn offers a look at its Plum Brook Station, which has tested parts of rockets, Mars landers and space stations.Plum Brook Station, 6100Columbus Ave., Sandusky, 419/625-1123.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal75th anniversary
While Hoover was a giant in the vacuum industry, Cincinnati’s Union Terminal — home to the Cincinnati Museum Center — is a giant (literally) in the world of architecture, honored as one the country’s most significant building designs. Union Terminal marks its 75th birthday this year with a six-month-long celebration. Built by seven passenger railroad companies, the art deco masterpiece houses some of the city’s major museums, including the Cincinnati History Museum, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science and the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, as well as an OMNIMAX theater. Highlights of the anniversary celebration include “Union Terminal in the 1940s” (June 6), a trip through time to the days of the USO and World War II and a “High Steel Tour” (June 21 and 22) that will take visitors more than 200 steps upward into the arched-steel structure above the half-dome rotunda.
1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, 800/733-2077. www.cincymuseum.org
Franklin Park Conservatory “Blooms and Butterflies” 15th anniversary
Just east of downtown Columbus, the flowering plants in Franklin Park Conservatory’s outdoor butterfly garden attract hundreds of Ohio’s native butterfly species during the warm months. Get to know these graceful creatures at the park’s annual “Blooms and Butterflies” exhibition, which celebrates its 15th anniversary with educational displays and events through September 7. Exploring a combination of indoor and outdoor activities and displays, guests experience butterflies from around the world — some as large as 12 inches long— and can learn how to create their own butterfly garden at home.
1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, 614/645-8733. www.fpconservatory.org
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Before there was the final frontier, there was the wild blue yonder. Orville and Wilbur Wright dreamed of taking to the sky while keeping customers grounded in their Dayton bicycle shop. So what better place than the Gem City for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force? Events scheduled to celebrate the museum’s 85th anniversary include a Giant Scale RC Model Aircraft Air Show (August 30–31) and a Vintage Liaison Aircraft Gathering (September 27–28), where liaison aircraft, used from the 1930s to the early 1970s, participate in fly-bys and static displays.
1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson AFB, 937/255-3286. www.nationalmuseum.af.mil
City Birthday CelebrationsWesterville (150 years), Delaware (200 years) & Mansfield (200 years)
Three Ohio cities are celebrating big-time birthdays in 2008. Westerville kicked off its sesquicentennial on New Year’s Eve, and the party runs all year long. A week’s worth of activities surrounds the city’s Independence Day celebration, including a fun run, parade, Westerville Symphony Orchestra concert, fireworks, Ohio Chautauqua festivities and an old-time baseball game featuring the Ohio Village Muffins. Live re-enactments of significant moments in Westerville history highlight Labor Day weekend activities.
Both the city of Delaware and Delaware County celebrate 200 years this year, and the two entities have partnered to create a memorable celebration. Independence Day weekend activities include a beard-growing contest (to honor Delaware native and former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes), a parade and a re-enactment of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Mansfield begins celebrating its 200th year on June 11 with a celebration in its Bicentennial Park, and continues for three weekends, concluding during the city’s annual Freedom Festival. Highlights include a downtown festival with tours and music, a 5K Run and Mid-Ohio Bike Ride, an ice cream social and a gala concert at the Renaissance Theatre.
Westerville’s 150th anniversary— www.westerville.org
Delaware’s Bicentennial — www.delawareco200.com
Mansfield’s Bicentennial — www.mansfieldmuseum.org
Ohio Historical Society Marker Program50th anniversary
2008 marks a milestone anniversary for several Ohio destinations, and the markers that designate some of these and other worthwhile stops across the state are also celebrating a birthday. Ohio’s Historical Marker Program recently turned the big 5-0. The program places markers made of cast aluminum along roadsides in all 88 counties to pay tribute to Ohio’s natural wonders, Native Americans and settlers, entertainers and artists, athletes, inventors, struggles for freedom and equality, and business and industry, among other topics. The Ohio Historical Society has more information on the locations of the signs around the state (Franklin County tops the list with 102).
Ohio Historical Marker Program, 614/297-2300 or 800/686-6124. www.remarkableohio.org
Short North Gallery Hop
Out-of-towners who stop by Columbus’ Short North always leave with a case of neighborhood envy. That’s because this enclave of trendy boutiques, galleries and restaurants buzzes with life from the moment the barristas brew the first espresso until the bartenders pour their last cocktail, seven days a week. One of the neighborhood’s best-loved traditions is the Gallery Hop, an event that has made the first Saturday of every month something to look forward to in Columbus for more than 20 years. On July 5, the Short North hosts its 275th Hop, an excellent reason to check out this showcase of local and international artists, fine food and wine, street performers, live music and all of the other things you say you need more of in your life.
Short North Business Association, 120 W. Goodale St., Columbus, 614/228-8050. www.shortnorth.org
Northwest Ohio Rib-Off
Speaking of marking, you’ll want to mark your calendar for the silver anniversary of Northwest Ohio’s Rib-Off (August 7–10). No summer is complete without a hand stamp from a good old-fashioned food festival, and this popular annual event promises plenty of finger-licking ribs prepared by local and national chefs, plus live blues, jazz and rock ’n’ roll, not to mention activities to keep the kids busy.
Lucas County Fairgrounds, 1406
Key St., Maumee, 419/893-2127. www.dotoledo.org/gtcvb
Ohio Light Opera in Wooster
After a day of eating ribs, you’ll want to lighten up. We suggest taking in a stellar performance from the Ohio Light Opera in Wooster, the only professional company in the U.S. entirely devoted to oper-etta. The company’s 30th anniversary season showcases an impressive lineup, including favorites such as “Oklahoma!” — the first collaboration between legends Rodgers and Hammerstein — as well as Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic comic opera, “The Mikado.”
Freedlander Theater, 329 E. University St., Wooster, 330/263-2345. http://olo.wooster.edu
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival10th anniversary
Indulge your musical muse at the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival in Gahanna, June 20–22. The town east of Columbus becomes a hot spot of harmony during this free, family event, featuring hundreds of musicians, arts and crafts, food and a beautiful waterfall view.
Creekside Park and the streets of Olde Gahanna (Mill and Granville streets), Gahanna, 614/478-0878. www.gahannaevents.com
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
From cultural enlightenment to artistic awe, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is a study in the human body without limits. Founded in 1968 by Dayton native Jeraldyne Blunden as a place where African American dancers and choreographers could collaborate and celebrate their creative roots, this dance institution has performed for audiences around the world.
For a schedule of performances, call 937/228-3232 or visit www.dcdc.org
For more information on the array of attractions and events around Ohio, visit www.DiscoverOhio.com
or call 1-800-BUCKEYE.