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Vince Guerrieri
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Ahh, spring, when thoughts turn to home runs, hotdogs, a sunny afternoon at the ballpark, and great memories! Ohio is home to two major league teams, and exciting things are going in both Cleveland and Cincinnati this summer. Jacobs Field opened in 1994, hailed as a beautiful new stadium with retro elements. But 20 years is a long time, and the entry on East Ninth Street and right field concourse at what is now called Progressive Field underwent a facelift in the off-season as part of an ongoing effort to improve the fan experience. The main concourse is now a... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War coming to an end, as Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union commanding Gen. (and Ohio native) Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Courthouse, Va. Although Ohio wasn’t the site of much combat in the war, it played a major role in the four-year conflict – and there are many places in the state to explore that history. The Toledo Museum of Art features an exhibit, “The American Civil War: Through Artists’ Eyes,” through July 5, featuring 50 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos and artifacts. Some are from... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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In March, all eyes turn toward college basketball. Conference tournaments give way to the spectacle of the NCAA Tournament. Brackets are filled out (even the president does one!) and people watch or listen surreptitiously at work to follow along the action – if they don’t take a long lunch at a neighborhood sports bar to catch some of the games. Once again, the NCAA Tournament will make multiple stops in Ohio. Given its tradition as a hotbed of college basketball, the Buckeye State is a natural stop. And this year, fans will have their choice of three different cities to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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Food truck season never really stops, even in Ohio. There are just some months that are slower than others. “It’s always food truck season,” said Bruno D’Abramo, one of the founders of the Fire Truck Pizza Company in Cleveland. The busy season starts to wind down after Halloween – probably the last big outdoor holiday of the year – and picks up again in the spring. In the meantime, operators of food trucks use the winter months to cater private parties, capitalize on community events, and make improvements to the vehicles. "Most of the food trucks I know of usually... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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Columbus is about to become the center of the hockey universe, as the National Hockey League All-Star Game will be played at Nationwide Arena this weekend, the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Unlike other pro sport all-star games, where teams from opposing conferences play each other, the captains -- Nick Foligno of the Blue Jackets and Jonathon Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks -- pick the teams that will play. The event has been three years in the making. The All-Star Game, the first hosted by the Blue Jackets who joined the NHL in 2000, will be played at Nationwide... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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Not only has Cleveland become a destination for foodies, with its variety of restaurants serving a variety of palates, but it also features a vibrant craft beer selection, with microbreweries popping up throughout the region. But beer isn’t the only potent potable available in the Cleveland area. There are also distilleries popping up – including one that’s using what its founder calls "disruptive technology". “We’re less about being a distillery and more about the technology,” said Tom Lix, the founder and chairman of Cleveland Whiskey. Lix gave us a tour one Friday night of the distillery, in the MAGNET business... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at DiscoveringOhio
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In 1905, Wilford and Olive Arms built a gray stone Arts & Crafts-style home on Wick Avenue, regarded as Youngstown’s millionaire’s row. When Olive Arms died in 1960, she willed the home and its contents to the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. It was with the condition that it be used as a museum, demonstrating life around the turn of the century. And since then, the Arms Family Museum has been available for tours. And every holiday season for the past six years, the museum gets decorated for its “Memories of Christmas Past,” which features theme-decorated rooms, hearkening back to old... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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“Did you say beer? I like beer! Beer is fun!” As slogans go, it’s direct and reflects a nearly universal sentiment. It’s emblazoned on glasses and shirts for the Cleveland Brew Bus, a tour offering beer enthusiasts a chance to partake in locally-created craft beers. The Brew Bus started about 18 months ago, the brainchild of Bob and Shelle Campbell. The Campbells would visit local breweries while vacationing, and decided that something was needed to show off the burgeoning microbrewing scene in the Cleveland area. So the Campbells bought a 22-passenger bus and started booking tours. There are at least... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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At one point, the city of Youngstown was known far and wide as a steel-making center in the United States. The Mahoning River was dotted with mills representing a variety of companies, including Youngstown Sheet & Tube, which at one point was the largest corporation in the state of Ohio. The mills gave up the ghost in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but there are efforts in the city to preserve remnants of the steel industry while giving people a better understanding of the way of life it entailed. In 1983, as the steel companies were starting to disappear... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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Over the past couple years, Ohio has really become Hollywood East. Its variety of areas, combined with a tax incentive for filming, has made movie shoots in the Buckeye State common. “Carol,” starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, is shooting in the Cincinnati area, and two recently-released movies, “Draft Day” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” were filmed in the Cleveland area (Cleveland filled in for Washington D.C., as it did for New York in “The Avengers”). The Browns are the centerpiece of “Draft Day". All these films came to Ohio with help from the Motion Picture Tax Credit. Whether the movie... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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Unsurprisingly, states like California and Florida, with perpetual warm weather and scenic rides, have many motorcyclists. But Ohio – and the Great Lakes area in general – is also home to many people who enjoy two-wheeled riding. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) was founded in 1924 as an outgrowth of several other motorcycling groups. The AMA located in the Columbus area in 1976 because of Ohio's central location to the U.S. population. In 1998, the AMA moved to its current location in Pickerington, and the next year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum opened at the new site. The museum... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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In 1899, James Packard wrote Alexander Winton, president and namesake of one of the auto manufacturers at the time in Cleveland. Packard, an engineer who started an electrical manufacturing company with his brother, offered constructive criticism on Winston's car. Winton essentially told him that if he could make a better car, he would be welcome to do so. In 1900, in Warren, the first Packard cars were made. Although the company’s operations moved to Detroit in 1903, the Packard name has always been associated with Warren, Ohio. In 1999, the National Packard Museum opened by the already established Packard Music... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at DiscoveringOhio
