The Sunday After Thanksgiving Means....It's Time for Holiday Open House!
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As we round the bend toward the end of November, it can only mean two things...turkey day and Holiday Open House (ok, and Buckeye fans would argue it's 3 things if you count the upcoming game against the team from up North). The annual Worthington tradition will take place from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 26. The City of Worthington tree illumination ceremony will take place on the SE Village Green at 5:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand is the “Iceless Ice Rink” made of a synthetic plastic polymer that resembles the same experience of skating on ice. The rink will occupy the parking lot at the corner of High Street and New England Avenue. It will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free with a donation to the Partnership or with any donation of a non-perishable item for the Worthington Resource Pantry.

You can also look forward to these special activities:

  • Live music...we have more music than previous years.
  • Write your letter to Santa...and he will write you back! 
  • Special commercial debut. We made a commercial for Old Worthington. It will debut at COhatch during the event...don't miss this special 30 second tribute to our town!
  • “It’s a Wonderful Window” showcase pairing 20 storefronts with 22 charities competing for the best holiday window display decorations. Shoppers may vote for their favorite displays via monetary donations (minimum of $1) made at each participating store. The contest will run through December 26. All donations will go directly to the corresponding charity. Last year the contest raised more than $4,000 for local charities.
  • Two horse-drawn carriages for attendees to enjoy a free ride through Old Worthington.
  • Many, many crafts and activities in the merchant shops; some activities may require payment.
  • Treats, hot chocolate, and more treats...welcome to the holidays! 

Pictures with Santa Claus will take place in front of the Worthington Inn from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Don't miss the perfect picture with the Big Guy.

Each year, we continue to build on the tradition of this event. Last year was the biggest event yet, and with many new merchants and lots of great energy in Old Worthington, we look forward to hosting our community again this year. We’re grateful to the businesses that graciously participate to make this event possible, and we’re looking forward to the new experiences this year’s Holiday Open House will provide to residents and visitors.

We are also grateful to the many sponsors we have of these special activities this year.. Thank you to our friends at FC Bank, NAI Equities Ohio, Dr. Lordo, DDS, Colonial Hills Lawncare, Park National Bank, CyMacK Group, Michelle Groff, Great American Title, Remax Revealty, Home Savings Bank and Sarah Winland Mullen. We couldn't continue these activities without their financial support. Please support these community partners and continue to SHOP LOCAL!

See you on November 26!


 

Annina Parini
3rd Annual "It's a Wonderful Window Contest"
CHES PTA volunteers decorate their window at House Wine

CHES PTA volunteers decorate their window at House Wine

Holiday decorating begins on the streets of Old Worthington this week for charity. The Old Worthington Partnership is hosting its third annual “It’s a Wonderful Window Contest,” a partnership with 22 local charities and 20 merchants lining High Street.

The windows of the Old Worthington businesses get a festive make-over by partnering charities. Visitors can delight in the creativity of each window’s unique theme and vote for their favorite. Viewers can vote as often as they want by placing $1 minimum in the voting box, or – new this year – they can vote by text via PayPal. In each window, you'll find a sign that tells you the charity's individual text code. You text that code to 77948. 

The contest runs from Friday, November 10 through Tuesday, December 26. You can vote as much and as often as you'd like. All the proceeds from the contest go directly to the individual non-profit organizations. The charity with the most money raised wins the coveted "window trophy". 

So, head up to our beautiful historic district and check out all the fun window decorations and explore the many wonderful organizations in our community. And most importantly, be sure to shop and dine locally this holiday season!

Thanks to all these businesses for participating in our contest! 

Birch: Penny Harvest/Evening Street Elementary
Denig Jewelers: Central Ohio Railway Club
Dewey's Pizza: Worthington Education Foundation
Elli Nail Spa: Worthington Women's Club
Fritzy Jacobs: Rescued Ohio
Graeter’s: Stop the Suffering and Dublin/Worthington Rotary
GRID Furnishings: Vaud-villities Production
HER Realtors: Worthington Police Academy
Highline Coffee Co.: Thomas Worthington High School Band Boosters
House Wine: Colonial Hills Elementary School PTA
Igloo/Swoonful: Worthington Resource Pantry
Jet's Pizza : BIA – Professional Women in Building and Worthington Farmers Market
La Chatelaine: Girl Scouts of Ohio
Magic Cruises: Cat Welfare
Old Bag of Nails: Worthington Youth Boosters
Sassafras Bakery: Family Mentor Foundation
Snap Fitness: Worthington Linworth Kiwanis
Whitney House: McConnell Arts Center
Worthington Inn: Worthingway Middle School PTA
Worthington Jewelers: Kinder Key
 

