August 2009

Fall brings so many great things here in Dublin, Ohio … cool breezes, the brilliant palette of changing leaves, football fever, a bountiful harvest from owl-Ohio-Wildlife-Centerlocal farmers and, of course, school (again). Even though fall is my favorite season, the idea of “back-to-school” makes me a little sad. (Probably not-so-much for you parents of 3+ children, huh?) I guess it’s the idea of summer—and all the fun trips, vacations, activities, fun family free time coming to an end, in order to accommodate all those things that occupy our busy schedules during the year.

If your family is anything like mine, that means everyone is going in different directions most days. But I’ve come up with a mini-solution to this drifting-effect. About this time every year, I plan a couple of family getaway weekends for the fall/winter months and plug the dates into our “master” calendar. Everyone at my house knows these are non-negotiable dates. Attendance is required. These are usually “close to home” getaways involving  Ohio travel. We try to target some new city, attraction or park we’ve never visited—then look for deals.  My starting point is always the web site of the Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism:  Sometimes I search a word like “fall” or “history” for ideas. Sometimes I go right to the Travel Tools/Local Tourism Organizations (often the CVB web sites offer great hotel packages with discounted attraction tickets).

If I know I want to visit a certain city or area—I’ll call the CVB and ask them for suggestions. I KNOW these people are as passionate about travel as I am, so it’s a great way to learn about hidden gems. And I try to offer the same service for visitors calling the Dublin CVB for Dublin or Central Ohio getaway information.

Trust me. Schedule your fall/winter getaway in now–or time will slip away.  (It will be worth it just to hear them say, “This was SO COOL, Mom!”)   So, tell us … when & where was the last non-summer family getaway you planned?

-Post by Mary

In less than a year, Dublin, Ohio will host one of the largest events ever to be held in our city when the Canadian-American Police-Fire Games comes to town, August 15-22, 2010. The games will include 58 events and will attract an estimated 2,500 police, fire and EMS participants from across North Dublin OH Can Am Police Fire GamesAmerica. It is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $3.5 million to the local economy—as competitors and their families flock to Dublin, enjoying our outstanding hotels, attractions, restaurants and more.

The events will kick off with an opening ceremony that promises to be memorable to everyone in attendance. It will feature live music, SWAT team and K-9 demonstrations, a tug-of-war competition, a parade of flags, bagpipes and more. And that’s just the beginning. The following week will hold exciting displays of Olympic-type athleticism among the strongest police and firefighters in North America. Events will include Archery, Cycling, Bench Press, Police Motorcycle Skills, Pistol, Narcotics Dog, Toughest Firefighter Alive, Toughest Competitor Alive and many others. Competitions will be held at various locations across central Ohio with the event’s headquarters and accommodations for participants in Dublin.

How did Dublin land such a large international event? Can-Am Games officials selected Dublin for the 2010 Games from among 59 cities, chiefly for its strong community support and spirit. And that’s what we’re going to deliver. This is a great opportunity for local residents to get involved. Volunteers will be needed to assist with the events. Fans and spectators (admitted free to events) are encouraged to come cheer on the competitors—and show them a warm Ohio welcome. Online registration is now open for competitors and is limited, for some events. (Go here for more information.) For fans and spectators—stay tuned for details. This is going to be one event that you won’t want to miss.

-Post by Mary

We’re at the midway point in August and officially counting down the remaining days of summer here in the Midwest.  So … carpe diem!  Its’ time to slaintetake advantage of all of those summer activities that you wanted to do (in May/June) but just didn’t get to yet.  Mark your calendar for Sláinte Thursday  (8/20) next week. This month’s multi-sensory art, music, shopping and grazing event offers the perfect end of the day/week/summer opportunity to just …slow… down. 

These fun events are held every 3rd Thursday, May through September in Historic Dublin Ohio. They offer ample opportunity to explore the shops and restaurants of Dublin and discover great local talent.  The Thursday, August 20th celebration begins with a Bike Race starting at 6 p.m.  Live music starts at 7 p.m. at the “Frog Park” on S. High St. (between Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and the Dublin Village Tavern) with Jared Mahone.   Lydia Brownfield will perform at the Blarney Brothers offices at 53 N. High St.  Concerts are free and open to the public.

In addition, you can pick up some Blarney Bucks and take advantage of special offers at local restaurants and shops. So put on your Irish Attitude and come join in the fun!! For more information, call the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800/245-8387 or the Historic Dublin Business Association at 614/766-6250 .

-Post by Kay

As you may have realized by now, we’re big on “Irish Attitude” around here.  So, July was a good month.  Not only because Dublin was abuzz in winning-pic-web-versionpreparation for our world-famous Irish Festival–but we (the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau) were accepting submissions for our photography contest. So, every couple of days, new entries would land in my email box. Then I’d open them and smile. Really. Those images made my day(s).

We ended up with 51 entries, in all.  And they were exactly what we had hoped for. Beautiful scenic park shots.  Silly, toothy kid-grins. Snapshots of people having tons of fun at Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the Kiwanis Frog Jump or the Dublin Irish Festival. And that’s just it–they were shots of people having fun!  The best part of the entire contest (for me) came after all of the final decisions had all been made by our judges. As I sat down to contact the winners, I discovered they were from all over … Columbus, Dresden, Michigan, South Carolina, etc.  Like I said … exactly what we had hoped for, when planning the contest.  These were visitors (and residents) who had snapped images of Dublin with their cameras while having fun here. Goofing around with their kids at an event. Taking in the quiet green serenity of one of our parks. Smiling for the camera with friends.  See for yourself– check out the winners here.  We’re hoping to repeat the contest next summer. So, be sure to bring your camera to Dublin on your next visit.  You just never know where you’re going to find a little Irish attitude around here.

-Post by Mary