Doo Dah Parade

Everyone was overjoyed to be able to “Doo Dah like a cicada…You Need it!” at the 38th annual Doo Dah Parade in Columbus, Ohio, where their motto is Satirizing the World from the Short North, Columbus OH, since 1984! And indeed they did so with gusto.

But what is a Doo Dah Parade? The concept was created in 1978 by some friends in Pasadena, California as an irreverent alternative to the Rose Bowl Parade. The parade is now a staple there and has since taken root here in Columbus, Ohio as well as in Ocean City, New Jersey and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Read more about it’s origins here.

The route of the parade began in Goodale Park at Park Street and Buttles Avenue winding it’s way through a neighborhood as well as down High Street with a party atmosphere all around. Some houses had picnics in their front yards while the sidewalks and curbs were lined with viewers who came early to get a prime spot out of the sun. Many brought lawn chairs, coolers and tents to create their own shade with which was a good idea as it was an almost 90 degree day!

Park Street was lined with welcomed food and drink trucks as bands played at the pavilion in the park while the parade participants (anyone could participate) lined up and got themselves and their means of transportation ready.

kettle corn, doo dah parande, columbus Ohio
Kettle Corn
Let the music play

The themes for this year varied from current topics such as the recent cicada invasion and virus vaccinations to clean energy and all manner of fun and wacky ideas in between. Some ideas were relatively simple while others were very complex with a few leaving you wondering were they going to leave their vehicle looking like that.

The two C’s – Covid and Cicadas
Rocky Horror, a pope and hand sanitizer
The less than Grand Marshall
A member of the “essential worker” crew
The Parachute People
Potato powered Jeep
Soul Kia Sister
An Amazing Giant before donning her stilts

The Amazing Giants Entertainment group
Uncle Sam

It was a great way to celebrate the 4th of July and I look forward to what they will come up with at the parade next year. Happy to see you back Doo Dah!

The Gallery Hop Returns

June 5, 2021 marked the return of the Short North Art District’s first Saturday of the month Gallery Hop in over a year. It was welcomed by artists, art galleries, street entertainers, shops, restaurants and of course…the public! The weather cooperated with it being a warm and sunny day as well. It was good to see the area working towards some degree of normalcy – a word that is debated by many but none the less, we are all working towards some form of it.

There were new exhibits at these long standing galleries I visited – Marcia Evans, Studios on High and Sharon Weiss.

Marcia Evans Gallery
Marcia Evans of Marcia Evans Gallery
Artist at work – Studio On High Gallery
Edmund Boateng, Sharon Weiss gallery
Edmund Boateng with his art and his daughter

And then there was a new kid on the block, Emergent Art & Craft. This gallery opened in November 2020 while things were still under the specter of the virus. Their mission statement, taken from their website, is “To provide a safe space for artists and artisans to exhibit and sell their work and receive mentor-ship in building their businesses while building our own. Emergent is an inclusive space that strives to represent the diverse community we exist within.” Way to go Emergent!

Sarah Ivancic, Emergent Art & Craft, Short North Arts District, Columbus Ohio
Owner/Curator – Sarah Ivancic

High Street was bustling with the streets being fuller than I’ve seen in some time. People were out with friends and loved ones enjoying a meal, celebrating an event or just enjoying the lovely day in general.

Getting ready for diners at Marcella’s
Torso Clothing Co., Columbus, Ohio
Torso Clothing Co. since 1998
Dining al fresco
Celebration time

And there was a line out the door for Jeni’s Ice Cream. Always a good sign.

Jenis Ice Cream, High Street, Columbus Ohio, snad

It wouldn’t have been the gallery hop without the street entertainers who were out there singing, playing guitars and performing magic tricks. Attendees happily picked a card with the magician while others sang and danced along with the singers.

