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Insider tips for visiting Ohio's herb capital.
Imagine riding your bike along scenic paths, finding your way back to a time when
beauty contests were held at a local Gahanna, Ohio park, an ancestor to two US Presidents made his home nearby and an ancient Indian mound was created.
During the inaugural Gahanna History Bike Tour, presented at 1 pm Sunday, July 17 by the Gahanna Bicycle and Trail Advisory Committee and the Gahanna Historical Society, bikers (and hikers) of all ages and levels can explore Gahanna’s natural beauty and history while enjoying a free family outing.
The idea originated with Tricia Kovacs, with the Gahanna Bicycle and Trail Advisory Committee. “Our goal is to showcase how bikeable Gahanna is with our Big Walnut Trail, our Safe Routes to School projects and our on-street signed bike routes,” she said.
The event will kick off at Gahanna Veterans Memorial Park (73 W. Johnstown Rd.) promptly at 1 pm with a safety talk. Free helmets will be available to children while supplies last. Participants will receive a “cue sheet,” describing some local historic sites. Bikers can ride with the group or at their own pace. For non-bikers, copies of the Gahanna Historical Society’s walking tour will be available.
Stops along the bike route will include several historical places in Gahanna, such as the John Clark House and Shull Log House, which will be open to visitors during the afternoon.
Riders can choose route distances of 5 miles (trail ride), 10 miles (trail and street bike routes) or 25 miles (additional miles on scenic byways of Jefferson Township). Walkers are welcome to participate to enjoy the Historic Walking Tour of Gahanna.
The ride is free of charge; voluntary donations to the Gahanna Historical Society will be accepted. To learn more, visit https://sites.google.com/site/gahannabac or contact Tricia Kovacs at email@example.com (614/476-9093).
To learn more about visiting Gahanna, Ohio, go to: www.VisitGahanna.com
The streets of Gahanna’s beautiful Creekside District are about to be filled with the sounds and smells of the city’s largest signature event AND Ohio’s BEST Blues & Jazz! June 17-19 marks the 18th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau. The event (located at 117 Mill St.) draws thousands of people from across the region with its 5 stages, 48 bands, 90 hours of non-stop jams, Family Fun Zone, food and retail vendors AND memorable experiences. The Festival runs Friday 5-11 pm; Saturday 11 am-11 pm; and Sunday 12-6 pm. There are some NEW additions this year, some changes and a few other general tips to keep in mind when visiting #2016CBJF:
1) NEW Stage Locations. Growing attendance over the past several years has led to some exciting new changes to the event layout. New seating areas will ease congestion and offer improved sound quality.
With the new layout, shuttle drop-offs will be conveniently located along Walnut and North Streets. Guests will still have five different ways to enter the festival. (Download the Festival Map for specifics.)
2) FREE Park & Ride Shuttles. While there is limited free parking within walking distance of the Festival, the smarter option is to take advantage of one of the 4 Park & Ride shuttles that run continuously during the Festival. Locations:
Accessible shuttles are available at the Clark Hall/380 Granville St. location. Additionally, handicap parking is available in Creekside Parking Garage, 151 Mill St. (rate of $5.00 per car). The Creekside parking garage will be open throughout the festival weekend, with an entrance near the intersection of Mill and North Streets; accessible only by traveling south on Mill Street. Event parking rate is $5 per car, collected at entrance to garage. Festival Admission also will be collected for all cars parking in garage. Cash only accepted at garage entrance.
3) General admission is as follows:
$7 Friday, June 17 & Sunday, June 19
$7 Saturday, June 18 (until 5 pm)
$10 Saturday, June 18 (After 5 pm)
FREE Children under 12 and Military w/ ID (and immediate family)
FREE Sunday 11:30 am-12:30 pm with the donation of one non-perishable food item per person to benefit Gahanna Residents in Need (GRIN)
4) Cocktail Tastings Some of the most popular events within the Festival are the Tastings. These often sell out, so reserve your tickets early by calling 614/418-9114.
Cocktail Tastings w/ Watershed Distillery (Fri. 6-10 pm) Meet the owners of Watershed Distillery and share 4 new cocktails inspired by the Festival. 45-minute seatings start at 6 pm under the pergolas at Creekside Plaza. 4 tastings /$15. Limited seating.
