The Worthington Farmers Market Heads Indoors!
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By Nicholas Dekker 

As the weather cools, the season for farmers markets steadily draws to a close. Typically, October is the last month for outdoor farmers markets. But not the Worthington Farmers Market!

Worthington’s beloved market is one of the few in central Ohio that continues all year-round. The outdoor market lines High Street in the historic district from May through October, but beginning in November it moves up the street to The Shops at Worthington Place.

The indoor market season begins this year on Saturday, November 2 and runs every Saturday through April, except for the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30). During the indoor months, the market runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

While there is some change in the vendors, and seasonal produce comes and goes, many vendors make the move to the indoor market to continue selling their goods.

If you’ve never been to the indoor farmers market, make it part of your regular weekly shopping! It’s both familiar and brand new at the same time. The market stretches through the mall’s main corridor near the north end of the building. Vendors are arranged so you can easily stroll through the entire footprint. Helpful volunteers are there to assist you as well.

You can still shop for everything from cheese to honey, locally raised meats and eggs, flowers to vegetables, maple syrup to charcuterie, pastries to coffee, kombucha to fresh herbs, candles to crafts.

Just like the outdoor market, you can also enjoy live music to accompany your shopping. And the children’s play place at the mall is located conveniently right next to the market proper, making the market a perfect stop for families. And there’s plenty of parking all around the mall.

We’ll see you at the (indoor) market!

Worthington Farmers Market Indoor Season
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
November through April
The Shops at Worthington Place
7227 N. High St.
worthingtonfarmersmarket.com

Nicholas Dekker
Join the Ghost Tour with the Worthington Historical Society!

Who’s ready to see a little Worthington history come to life this month?

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You can join the Worthington Historical Society’s popular Ghost Tour on Thursday, October 24 at 7 p.m. The walks have been operating in various forms for years now, and after two years focused in Walnut Grove Cemetery, the guided tour returns to the Old Worthington historic district in 2019!

On the tour, guests will get to “meet” various Worthington residents from the past centuries, who come to life for the night to share their stories, often outside the buildings where they lived or worked. Historical Society Director Kate LaLonde says that, while there are a few ghosts who have appeared on past tours, this year will be primarily focused on new people.

Some of the historical Worthington figures you might meet include…

Elizabeth Greer Coit, who was born in Worthington in 1820 and attended the Worthington Female Seminary. She was very active in the suffrage movement in Columbus. The Greer family lived in house on South Street.

Cynthia Kilbourne, the second wife of James Kilbourne, the founder of Worthington. They lived in the Kilbourne Commercial Building on High Street, above what are now the offices of HER Realtors. She was born Cynthia Goodale; her brother was Lincoln Goodale, the Columbus doctor who donated the land that became Goodale Park.

Dr. Thomas Morrow, a physician with the Ohio Reformed Medical College, which stood near the northeast corner of the Village Green, where the old library building sits today. Dr. Morrow and his family lived in the building on High Street above what is now The Half Pint. He was run out of town by an angry mob – quite literally out of his home on High Street – over rumors of bodysnatching. 

Guests can join the tour by purchasing tickets in advance at the Old Rectory or at Fritzy Jacobs. Tickets are $15 per person, and can be paid for by cash or check. Get them soon – only 120 tickets are available, and they will sell out!

The walk starts promptly at 7 p.m. in front of the Old Rectory, 50 West New England Avenue. After gathering together, guests will then set out in smaller, guided groups to seven stops throughout the neighborhood. Guests are encouraged to wear walking shoes and bring a flashlight, as the tour includes a walk through the St. John’s Episcopal Church cemetery. The history-based tour isn’t necessarily spooky or scary, but it’s recommended for ages 13 and up.

Old Worthington Ghost Tour
Thursday, October 24, 7 p.m.
Rain or shine!
$15
Get tickets at the Old Rectory (50 W. New England) or Fritzy Jacobs (635 High St.)

Keep up with the Worthington Historical Society’s exhibitions, sales, and events at worthingtonhistory.org!

Nicholas Dekker
Worthington City Council Candidate Questions: A broad perspective
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On Tuesday, September 24, the Partnership invited all candidates for Worthington City Council to participate in a forum designed for the merchants who own businesses in the heart of the community: our historic district. We also posed 4 questions to each candidate and asked that they write their answers so that we may share them with the general public. The Partnership is a 501 (c) (3) organization and does not endorse any candidate. The answers below are directly from each candidate, in alphabetical order. Our questions were designed to elicit a broad perspective on the Worthington experience and plans to stimulate business and visitors to the area. To read more about the Partnership, click here.