Katanya Ingram, Gallery Hop, Singer
KaTanya Ingram aka The Gallery Hop Singer
Magician doing card tricks

Welcome back Gallery Hop, it is so good to experience you again! For more information about the Gallery Hop and the art gallery exhibitions for this month, check out the Short North Arts District page here. As the event is held downtown in Columbus’ Short North district, parking options are pay garages and parking lots or street parking meters.

Franklin Park Conservatory – Blooms and Butterflies

They’re back and we couldn’t be happier! The butterfly exhibit has returned to the Franklin Park Conservatory in the Pacific Island Water Garden biome. This part of the conservatory is lovely to visit on any given day but when the butterflies are here it is extra special to experience. Because of health protocols, it is advised that you make reservations to attend (especially on the more crowded weekends; the weekdays you may be able to just come and purchase tickets when you arrive) wear a mask at all times, social distance and there is now only one way in and out of the exhibit.

You can purchase a guide to identify the butterflies for a dollar or two or once in the exhibit, there is a large display that tells you a lot about the water garden and identifies some of the butterflies for you. As you can see here, the butterflies are provided with all of the food they need to survive be it from the orange slices and bananas they sometimes have for them to the nectar plants that feed the adult butterflies. No host plants are allowed, so no eggs are laid. The conservatory gets shipments of butterflies in their little chrysalis’ that are hatched and on display for you to see directly outside of their garden.

If you’re lucky, you may be visiting on a day when they release some of the newly hatched butterflies like I was on this day when they introduced this beautiful green Tailed Jay to its new home.

Tailed Jay butterfly, Franklin Park Conservatory

Sometimes the butterflies are darting about but more often than not they are sitting feeding or just quietly and beautifully resting their little wings. Occasionally one might even land on you and let you take them for a ride but make sure you check yourself when you leave (there are mirrors and double doors to assist you) as they don’t want any of the residents to escape. One thing I will say is that it gets quite humid in their area so be warned if you happen to visit on a cooler day outside; you will want to remove your jacket or sweater.

Julia Longwing
Lime Butterfly
Unknown Longwing
Paper Kite

This is just a sampling of the amazing butterflies you can see when you come to visit. The Blooms and Butterflies exhibit is on display until May 31. Please view the conservatory’s health and safety policies and admission prices listed here before planning a visit; parking is free.  Hours are from 10 to 5pm daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas when they are closed. 

Franklin Park Conservatory Annual Orchid Show

It’s back and we couldn’t be happier!  The annual orchid show at the Franklin Park Conservatory is back and will be here for your viewing pleasure until March 7, 2021.   While I’m not sure what the theme is this year, it is an ideal respite from the cold and snow to be immersed in this tropical explosion of color, fragrance and beauty that the orchids bring.

Franklin Park Conservatory, entry, orchid exhibit, columbus Ohio

This is an exhibit for all ages that I look forward to each and every year.  I particularly look forward to seeing if they have on display any new species and to take in the amazing fragrance of those orchids that smell like chocolate.  Oh yes!

The most well known orchids – the Phalaenopsis/ Moth Orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis

Cypripedium/Lady Slipper Orchids

lady slipper orchids

lady slipper orchid

Cymbidium/Boat orchids

Boat orchids, Cymbidium, Franklin Park Conservatory

Orchids are just so amazing in the many colors, scents, shapes and sizes they come in.  Here are two beautiful examples that I did not get the names of.

Please view the conservatory’s  health and safety policies and admission prices listed here before planning a visit.  They request that you reserve your arrival time and tickets online so that they can monitor capacity but I have observed people arriving without reservations and be let in depending on how many were already in attendance.    Hours are from 10 to 5pm daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas when it is closed.  The gift shop is open from 10 to 5pm also but the garden cafe is only open from 11 to 3pm.

Welcome back orchids!

 

 

 

 

Schumacher Gallery – Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement and #ArtUnitesCbus Exhibits

The Schumacher Gallery at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio is  hosting an amazing exhibition titled “Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement” from January 18 to March 27.   These deeply touching photojournalism images are by photographer Danny Lyon who started his photography career in the early 60’s as a staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a national group of college students who joined the civil rights movement after the first sit-in by four Black college student at a North Carolina lunch counter.