Craft Beer Tastings. (Sat, 2-5 pm) Explore the world of craft beers enjoying samples with local experts, including Gahanna’s own Pigskin Brewing Company, Kindred Artisan Ales, Columbus Brewing Company, Four Strings, New Belgium and Southern Tier. In addition, 101 Beer Kitchen will be offering appetizer pairings. Reps from each of the breweries will be on hand to chat about their brews. 6 tastings/$12.
Ohio Wine Tastings. (Sun, 1:30-4 pm) Sample a variety of Ohio-made wines from Buckeye state wineries including Wyandotte Winery (Gahanna) and Good Vibes Winery (Westerville), 6 tastings/$12.
5) VIP Experiences
With amazing headliners slated to appear at #2016CBJF like Marion Meadows with Urban Jazz Coalition on the Heartland Band Jazz Stage (Sat) and Sonny Landreth on the Benchmark Bank Blues Stage (Sat), plan on some packed houses. For the best views of the stages, treat yourself to a VIP experience. Book a reserved seat or table in the Club Blues or All that Jazz VIP sections and come-and-go as you please. Enjoy VIP parking and shuttle, swag bags, refreshments are more. Just a few seats remain in both sections. Book online now or call 614/418-9114.
6) Family Fun Zone & NEW Little Kid Zone
Families can enjoy free hands-on activities, crafts, face painting, sports demos and more on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Giant Eagle Family Fun Zone at Veteran’s Memorial Park (73 W Johnstown Rd.) Play with band instruments in the Musical Discovery Zone (presented by the Rotary Club of Gahanna). There is no charge to enter this area of the Festival. You will need to buy wristbands (or individual tickets) to ride the Amusement Rides or bounce in the “Little Kids Zone.” Check out the hours, ride pricing and a full schedule of events.
7) Come Hungry! Whatcha hungry for? We got that. With more than 30 food and beverage vendors and another 12 restaurants located in or near the Festival footprint, #2016CBJF offers plenty of chow options for ALL tastes. Check out the list of vendors here.
8) GO Green! BIKE PARKING – YAY VALET! Yay Valet! is a valet parking service that will be offering free, secure bicycle parking to everyone who rides to the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival on Saturday or Sunday. The valet will be located near the High Street Entrance Gate at the Olde Gahanna Sanctuary (82 N. High St.).
For a full musical lineup, artist bios, a complete schedule of events and much more, check out www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com. Also, follow @CreeksideBlues on Facebook and Twitter, and @VisitGahanna on Instagram for frequent updates throughout the event.
One of the Gahanna, Ohio area’s hidden attraction gems is Swisher Creek Alpaca Farm. Owned and operated by Pete and Judy Klein, Swisher Creek Farm is home to a beautiful herd of big-eyed Alpacas (including a few “characters”) and a great gift shop that features both handmade items and a full line of alpaca products made in Peru. The Kleins offer free, educational tours of the farm by appointment –a delightful and enchanting experience for visitors of ALL ages! Visit Gahanna interviewed Judy to learn more about how the farm started:
Q: When & how was Swisher Creek Farm established? A: Late in 2001 I started investigating the “alpaca life style.” Many of the articles about alpacas centered around how to raise these animals that could steal your heart. Many of the farmers appeared to be close to our age which further heightened our interest. It became apparent that raising these animals did not require the same strength, stamina or time that other livestock might. Both my husband and I love animals and were drawn to the idea that these wonderfully soft animals did not need to be killed to provide a wonderful return on investment. These animals are a “green” machine – they have modest eating habits and their soft padded toes protect the pasture.
“Queen” Swisher Creek Farm
Q: What inspired you to start an Alpaca Farm? A: My husband was getting close to retirement and I was definitely beginning to plan for my own retirement. We were very interested in getting involved in something that we could do together and that we would both enjoy. Pete has taken on the major role of caring for the animals with my assistance. I have taken on the task of marketing alpaca fiber.
Q: How many alpacas do you have? A: We currently have 19 alpacas – 15 females and 4 males. At one point, several years ago, our farm was home to 40 of these animals in every natural color imaginable. Alpacas come in 22 natural colors and our pastures were home to at least one of almost every color.