Annina Parini
Candidate Views on Old Worthington


The Old Worthington Partnership is 501c3 non-profit organization led by a volunteer board of directors and a full-time, salaried executive director. The Partnership is dedicated to promoting a sense of community and shared culture, raising awareness of sustainability opportunities, promoting downtown Old Worthington, and supporting other initiatives impacting Old Worthington. The Partnership conducts many activities specifically in service to our mission “to enhance the Old Worthington experience.” Our activities unburden the City of Worthington by creating and sustaining the heart of our vibrant community. The Old Worthington Partnership fills a vital community need by being the one organization dedicated to enhancing the Old Worthington experience.

Because The Partnership works so closely with the City of Worthington to achieve our mission, as well as receive funding in support of our activities, we have a duty to get to know the candidates for City Council. As such, we have put 3 questions that we hope illuminate the 9 candidate's views on our mission and below we have shared their answers. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Sean Demaree
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?

A: The feeling that guests and residents get when they shop small town America.  Only it’s Worthington, Ohio and it means a special feeling when they arrive and a special feeling when they leave.  It’s something you want to keep your little secret, but you can’t help telling all of your out-of-town friends.  It’s a shopping experience with a little bit of everything.  A destination location in the heart of America.  The most important aspect of which is…It’s Worthington.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
A: The addition of beacon technology so merchants can track where and how customers shop.
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: Add more parking.  By having the city tear down 46 W. New England and pave it over to add more than 36 parking spots.

Rachel Dorothy
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?

A: I believe the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience is the opportunity to engage with others in our community at unique, locally owned businesses, markets, concerts and festivals, and at our library and community center.  All provide individualized experiences and services in the historic center of Worthington, in a pedestrian-friendly, community-focused environment.   The vibrancy of the downtown attracts us to take part in it.  Seeing people out engaging and dining with one another along High St., listening to music, being able to learn about history strolling along Village Green,  are all activities that draw many people into the area, and why we want to call Worthington home.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
A: 
Extending the pedestrian and bicycle friendly experience throughout the Historic District from South Street to North Street would be a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience. I would do this by adding public art, sculptures and murals, more pedestrian friendly signage about the history of Worthington and the architecturally significant homes and buildings within the Historic District along High St. and into the neighborhood, as appropriate, and include an interactive water feature or splash pad for more active engagement in the Village Green.  Additionally, more benches, gathering locations, and wider sidewalks up and down High St. along with previously mentioned added features would be appropriate to make the whole experience more inspirational and accessible to visitors and the local community for all ages and abilities. 
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: In the short term, I would prioritize providing bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding signage throughout the City to attract people to downtown using active transportation. These signs would highlight low stress routes from the Olentangy Trail and the neighborhoods into Old Worthington.  This could alleviate some parking troubles, increase activity throughout the City and provide more opportunities for interaction between community members.  Additionally, studies have shown that people who walk or bike to a location tend to spend more time and money there and come back more often, a win, win, win for everyone!

Michael Farley
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?
A
: The diversity of options in dining, activities, and merchants is a key aspect of the Old Worthington experience.  Whether one is looking for fine dining, a quick dessert, or a unique group outing—Old Worthington has something for you.  Worthington is fortunate to have so much variety in a compact area.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
A: A bold enhancement would be the incorporation of art—of various mediums—into Old Worthington.  These could be temporary installations that show off local talent or demonstrate Worthington values.
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: I would like to convene a group focused on the future of Old Worthington.  Not just one year, but several years down the road.  The advent of technology, demographics, and surrounding growth, necessitate a coordinated vision of the future for Old Worthington.

Beth Kowalcyzk
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?