Lyon traveled the South and Mid-Atlantic regions capturing from 1963 to 1964  the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement as it happened – as it was!  In this exhibit you will see the realities of life and the movement then from separate water fountains and entrances to sit-ins and some early images of Civil Rights icons such as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis;  look for the photo of Bob Dylan the singer.

This is an important and powerful bit of history for all to see.  It is a reminder of what was, how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

A wall of Civil Rights history

Colored Only Cab Service – 1964

Schumacher Gallery, Danny Lyon, Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis

John Lewis – Cairo, Illinois 1963

danny lyon, schumacher gallery, civil rights movement

Teenage girls arrested and kept in stockade with no facilities for protesting – 1963

Also included in this event are photos  from the winners of the Greater Columbus Arts Council #artunitescbus that covered the Black Lives Matter protests in Columbus.  I am honored to say that my work is part of this exhibit.

Danny Lyon photos leading to the Art Unites Cbus exhibit

Art Unite Cbus Black Lives Matter protest images and sign

Art Unites Cbus, Black Lives matter protests,

Art Unite Cbus Black Lives Matter protest images and sign

The images I’ve shown here are just the  tip of the iceberg; there is  much more to view and take in. This exhibit is free and open to the public.  The Schumacher Gallery is located on the fourth floor of the Blackmore Library at Capital University located at 1 College and Main,  Columbus, Ohio 43209; parking is on the street.  Due to Covid regulations it is best to check the university website at http://www.schumachergallery.org  for updated hours or to make an appointment to view the exhibits.   For more information call 614-236-6319 or email the curator David Gentilini at dgentili@capital.edu.  Entry into the library for the gallery is by a QR code which is posted at the door.

 

Franklin Park Conservatory Holiday Exhibitions

My last visit to the conservatory located in Columbus, Ohio was right before the world went into lock down so it was so nice to be able to  go there again.  I felt like I was visiting an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time and in actuality that is the truth.  I’ve gone several times a year every year since moving to Ohio a decade ago.  It’s always an extra joyous time to visit in December when they make their magic with plants and decorations along with the gingerbread houses which are on display now until the end of December.

The houses are grouped into adult, family and youth divisions; visitors vote for the grand prize winner.  This impressive bit of construction is  the adult division winner.

gingerbread house, franklin park conservatory, ohio

The holiday blooms display runs until January 10th with all of the seasonal decorations and the amazing displays of hundreds of beautiful and unique poinsettias including the traditional 10 foot poinsettia tree.  Sorry that I do not have that image to share as it was often the prop for families taking photos and I didn’t want to disturb them.  The conservatory displays are always so beautiful with such attention to detail.  I wish my holiday decorating skills were even half as good!

Franklin Park Conservatory Christmas Tree

They have on display some poinsettias in colors and shapes that I’ve not seen before to accompany the solid red ones we all are accustomed to.

Poinsettia Red Glitter

Red Glitter

Premium Lipstick Pink

Princettia Pure White

Autumn Leaves

Winter Rose Early Red

A trip to the Holiday Blooms display at Franklin Park Conservatory is just the thing for a bit of beautiful, colorful cheer and tranquility; a seasonal delight.  For more information about the conservatory and all of their exhibits including health and safety measures, ticketing, hours of operation and how to get there – click here and here.

Seasons Greetings Everyone!

 

Fantasy of Lights

This year with so many things having been cancelled, closed or very limited it’s nice to see one tradition still going strong.  Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights has for over 21 years been lighting up the holidays.  It’s a three mile drive thru (social distancing at it’s best) light show located at Alum Creek State Park Campground in Delaware County, Ohio.  It is open nightly at 5:30pm every day until January 3, 2021.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate and the price ($22.97 on weekdays and $33.46 on the weekends)  is per car load; no refunds or restrooms.  The little ones especially love the lights and I am sure their parents are just happy to be out of the house nowadays.  Because of Covid restrictions and with safety in mind, on the weekends there may be limits to the number of cars allowed in at a time as those days are their most crowded.    They ask that you call or check their Facebook page before coming.  There is a Santa’s House and gift store less than a minute from the light display which is operated independently from the Fantasy of Lights.  If interested in visiting there please check their website first here.