Q: Name one thing about alpacas that few people know. A: Alpacas are members of the camelid family which contains camels, alpacas, llamas and vicunas. The current day alpaca evolved from a small prehistoric camel that lived in North America.
Q: Is the farm open to the public? A: The farm is open by chance or by by appointment.
Q: Can visitors touch an alpaca? A: Alpacas are very shy animals and most of them will avoid human contact. Luckily we have one male alpaca who “loves” to be petted by visitors.
Q: What makes the Gahanna area a good place for your business? A: There is a vibrant mix of people in Gahanna. Gahanna provides a small community feel but provides the amenities of a much larger city; and Jefferson Township provides country living close to the airport.
SWISHER CREEK FARM
3515 Babbitt Road
Blacklick, OH 43004
Planning a visit to Swisher Creek Farm? Make a day of it in Gahanna! Call the Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau (614/418-9114) for fun itinerary ideas, tips on great restaurant options, Herbal Trail adventures and other family friendly attractions.
Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies was founded in 2012 in Gahanna. The name of the company originated from my husband’s nickname – you guessed it, Turbo! Mrs. Turbo started baking cookies and treats for the hubby and his coworkers in 2012. One bite of the cookie and it was a unanimous “why aren’t you selling these?” and “where can I get more?” After a couple of years of market research and recipe refinement, a cookie company was born.
We’re going with a 50’s retro, pin-up girl themed bakery as a nod to our favorite pin-up artist, Gil Elvgren. In fact the logo you see is the one-and-only Mrs. Turbo herself! Artist and dearest friend, MADD Anthony, created the image of the 50’s pin up cookie baker you see as our logo.
Q: What are Mrs Turbo’s specialties? We specialize in the gourmet bakery cookie, brownie and cake experience. All of our treats are amazing and you won’t be disappointed with anything. Our most popular items include our Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip cookies, the Buckeye Brownie and our amazing Death by Dark Chocolate cake. Wow – I’m drooling already!!
Q: What sets Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies apart from the competition? Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies is very particular about everything that goes into our products and our Brand. This includes everything from the goodies to the type of coffee and beverages we offer. We offer hand-crafted gourmet treats made from scratch with only the best ingredients available. We bake like mom used to when she had time! Our products are all natural with no trans-fat, no additives or preservatives. We use whole grain flour, organic cold milled Flax, organic Maldon and Pink Himalayan sea salts and select premium Belgium dark chocolates and cocoas such as Rodelle and Ghirardelli. We also use USDA Grade AA butter, fresh eggs, fruit, organic creams and buttermilks from Ohio farms.
We source as many ingredients as we can locally from Ohio farmers and producers to give back to the community. We are designated Ohio Proud by the Ohio Department of Agriculture because we source locally.
Q: We can’t wait until your new shop opens in Gahanna! Where will it be located and what can visitors expect? The shop will be located at 1050 Beecher Crossing North (between Johnstown and Hamilton across from the Mifflin Township Fire Department). Being a 50’s themed pin-up girl bakery, visitors can expect to step-back-in-time, when things were simpler. Enjoy an amazing treat at one of the 50’s style booths or pull up a chair to the cookie bar. Yep, a cookie bar. You can have one of our many great gourmet treats or beverages and relax a little. We will have Wifi, as well.
Q: You mentioned earlier that the shop will offer a few unexpected things like … We’ll have a drive-thru so, not only can you get your coffee, but you can pick-up gourmet cookies or whatever treat you fancy! We are planning to do classic car events, because what goes better with a 50’s themed bakery than classic cars?!! There are several special events in the works as well, so make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Q: Will you offer private events? We will offer private events. Depending on seating, our Conference Room can hold up to 15 people and will be equipped with a TV for business meetings.
Q: Where can people go to learn more about Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies?
Our website is: www.MrsTurbosCookies.com Facebook: Mrs. Turbos Cookies Twitter: @MrsTurbosCookie
Copyright © 2014 Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau. All rights reserved.
167 Mill St. Gahanna, Ohio 43230. 614/418-9114. 866/424-2662