 CANDY BROOKS:

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

“I can hardly wait to come back!”

Those should be the parting words of all who spend time in Worthington, whether as a visitor from across town or across the country, or of us who like to wander around our wonderful city.

What makes such an experience? Fun shops and restaurants. Inviting places to sit and let the experience truly sink in. Wide, comfortable sidewalks. Art along the way, whether it be a mural or a sculpture. Some green areas, like a park or a cozy garden alcove. Safe, accessible bike paths, leading to and from and along the way of all there is to experience!

 2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

The boldest enhancement to the Worthington experience would be more of the experience.

Expanding our beautiful downtown experience north along High Street from the Village Green to the proposed United Methodist Children’s Home development (and perhaps to Wilson Bridge Road) is the boldest enhancement I can imagine.

Imagine that part of High Street lined with more restaurants and retail storefronts, with offices or living space on the second floor. Wide sidewalks and a bike part separate the shops and street, with safe places to cross the streets. Small sitting areas, green spaces, art will make the walking experience so enjoyable that visitors will walk the entire length of our expanded downtown area, and leave wanting more.

Now is the time for the city to put the extension of the downtown on its agenda. It is time to give the project a name, make detailed plans with drawings of what we want to see happen, and institute a timeline.

The city must work with businesses to attract them to the area. Improvements such as new, wide sidewalks, and lighting and other street amenities tying the existing central business district with the north expansion will go far in attracting business.

 3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

A short-term priority would be to revisit the city’s plan to provide an attractive, easy-to-navigate parking lot behind the businesses on the east side of High Street, north of East New England Avenue. The plan included the encouragement of upgrading rear entrances to those businesses abutting the parking area, as well as signage and other amenities to assist and attract visitors.

The plan was put on hold because one of the abutting building owners chose not to cooperate. I believe ownership has changed hands since then. It may be time to resurrect the plan.

Bike paths leading to the central business district can also be enhanced with signs along the Olentangy Bikeway directing riders (and walkers) to the downtown shops and restaurants. The path itself must also be improved, making it an easy and attractive ride from the path to our city.

 4. How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

We have a beautiful, authentic historic community that must be preserved. Other communities build facades to look like Worthington. We are the real thing, and must remember that and find ways to emphasize our history and our values as we move ahead.

That can be done by encouraging architecture of new buildings to blend with our old homes and buildings, by the choice of sidewalk amenities to also tie-in to the downtown, and lots of green spaces. We must remember with pride that we are Worthington, and not get sidelined by other communities which have opted for high-rise, concrete developments.

Worthington has always been the best community in central Ohio. We must keep that in mind, and build on our beautiful history, as we move into a prosperous future.


PETE BUCHER:
1. What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Worthington experience?

The most important aspect of the Worthington experience is the sense of community that comes from people gathering in public spaces like Old Worthington and at our community events. Having quality businesses and entertaining community events to drive people together is at the heart of the Worthington Experience.

2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

The most significant enhancement we can make to the Worthington experience would be to increase the new restaurants, storefronts and green spaces to increase the number of places for the community to gather. First, we have to ensure that the businesses and community spaces we have will remain high quality places to go while looking to expand areas like Old Worthington north along High St. If new commercial and greens pace could be added along the high street corridor that would benefit the entire community.

3. What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

In the short-term we need to ensure people can easily access areas like Old Worthington by improving parking and accessibility. To improve parking, we have to better connect the parking lots behind the stores in east Old Worthington and we have to increase parking behind stores in west Old Worthington to include a second level when possible. To increase accessibility we can include more sidewalks and trails in areas like Worthington Galena Rd., and others, that don’t have easy ways to walk or bike to Old Worthington.

4. How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

Going forward, the historic district can improve parking and increase commercial spaces north along High St. to create areas for the community to gather and to add businesses that bring in revenue for businesses and the city. By providing recreational opportunities and tax revenue right here in Worthington we can improve the quality of life for residents and ensure we can maintain and improve city services for all.


MICHAEL FARLEY:

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

The most important aspect of the Worthington is the variety of choices of experience.  Whether you are grabbing ice cream with your family, or dinner out with adults—Worthington has something for you.  This variety allows for maximum exposure to our community.    Our historic district must be a key component of selling our community to those who must bring jobs to our community.