A: The most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience is something it shares with the rest of the city - a sense of community.  Old Worthington is where our community can actually come together and share experiences.  There are so many ways the community comes together in downtown Worthington: shopping and dining in downtown Worthington, attending the Farmers Market and other events; perusing the Old Worthington Library, enjoying entertainment and participating on the events on the Green, and many others.  Old Worthington, in the center of town, is walkable, easy to get to and is a natural gathering place. It is a part of the Worthington identity and is one of the things that makes Worthington unique.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?  
A: A bold enhancement could be to assess the livability of the neighborhood for all ages (e.g. sidewalks, safe streets, accessible buildings, transportation options) and identify ways that we can make improvements so that everyone can take advantage of the Old Worthington experience. Livability is a high-level performance measure of neighborhood design factors that are critical to high quality of life for people of all ages. The two largest generations in our nation’s history are millennials and baby boomers.  Both groups have the same interests in terms of a livable community. As reported by the AARP Livable Communities Initiative: “Livable Communities are good for people and good for business. They are places where Americans increasingly want to live, work and play. Whether a person is young or old, starting a family or a business, Livable Communities provide a host of appealing advantages that enhance the quality of life of residents, the economic prospects of businesses and the bottom lines of local governments.”  Exploring how to enhance Worthington’s livability would be an innovative approach to looking holistically at the well-being of our community now and into the future.
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?  
A: My short-term priority would be to initiate a process that would enable the city to assess the livability of Old Worthington so that its experiences are able to be shared by all ages.  Ideally, this process could be replicated throughout the city.  See answer to question #2.

Scott Myers
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington Experience?
A: 
The Human Scale.  Graeter’s isn’t just ice cream, its hearing little leaguers laugh.  The Wine House doesn’t just sell wine it invites you to linger and relax.  The Candle Lab has used 21st Century technology to create a very interpersonal experience.  Peace, Love and Little Donuts proves you don’t have to be big to be good.  I have always described Worthington as a front porch not a back yard community.  It’s a place where you know and care for your neighbors and take pride in your block.  I think that kind of attitude is very apparent when new people visit.  That’s why they wished they lived here. 
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington Experience?
A: 
Old Worthington has grown organically.  South of New England residential development has become the norm.  North of the Village Green we are seeing new businesses.  Sew-To-Speak, Co Hatch and Pet People are creating new momentum to the north.  My vision is to expand Old Worthington.  I would like to see an environment where someone living in the Masonic Lodge wants to walk to Fresh Thyme because there is so much to do along the way.  
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington Experience?
A: 
The continued funding of the Old Worthington Partnership.  My goal is to foster the growth and development of the Partnership so that it becomes the driver of new innovation in Old Worthington.  Government is very good at plowing snow, building sewers, and keeping our neighborhood safe, and Worthington has a long history of providing exceptional services.  But government is not always the best incubator for new and exciting ideas.  Government, by its very nature, is risk averse.  The private sector, as exemplified by Old Worthington’s entrepreneurs, provides our best chance to see bottom-up leadership create new opportunities.                   

Ian Mykel
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience? 

A: The shops of Old Worthington offer an immediate sense of destination when people think about visiting Worthington. The storefronts themselves represent the history and culture of Worthington, and making that history more evident can further the sense of connectedness between the city, the shop owners, and the visitors. The history of Worthington is deep and varied, and offers a resource largely untapped for generating interest in the shops and neighborhoods. The look and feel of the store fronts and homes adds an authentic sense of being part of something that has existed for hundreds of years. This feeling of history can be built upon by providing details, stories and interesting facts through digital signatures that can be used to pull people into town to learn about the history, and enhance their own experiences while shopping at and visiting Old Worthington.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience? 
A: I would love to see a stronger digital infrastructure in Worthington that includes city-wide wifi available to stimulate business opportunities, and to create ways to connect people with everything Worthington has to offer. A wi-fi portal can offer information about events and special opportunities, and provide detailed digital information about the history of Worthington, its shops and restaurants, as a unique kind of draw and advertisement. Also, I believe the city should offer internet server space and support to specifically identified local non-profits seeking to increase the visibility and well being of Worthington and its residents, allowing the non-profits to focus on what they do best. This could generate new ways to stimulate interest and traffic from people wanting to be part of the Worthington community which I find to be open and generous. This could further enhance the lives of the residents of Worthington, creating a stronger sense of ownership and responsibility that can further increase property values, draw new businesses, and stimulate creative ways of thinking with a direct promotion of the volunteerism that is already strong in Worthington. 
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience? 
A: I would like to explore all available options to ensure consistent occupation of all the shops in Old Worthington by quality tenants. I would like to look at traffic and parking studies and identify problems that might be addressed in cost-effective ways. I want to be sure the citizens and business owners have positive communication opportunities. And I would like Worthington and the surrounding communities to have the ability to easily access alternative transportation methods to experience everything that Worthington has to offer.

