May 2007 Issue
The more things change, they say, the more they remain the same. But when it comes to summertime in Ohio, the saying is true only as much as you want it to be.
Yes, of course, we have our perennial favorite places to go and things to see and do. Ohio is as comfortable as an old shoe that way - "a really big shoe," as Ed Sullivan used to say - like the nightly "shoe" at the Lynn Drive-In Theater in Strasburg, featured in our cover story this month, "102 Days and Nights of Summer." But we went on the lookout for new experiences as well, each one capturing some aspect of the beauty, the adventure and the fun of life in the Buckeye State.
People ask us how, after all these years, we keep finding new Ohio pleasures to discover. The truth is that one of the most unfortunate characteristics of the state - the relative lack of kinship between one part of Ohio and another - is also one of our greatest advantages. What is well known and celebrated in Cincinnati, for example, may be little known or appreciated in Cleveland or Columbus or Ashtabula or Toledo.
That characteristic is one of the many things that has remained the same about Ohio over the years. A glance through Ohio Magazine's "Summer Splash!" guide 25 years ago [June 1982] reveals that the editors then were also busy sleuthing for community-based favorites.
In that issue from the past, our predecessors uncovered such one-of-a-kind pearls as the Mid-States Southwestern Ohio Donkey and Mule Show in Oxford, the Washington Court House Flea Market, the Ohio Valley Kool Jazz Festival, the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships in Athens and the Fort Hamilton Days International Soccer Tournament.
Not to be outdone, our writers today - guided by project editors Jennifer Haliburton and Ashley Harrington - unearthed these summertime gems for 2007: the 33rd annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival in Utica, the annual Peony Festival in Van Wert, Phlocking of the Phaithful (a tribute bands extravaganza) in Put-in-Bay, Creeking for Critters in Tipp City, and the Basie, Boogie & the Blues performance in Columbus.
We also asked Pat Dailey - who is considered the Jimmy Buffet of the North for the tropical-themed songs he's played in Put-in-Bay for decades - to come up with a Top 10 list of songs that evoke the feeling of summer. Completing our perfect summer snapshot are numerous memories you can make for yourself with a little ingenuity and a map.
And if this sounds all over the map - well, it is. That's just the point. Enjoy.