 2.      What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

Even more variety!  We are at an inflection point in our community.  We must grow in order to meet the revenue needs of our city.  Commercial growth will necessitate even more options in our community.  This will mean additional dining options, more shops, and more office space.  This is bold because Worthington has not experienced such growth in decades.  The time is now.

3.      What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

My short-term goal is to stabilize the budget for the City of Worthington.  This will allow us to continue funding core services.  We must invest in developing commercial spaces to sustain growth and opportunity in our community.  We must educate our citizens of the need to grow the pie in order to meet current needs and plan for the future.

 4.      How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

When we are successful in bringing more employees to Worthington, they will naturally be drawn to the historic district.  This cycle will be immensely positive for our citizens via continued core services form city government.  This cycle will benefit our merchants in increasing the number of people that will visit their shops and restaurants.  This is how we evolve.  We grow our commercial base.


DOUG FOUST:

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

To “experience” Worthington, to me, means knowing the moment you arrive that you have stepped into something special.  Your breathing slows, yet your senses sharpen to the awareness of a warm, upbeat vibe.  You are safe, you are well-served, and you can taste and touch the better things while surrounded by people who came for the same reason as you.  You may find a special event, a celebration or a street fair.  The “experience” spans time and generations with its New England village-like feel mixed with something new for all ages.  Great food, fun shopping and store fronts, music in the air, street dining - this is the essence of downtown Worthington.

2.          What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

I would like to see an expansion of the arts in the form of rotating displays as well as more live performances.  Live music brings an electricity to the air. It opens hearts and wallets too.  Feature local artists as well as local businesses, whether it’s the piano stores on Proprieters or local (voice or instrumental) music teachers who offer private lessons or those doing instrument repair, giving them a chance to promote their products or services. I believe Eric Gnezda/The Mac as well as the City’s Parks and Rec department with their connections resulting from the Summer Concert series could assist with direction and guidance.

3.          What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

I have several….

1.       Address Parking – Behind Snap we need to seriously explore a partial below-ground garage, better signage to church lots, the library and the like, and possible added (fun) shuttles from the high school or pool parking in support of special event days.  We also must stay focused on making easy foot traffic any time we consider planters, seating, etc.

2.       Keep the experience fresh – We need more Village Green art, flowers/flags/landscape. (please see my answer to Q#2.)

3.       We should consider expanding/enhancing the DORA based on the success we have seen.  Napoleon, Ohio is a good example as a reference point; there are others.

4.       While society moves toward more service orientation and less traditional retail, (and that is reflected in our present mix) I would encourage us to foster a return to a stronger mix of retail product storefronts where possible.  I know this bucks the trend , but ultimately people still like to shop.  They are tactile, they like to look and be stimulated by what they see.  When they come to downtown, an eclectic mix of sights, sounds and smells creates intrigue. 

4.          How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

I believe there is much more we can do to take advantage of our history and seek to build on what we have and leverage it.  We have a feel and a look that can’t be replicated in a brand-new build, and we should celebrate it.  This need not be in your face, lest we make ourselves look out-of-date, but for those who do care, why not make downtown more interesting by playing up history using small plaques/signage showing interesting historical points.  The Historical Society undoubtedly has pictures showing:

       i.    Graeters (definitely) and La Chatelaine (I am told) were once car dealerships

       ii.      Legend has it the upstairs Co-Hatch in the former Hardware was once home to a burlesque stage.

     iii.      We have Underground Railroad connections in our history.

    iv.      HNB site was the site of the famed Griswold Inn.  I believe Johnny Appleseed slept there?

     v.      The NW corner of the Green has been home to multiple Presbyterian Church buildings over time and the progression is an interesting sequence of images.

     vi.      Could we create a walking tour app?  This would reinstate the notation of a Civil War birthplace without the unwanted attraction caused by a large sign as we experienced a couple years ago.

    vii.      There are many more examples, and the Historical Society seems like an underutilized resource in that regard. Finally, is there a way to bring some sort of Art Show back to downtown?  The move to the Mac may have made practical sense, but could we reopen some smaller or more focused event (or multiple events) once more on the Village Green to draw foot traffic back to where it might do the downtown merchants more good?


BARTON HACKER:

What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Worthington Experience?