Dave Norstrom
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?

A: The most important aspect is ephemeral, the feeling of being in a village where you see friends on a regular basis. And friends can be defined not only in terms of people but can include a bar, a restaurant or a Graeter’s ice cream cone.  Experiential retailing is another factor that is important to the experience.   The new AR Workshop and the Candle Lab are examples.  Other events like a wine tasting dinner, a beer crawl, a Halloween walk with the Historical Society all ad to the experience of Old Worthington.  Outdoor dining as a result of the DORA has also added to the Old Worthington experience.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
A: A bold enhancement would be linking activities north of the Green to those south of the Green.  We need to do two things.  First, work to develop more retail north of the green and make sure that retail includes more experiential retailing.  As for the Green itself, we need to be innovative.  What could we do with augmented reality to make that two block walk exciting.  I don’t have the complete answer, but I believe the technology will allow a bold enhancement to Old Worthington.
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: Work with local businesses to have all employees use the public parking behind the Methodist Church, opening more parking in the downtown for visitors. 

David Robinson
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?
A:
For residents, Old Worthington provides a central gathering place, a sense of real community, and the tangible core of our identity. For visitors, Old Worthington provides charm and a welcome alternative to chain restaurants and the mind-numbing repetition of strip-malls. The physical infrastructure—the Village Green, the historic buildings, the tree canopy—provides the distinctive backdrop and sense of depth, while the shops, restaurants, markets, and special events provide the dynamic, living experience today. Without the Historic District, Worthington would lose its core asset: its authentic distinctiveness. So while change is inevitable and desirable, we need to be mindful that the nature of that change strengthens, and does not degrade, the distinctive character of our Historic District. We can, and should, both prosper and preserve what we love about our historic community.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
 A: Additional special events could be held—with the holiday tree lighting as model—centered around other holidays or notable local anniversaries, and should receive sufficient support from the city and interested parties to make for a high quality event. Special events offer a significant opportunity to bring the community together and to showcase for visitors the nature of our historic town. 2) The city ought to actively and more effectively assist entrepreneurial, professional businesses to locate their offices in Old Worthington, bringing in both tax dollars and customers for existing service-oriented businesses. This would make our tax base broader and more secure through diversification, and would bring the added bonus of attracting strong intellectual capital to our community. 3) More broadly, the goal of safe and convenient access to the Historic District, for pedestrians and bicycles, from all streets and neighborhoods ought to be a guiding city goal. 4) Finally, let’s figure out how DORA can be amended so that restaurants, when serving diners at sidewalk tables during normal business operations, don’t have to use plastic cups (as is currently the case) to serve beer, wine, and other adult beverages. If we’re going to do something, let’s do it right and not get tripped up in the execution stage through confused and needless impediments.
3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: The city ought to encourage and prioritize improved communications between residents, local businesses, and community groups (OWP, OWA, WHS, CVB, Chamber). It is in everyone’s interest that the residents, especially those in areas in and immediately surrounding the Historic District, and our local businesses are on the most favorable of terms with one another. After all, the residents of Worthington are our businesses’ best customers, and the local businesses keep alive the Historic District for the enjoyment and benefit of the residents. We rely upon each other in fundamental ways. I’m a firm believer that a healthy community rests on mutual respect and a corresponding transparency of relevant information and process. Council members could facilitate this.

Michael Troper

1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?
A: The most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience is the character and charm of Old Worthington. Whether you are coming to experience the multitude of vendors at the Farmer’s Market, the breadth of attractions at Market Day, eating at many of the amazing restaurants, boutique shopping, getting a haircut or having a drink at House Wine, The Worthington Inn or the Pub Out Back, the quaintness and people make the Old Worthington experience warm and inviting.
2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?
A: I think that a progressive dinner with the restaurants of Old Worthington would be a wonderful experience. With the collaboration of the Partnership, the restaurants would determine who would serve appetizers, salads, main course and dessert. The end of the event would culminate with music, coffee and drinks in the parking lot by House Wine. There also could be a silent auction with items donated by the businesses of Old Worthington to benefit the Old Worthington Partnership.
3. What is a short-term-priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?
A: The Picnic with the Partnership is a tremendous event. I would like to see one or two more similar events each summer because it is such an impactful way to bring the entire community together to experience the downtown core of Worthington.