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In many respects, Stan Hywet is more than a museum – it’s a bucolic estate that hearkens back to the opulence of the early 20th century, when it was designed by Cleveland architect Charles Schneider for F.A. Seiberling, a founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. But even an old estate can learn some new tricks. New this year for the annual Deck the Hall event, which shows off the 70-acre estate decorated for the holidays, is “Dazzle,” a light show in the Great Garden between the 65-room Tudor Revival house and the conservatory. “Dazzle” uses 350,000 LED lights,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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Thanksgiving is at hand, which means the holiday season is right around the corner. And there are lights, decorations and festive traditions to be found throughout the Toledo area to help you and your family enjoy the season. The lights have already gone on at the Toledo Zoo. More than a million lights – including more than 35,000 on the big tree alone – light up the crisp winter night in Northwest Ohio. In addition to the lights, there are holiday concessions available like roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate and ice carving demonstrations. People will also have a chance to step... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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The children are back in school, boats are being taken out of the water and winterized and cottages are getting closed up. It’s the end of the summer season in the area known as “Vacationland” – the Lake Erie coast between Toledo and the west Cleveland suburbs – but that doesn’t mean there’s no longer anything to do and see. In fact, the peacefulness of Lake Erie is matched only by the picturesque changing of the season -- and the leaves. Museums and sites continue to be open, including attractions like the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton or theRutherford... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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Ohio can stake a claim as the birthplace of professional football. It’s also the site of the first professional baseball team. And while its auto racing history might not go back as far as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, you’re never far from an auto racing track of some kind in Ohio. From Sandusky Speedway down to Southern Ohio, there are a variety of dirt, clay and asphalt ovals to watch racing. In fact, Eldora Speedway in New Weston is owned by NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, and NASCAR’s Dave Blaney owns his home track, Sharon Speedway in Hartford, on the Pennsylvania... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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The field of firefighting has advanced tremendously in its history. Firefighters have gone from bucket brigades and fire wagons pulled by horses – or people – to state-of-the-art technology that goes beyond “putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.” And no matter where you are in Ohio, you’re probably not far from a museum that celebrates the history of firefighting. Many fire museums, from the Central Ohio Fire Museum in Columbus to Mentor’s Fire Museum, are decommissioned fire stations. The Toledo Firefighters Museum is another example of an old firehouse being repurposed. The museum, located in the city’s Five... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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While the cities of Cooperstown, New York and Hoboken, New Jersey duke it out about who can claim to be the home of baseball, Ohio is one of the first places the game grew and flourished. Confederate prisoners of war and guards on Johnson’s Island played the game during the Civil War, and in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first team to pay their players. Major League Baseball recognizes them as the first professional baseball team in America. And throughout the state, there are bands of men who maintain the tradition of the old games with vintage “base... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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Winston. Packard. Peerless. Jordan. Elmore. Detroit has come to be known as Motor City, with its fortunes intertwined with the American auto industry, but at one point, Northern Ohio was a hub for automotive manufacturing. And those models, all made in Northern Ohio, are a few that are currently on display at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. The vehicles are part of the Crawford Auto Aviation Collection, which was donated to the historical society in 1963. Since then, it’s grown to 157 vehicles and 10 aircraft, and the wing reopened to great fanfare earlier this year. I’m old... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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On June 22, the gates will open at Lakeside, the Chautauqua community on Lake Erie, as its summer season of events begin. After that and until Labor Day, admission is charged to get into the community – originally founded by Methodists in 1873 as a camping site where tent revivals were held. The Chautauqua movement - started in 1874 initially to train Sunday school teachers - has become a venue for adult education and growth. The calendar of events reflects this mission, offering fun activities designed to encourage spiritual, mental and physical growth. There are popular activities, like a parade,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky has a new entrance this year – and standing watch over it is GateKeeper. GateKeeper is the park’s newest roller coaster, and provides an imposing site to those walking up to the park’s main gate. The winged coaster can reach speeds of up to 67 miles per hour, providing a jarring effect as riders are taken on a zero-G roll – one of several spots that help riders feel weightless – through two keyholes in the support towers around the park’s new entrance. In fact, while many roller coasters have a minimum height, GateKeeper... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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It’s one of the iconic images in the Mahoning Valley: Water rushing over Lanterman’s Falls, so named for the grist mill that was built next to it. The mill, and the creek that ran alongside it were the namesake for what became the second-largest metropolitan park in the United States and informally nicknamed Youngstown’s Green Cathedral. I’m a Youngstown native, so I grew up spoiled by the presence of Mill Creek Park. I figured everyone had a park like that in their backyard (The Butler Art Institute also made me think every town had an art museum). But Lanterman’s Mill... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
I'd recommend it.
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The first thing you notice at Snook’s Dream Cars in Bowling Green is the smell of motor oil. It’s a museum with a pretty neat collection of antique cars – from a Model T truck to the muscle cars of the 1960s – but they don’t just sit there. They’re driven regularly and maintained on site in a garage – hence the oil smell. The front of this living museum – on County Home Road, not far from the U.S. 6 exit off Interstate 75 – looks like an old Texaco gas station. And many people trust their car to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio
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By Vince Guerrieri There’s no better place to celebrate President's Day than Ohio. One of the state’s nicknames is “Mother of Presidents.” A total of seven presidents were born in the state of Ohio, and although William Henry Harrison was born in Virginia, he was the first President from Ohio. Harrison served as U.S. Congressman and Senator from Ohio before being elected President, and had a home in North Bend. He became the first president to die in office (of the eight presidents from Ohio, four died in office – including two that were assassinated) after catching pneumonia during a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2013 at DiscoveringOhio