 My own Worthington Experience includes memories growing up in Worthington and now activities as a father raising my own son in Worthington. They include enjoying the bike path, having ice cream at Dairy Queen after a little league game, Friday night football, and our walking the dogs with my family catching up with neighbors. The Worthington Experience is rooted the concept that we are a walkable community — being able to walk to the Village Green for a concert, to the farmer’s market for groceries, or for dinner and ice cream.

 I recently asked a few friends about what their impressions of Worthington were. As a point of reference, one lived in New Albany, a second in Upper Arlington, and the third just outside of Dublin. All three provided the same response: federalist architecture, bunting, and the farmer’s market. Each gravitated toward Old Worthington as the focal point of our community, though they also identified the McConnel Arts Center and Thomas Worthington High School as visible points of interest. While their answers were partially tongue-in-cheek, they were nonetheless instructive, as they are consistent with the unique, historic New England image that Worthington has cultivated and what gives Worthington it’s charm and identity.

 What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

 Let’s get bold…

 I would like the Worthington Experience to feel more intimate.

I would expand the Worthington Experience north of SR161.

 The physical design of a city can influence one’s sense of enjoyment. For example, if High Street had a single lane of vehicular traffic in each direction, with a second lane for bikes only, the experience would be completely different than it is now. If we removed the on-street parking in favor of a wider pedestrian walkway, we could allocate the existing interior sidewalk area for increased outdoor dining. This would also provide additional space for pedestrian traffic during the Farmers Market.

 Extending events like Market Day or the Farmers Market to the Village Green might better incorporate the area of High Street between SR161 and North Street into the Old Worthington experience. It may encourage new businesses to open in Worthington, which would be an enhancement as more business means more people, and more people means more revenue for the city.

 If I was forced to settle for a small, incremental enhancement, I would advocate for the use of actual glassware instead of plastic cups, while dining outside. The later cheapens the experience.

What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

 Locally owned businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Without them, there is no Worthington Experience. So, while I certainly have my own vision for our community, my immediate priority is simply to ask each business owner, how can City Council help them to succeed?

 How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

 Worthington is one of the few suburban communities in Central Ohio that has been able to preserve and maintain an iconic historic district as the center of its community. Our historic district will always be the foundation of Worthington and of our identity as Worthingtonians. Yet I believe the preservation of our history often competes with our march into future. It does not have to, and our historic district businesses can help lead our evolution.

This starts by understanding that our community benefits most by having a strong and diverse economic core in Old Worthington that extends its influence outward to surrounding areas. Worthington must therefore leverage the historic district that we have worked so hard to preserve, to build a brave new future for our community where we do not fear modern additions to our historic charm. This is especially true for areas on the fringe of, or immediately outside our historic district.

 Such a non-binary approach - binary being the equivalent of the belief that “it’s my way or the highway” - preserves the importance of historic Old Worthington while opening the opportunity to develop the modern commercial and institutional needs of our community. This will never replace the core value proposition that Worthington is a charming and historical city, as I believe people prefer to picture themselves living around historic structures as they are reminders of our culture and complexity. In fact, quality of place is a key factor in where people choose to live, and businesses choose to open their doors. However, it will allow Worthington to be so much more than it is today and our historic district can be the catalyst for this to be successful.


SETH KRAUT:

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

The Worthington experience is a friendly, welcoming experience. The historic nature of the district combined with the sense of community gives Worthington a unique feel. The challenge is figuring out how to keep that feel while expanding businesses.

2. What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

As other areas of Worthington add commercial development, like the Worthington Gateway, UMCH, and other areas, they should each develop their own character. A shuttle could connect them to each other, though. This would make the complete Worthington experience more accessible, and make it a single unit for consumers.

3. What is a short term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

My short term priority would be to learn more about how the businesses in Worthington view the environment. I want to know what difficulties businesses are having, so that City Council can be part of the solution.

4. How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

Events have been very successful in bringing visitors into the historic district. The partnership has been very creative in running both regular and seasonal events that bring people into the area. We are probably reaching the limits of that strategy.

To me, the historic district is in better shape than some other areas. As we improve nearby areas of Worthington, the historic district will benefit. Additional businesses and residences will bring new customers to the historic district.


BONNIE MICHAEL:

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

The special sense of community that is felt at the Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays in Worthington and all the wonderful special events put on by the Worthington Partnership.  Worthington has a “welcoming to all” feeling that is naturally extended to residents and visitors of all ages.