To read more about Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights, check out their hours or buy tickets click here.

(Note: All photos shown here were taken on my visit in 2017 as I’ve been unable to get there this year but I did want to share that they are open and ready for visitors.  Some of the light displays shown here may or may not be there this season but there will still be plenty to see.)

Fantasy of Lights, Delaware Ohio

Fantasy of Lights, Ohio

 

Summer Spray

Columbus, Ohio is just overflowing with so many talented artists in so many genres and there is always someplace somewhere where art is being created or shown.  Because of Covid-19 this year, art and other events that normally would have had hundreds and hundreds of attendees have been cancelled.  And while that is very disheartening (hoping so much that things will be back in 2021) it has not stopped art from being created such as this project named Summer Spray.

Summer Spray is a project of the Short North Alliance made possible with support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Short North Alliance Art Fund.

summer spray, short north art district, art makes cbus, columbus Ohio

Summer Spray, Short North art district ,

This is a collaborative mural making event that has showcased the live creations of one amazing 1,280 square foot wall mural painted each weekend by different local artist/s which began July 11 and is scheduled to end September 13.  It is possible that it will remain up longer which gives you time to see the murals if not the artists creating them.  Each artist has created a piece of work that while unique to them, their style and their inspiration; will blend in with the prior artists work thus making a beautiful “one out of many” mural wall.

Summer spray, urban art, mural, art, artists, Jen Kiko and Eric Rausch, short north arts district

Jen Kiko and Eric Rausch

Summer spray, urban wall art, art, artist, Thom Glick

Thom Glick

Hakim Callwood, art, artist, urban art, mural, summer spray, snad

Hakim Callwood

Bryant “Bee1ne” Anthony, summer spray, urban art, wall mural, murals, short north art district, columbus Ohio

Bryant “Bee1ne” Anthony

Summer Spray, Chris Cropper, urban wall art, street art, mural

Chris Cropper

Lee Van Mora, urban art, summer spray,

Lee Van Mora

Here is one of the artists working on her part of the series.  As I watched her create I witnessed just how detailed and time consuming creating these murals can be.  I don’t think I could ever finely control a can of spray paint like this!

summer spray, katie golonka, mural, short north art district, columbus, Ohio

Katie Golonka

Artist Robert “Mrrobotgeek” Williams is scheduled to paint September 5 and artist Felicia “FDZ” Dunson  wraps up the event, painting on September 12.

While we may all hate to see summer end (except maybe for you pumpkin spice fans) this is a great sendoff for it.  The mural is located on West Goodale Street between High Street and Park Street, near Goodale Park in the Short North Arts District.  Have a nearby seat and enjoy the artistic view.

summer spray, urban art, wall murals, art, artists

To read more about each artist and the Short North Arts District, click here.

 

Bridge of Dreams

The Bridge of Dreams is a 370 foot long covered bridge that goes over the Mohican River located near Brinkhaven, Ohio.  It was built in the 1920’s originally as a railroad bridge and was covered in 1998.  It is the second longest covered bridge in Ohio after  the Smolen–Gulf Bridge in Ashtabula County, and the third longest covered bridge in the United States!

mohican river, knox county, ohio, bridge of dreams

Mohican River and Bridge of Dreams

The bridge is now a pedestrian and bicycling bridge and part of the Mohican Valley trail; a trail built on an abandoned railroad bed that once belonged to the Pennsylvania Railroad.   The bridge is closed to motorized vehicles but is used by Amish buggies and those horseback riding.  The bridge has a matted side which is to be used by buggies and horseback riders.

In this photo you can just see the top of an Amish buggy crossing the bridge.

