On Vacation Ohio Festivals

Summer is approaching, which also means people are planning vacations. I know a certain Canadian and a New Yorker who are researching ideas for coming to Ohio for other reasons than seeing me. So, being a thoughtful soul, in upcoming weeks I want to offer Vacation Ohio suggestions to my friends and readers.

Like any of state, Ohio has its share of festivals. Some festivals honor/feature food items as corn, walleye, perch, fish, strawberries, grapes, gourds, potatoes, melons, pumpkins, sugar maple, bratwurst, apples, sweet corn, BBQ, ice cream, maple, sauerkraut, honey, caramel, pork, and apple butter.

Others offer tributes to various heritages as French, Germans, Greeks, Irish, Italians, Polish, and Swiss. Now throw in other odds-and-ends as arts, tobacco, carnations, rivers, dams, covered bridges, antiques, sternwheelers, baskets, Ohio beer, wine, blues, jazz, quilts, films, dogwoods, Celtic music, railroads, hot air balloons, chalk art, leaves, and scarecrows.

On the other hand, here are a few that may interest adventure seekers of all ages. I listed them in chronological order, and one could combine them together for an extraordinary weekend. Most of these have a web site for more information. Welcome to the Buckeye State! Plus here’s are links to Ohio Tourism, Ohio Fest, and the Ohio Festival and Events Association.

Image from DreamTime.com

On Ohio Karma

This past spring the mind behind The Karmic Boomerang contact me, along with other Ohioans, to provide information about Ohio for his feature. Regretfully, I was knee-deep in a project and didn’t respond. Good karma suggests that I write a feature supporting his efforts; not duplicating, but adding too his original post.

College Sports
Ohio has 8 FCS football programs, 13 Division I basketball programs, and 3 college hockey teams.

Big school men’s NCAA national championship teams include Ohio State (football*, baseball, basketball, fencing, golf, gymnastics, outdoor track), Cincinnati (basketball), and Bowling Green (hockey).

* The NCAA does not issue a national championship for FCS/D1 football. See list of champions for confirmation, but semi-recognizes the BCS champions.

The University of Cincinnati had 5 consecutive trips to the Final 4, which hasn’t been bested by many.

Youngstown St won 4 D-1AA football championships and Central State: D-II Cross Country

Ohio colleges are prominent NCAA D-III champions
Football: Wittenberg, Baldwin-Wallace, Dayton, Mt. Union
Ashland: Cross Country (M)
Capital: Basketball (W)
Kenyon: Tennis (W)
Marietta: Baseball
Mt. Union: Cross Country (M)
Muskingham: Softball,
Ohio Wesleyan: Soccer (M & W)
Wilmington: Basketball (W)
Wooster: Golf (M)

Special distinction to Kenyon for winning every D-III men’s swimming and diving championship since 1980; that’s 29 in a row and counting!

Pro Sports
The NFL Portsmouth Spartans became the Detroit Lions.

Paul Brown selected orange and brown for the Cleveland Browns after seeing the colors at Bowling Green.

Professional football’s Canton Bulldogs only played 6 seasons.

People & Business
Bevo Francis, scoring legend at Rio Grande College (yes, in Ohio, not Texas), captivated the nation by averaging 48.3 ppg in 1953.  If you never heard of Bevo, here’s his ESPN Sports Century biography.

Entertainers Bob Hope, Clark Gable, Dean Martin, Paul Newman, and Steven Spielberg  have Ohio roots.

So to notables Harriet Beecher Stowe, Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, 8 U.S. presidents, 3 vice presidents, 3 speakers of the house, 3 chief justices, 8 justices, 4 secretary of states, 6 attorney generals, and 32 others in cabinet positions,

CNN news anchors are from Ohio: Carol Costello, Robin Meede, and Christy Paul. Robin Meade was a Miss Ohio (’92) and Christy Paul was the 3rd runner up the following year.

North Carolina and Ohio both claim to be first in flight. The Wright Brothers first successful flight was in North Carolina after doing the majority of work in Ohio.

Ohio is the corporate home to more than a few names you may know: Procter & Gamble, Society/Key Bank, 5th/3rd Bank, Macy’s, Iams, Kroger, Mead, LensCrafters, Longaberger, Rubbermade, Goodyear,  Wendy’s, Bob Evans Farms, Sherwin-Williams, Cooper Tires, Smuckers, Mac Tools, Parker-Hannifin, Battelle, Cintas, and Bobby Rahal Racing to name a few.

Geography & Culture
Pomeroy is listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only town of its size without a crossroad.

Chillicothe was the first state capital.

Go figure – Centerburg (Knox County) is the geographic center.

South Point is the most southern spot, Middleport is half way between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, but Northfield isn’t the most-northern field.

Given its most extreme points, Ohio is 25 miles wider than its length.
Of Ohio’s 88 counties, Stark County borders the most counties: 8.

Lancaster anyone? Ohio has LANC-aster, but lan-CASTER is located elsewhere.

The longest bar in the world is at the Beer Barrel Salon in Put-in-Bay.

Ohio has festivals celebrating sugar maple, dogwoods, spring plowing, ribs, hot air balloons, strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins, zucchini, twins, melons, marigolds, tobacco, popcorn, bratwurst, grapes, kites, sternwheelers, ice cream, apples, apple butter, apple dumplings, sauerkraut, dulcimers, turkeys, fish, and buzzards; as well as the Irish, Germans, Italians, Appalachians, Pioneers, Swiss, and Farmers.