 

Annina Parini
Shop Local This Saturday at Market Day

On Saturday, September 23 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Market Day festival. On Market Day, Worthington's largest one-day festival,  artisans will gather to sell hand-crafted goods. Community and local charitable groups also have fundraising and informational booths on display, and a host of food vendors provide meals, snacks, and concessions ranging from signature local restaurant dishes to carnival-atmosphere snacks. High Street between 161 and South Street will be closed for the event.

This long-standing event will be made fresh this year by many of Old Worthington's merchants will be having specials and activities to interest visitors. Here is a list of all the things our merchants have happening that visitors and locals have to check out on Saturday:

DORA: This event is a DORA-designated event, which means any of the establishments can serve an alcoholic beverage in a to-go cup, so patrons can enjoy the festivities within the district boundaries. For more information, please visit http://www.experienceworthington.com/dora

Worthington Inn: Bloody Mary's on the patio

AR Workshop: We will be officially opening on Sept 28th, but come get a sneak peek of our space and see us in action...Enjoy acoustic guitar music and don't miss out on your chance to be entered into a raffle to WIN a FREE class on us!

Balance Beauty Spa (In the Snow House): Stop by for samples & one-day-only sales on natural & organic beauty.

Igloo Letterpress: Market Day While-You-Wait Make-and-Take Poster
Choose from several backgrounds and personalize your very own 8x10 letterpress poster. You can choose from our antique wood and metal type to display the last name, monogram, date, child's name, address, or inspirational word. $25

Swoonful Gifts at Igloo Letterpress: Branchline Leather Company Trunk Show
You're invited to come meet the Elaine from Branchline Leather Company during our Market day trunk show. Their quality leather tote bags are just one of our unique, locally sourced goods offered in our handmade shop.

House Wine: We'll have a tailgate party in House Wine's parking lot with Land-Grant Brewing, Junior's Tacos, and a big screen so you can watch the OSU/UNLV with your family and friends. Festivities will kick off at 11 am.

For more information on Market Day, and street closures and parking restrictions, visit www.worthington.org.

Annina Parini
Merchant Profile: Balance Beauty Spa
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Old Worthington has nearly any type of service you could want or need, including an elegant spa. Balance Beauty Spa is run by Kelly Walton, and has recently moved into the historic Snow House at 41 W. New England Avenue. Balance Beauty Spa is a relaxing loft-styled spa where licensed esthetician & manicurist, Kelly, is dedicated to bringing you the healthiest choices when it comes to your beauty.
Kelly believes that when women feel good about themselves they are more likely to go out in the world and do good things. Get to know Kelly and Balance Beauty Spa by reading on!

Why did you choose to open a business in Old Worthington? 
I chose to open Balance Beauty Spa in Old Worthington because of the historic charm and the amazing, supportive people in the community.

What do you love most about having a business in Old Worthington?
Old Worthington has become home to me. The community is so supportive and kind.

Describe what is special about your business.
Ther is a lot of "scare" in the beauty business. I have been dedicated to offering healthy choices when it comes to beauty by using natural & organic products--without compromising professional results. I also believe in boosting a woman's confidence so they can go out in the world and do great things.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business right now?
Sifting through deceiving beauty brands to find the ones that are not just safe and natural, but offer great results as well.

Tell us a funny story about a customer experience? 
One of my guests went into labor within an hour of leaving the spa...I suppose she was just that relaxed! (don't worry, she was full-term!)

What did you do before you had a business in Old Worthington?
I worked at another spa.

What do you do with your time when you're not at work? 
Spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do. I enjoy reading, gardening and sewing.

What is your dream for your business success? 
For my guests to have a blissful spa experience every single visit and to be an asset to the community that has been so supportive over the years.

https://www.balancebeautyspa.com/

Annina Parini