Amish country, knox county, ohio, bridge of dreams

Amish Buggy

So how did this bridge get it’s name?  In the early 1990’s the railroad line had been abandoned and a group of local residents and businesses came up with a plan for converting it into a multi-use trail.  The most “ambitious” part of this plan was to cover the bridge.  Skeptics (there are always skeptics) decried that the costly plan was the stuff of dreams which led the backers to give the name of the project “Bridge of Dreams.”

With funds raised through contributions and a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Bridge of Dreams was completed in December 1998 and dedicated in April 1999 with the Mohican Valley Trail officially opening on June 15, 2001.

The drive to the bridge is a pleasant one taking you through the scenic hills of Ohio.  When you arrive you will find some parking along the river and further up a full parking lot where you are then able to walk or bike along the trail.

 

wildflowers, nature photography, flower photography

Wildflowers along the trail

Bridge of dreams, architecture photography

Biker inside of bridge

landscape photography, Mohican River, Knox County, Ohio

View along the Mohican River

This was our first covered bridge to explore but not our last.  We are planning  a road trip to Ashtabula County to find more.  The Bridge of Dreams is located  at 16606 Hunter Road, Brinkhaven, Ohio.  To read more about the bridge, the Mohican Valley Trail and other parks in Knox County, check out their brochure here.

(Note: We visited here in early summer when the water levels were still very high.  They have since dropped)

 

 

 

 

 

 

S’miles of Sunflowers – The Patch on 37

A great way to celebrate summer and immerse yourself in one of the flowers of the season is to visit S’miles of Sunflowers in Alexandria, Ohio.  Here you will find Ohio’s largest sunflower patch; home to a million flowers across 8 acres.  They grow 26 varieties of sunflowers here of various colors and sizes.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, what's happening Ohio

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, what's happening Ohio, Alexandria, Ohio

pink sunflower, nature photography, visit ohio, sunflower field

sunflower

Admittance tickets are $15 for ages 4+ on weekends and $10 on weekdays.  You can buy them there or online.  Your ticket lets you experience the beautiful fields of sunflowers where you can wander happily admiring all of them, take photos of the flowers, take photos of you in the flowers (they have several props scattered throughout the fields to pose with or on; the old truck is THE most popular one) and all tickets include one cut and take home flower of your choosing.

You can just make out the popular old truck, with the line to pose with it, at the top right of this image.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, what's happening Ohio

You can see the entire field of sunflowers from this vantage point.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, Alexandria, Ohio

A family prepared for their photos.

If one gorgeous sunflower isn’t enough for you, available for purchase are half gallon glass jars for $15 or galvanized French style vases for $25 that you can fill with as many flowers as you can fit.  They have water tanks on site to fill whatever container you  use to make sure your flowers get home safely hydrated.

Note:  If you don’t bring  your own shears they will sell you a pair.  I brought my small gardening shears.  Shears have to be able to fit into your pocket to be used safely.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, bee, macro photography

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, macro photography

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, nature photography

Live music is available on the weekends to entertain you as well as wagon rides that take you to different parts of the sunflower fields.  The wagon ride isn’t necessary to walk through the fields, it’s just an added attraction for those who like it or perhaps cannot walk very far.  You can bring your own picnic to eat during the week but on the weekends, under the giant tent, there is a concession stand that will sell tasty eats like  kettle corn (the bags that are still warm are the tastiest – trust me), hot dogs, water,  soda and other snacks.

Barefoot McCoy, a very talented one man band, entertaining everyone.

music, musician, bafefoot mccoy, smiles of sunflowers, patch on 37

I plan on returning to the patch to get a vase full of sunflowers soon.   Currently they are scheduled to be open till August 31 barring any damaging weather or shortage of blooms.

S’miles of Sunflowers – The Patch on 37 is located at 3131 Johnstown-Alexandria Rd. NW, Alexandria, Ohio.  To pre-purchase tickets online, check their hours, musician schedules, directions or any other questions visit their website here at S’miles of Sunflowers.