2.      What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?  

Just as Dublin has the Irish Festival, Worthington could have a Song Writer’s Festival.  With the success of Songs at the Center & Natalie’s, Worthington is a prime location for such an event. It could begin small and grow over time - bringing in song writers from our region and later expanding to national talent.  While this festival idea has been discussed over the years, I would love to see a Worthington Song Writers Festival become a reality.  This could be an event to attract local and regional guests, be a destination event, and boost the Worthington business economy.

3.      What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience? 

 In order to have quality Worthington experiences, the City provides support to the Partnership and its programs.  The City also provides capital improvements to the downtown area such repairing the brick sidewalk pavers, putting in new LED street lighting and new charge stations.  To continue City program support and finance capital improvements, the City needs to ensure that there are sufficient funds to continue providing existing services and possibly expanding the city participation to new events.  

To accomplish the above, the City needs to do all it can to make Worthington as business friendly as possible.   Since over 70% of the City revenue is income tax, the City must retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, and/or grow existing businesses to continue the income tax funding needed for providing our outstanding city services to  residents and businesses.  Without sufficient funding, it is difficult to provide additional services to enhance the Worthington experience.

 4.      How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

 First, we need to continue to market the great events being held in the historic district, such as the Holiday Open House, Illuminated shopping, chocolate walk, craft crawl, Wednesdays in Worthington, Farmer’s market, picnic with the partnership etc. 

 Maybe we can expand some of the events that are uniquely Worthington, such as the Ghost Walks.  The flags on the Village Green in honor of Patriots Day, were so meaningful.  Perhaps we can find a way for the flags to be on the Village Green for several days and add programs that celebrate our veterans and first responders during those days.  It may be good to work with the schools so our youth will not forget Patriot’s Day.

 Many look at the Village Green as a place to celebrate.  And, there has been mention of a need for an all season events center in Worthington.  If the City got a liquor license for the Griswold Center, this could become our events center.  Its right on the Village Green, has parking and would not cause any traffic concerns.   Weddings, showers, reunions, family events, neighborhood functions and more could be held here at very little additional cost to the City.  Rental fees could be set to cover the cost of staffing, maintenance, set up and tear down.  


EDDIE PAULINE:

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

Vibrancy and inclusivity.  I believe a thriving vibrant city core radiates and influences prosperity throughout the entire city.  I will work closely with Old Worthington stakeholders to ensure we have a robust and thriving downtown environment that will draw in residents and visitors who will enhance economic activity. This vibrancy must be co-created by residents and city leaders to ensure our experience is welcoming and respectful.

2.  What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

 Thoughtfully connecting Old Worthington to North Worthington all the way up along High Street.  We could create one of Central Ohio’s most dynamic corridors of live, work, play environment.  This would make  current commercial properties much more attractive to companies who hire employees who are attracted to environments that are in close proximity to amenities.  This vision could also include options for senior and other age appropriate housing along the corridor.

 3.      What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

 Mobility. It is not easy for most of Worthington to get to downtown.  We have parking issues and we also have tremendous inconsistency in our bike path and sidewalk system, which ends up being a deterrent for many residents to visit downtown.  We need to make it as easy as possible to get to downtown so I fully support moving forward with our approved bike and pedestrian master plan, which addresses many of these issues.

 4.      How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

 We as a community must support existing signature businesses downtown and work towards the creation of more unique establishments that will draw people closer to our core.  This can be accomplished with creative incentives and creation and implementation of a thoughtful economic development plan.  Supporting more people living in downtown Worthington would also help support and encourage this vibrant culture.  I support  further empowering organizations like the Old Worthington Partnership to help guide us through this journey and help protect our unique character while continuing to evolve to accommodate today’s resident’s interests.


JENNIFER RHOADS:

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

 I grew up in Worthington and I chose to raise my family here. As a single mother with an autistic child, I love the culture of our community and the support fellow parents and neighbors provide each other. To me, the most important aspect of the Worthington experience is that are a community anchored by a town square—the Village Green—that dates back to the founding of the State of Ohio. 

For my entire life, this has been a community that has fostered a strong sense of belonging amongst residents.  It’s no secret that “belonging” is a basic psychological need.  We all need to feel physically and emotionally safe and we need to have supportive relationships.  Now, more than ever, we need to feel personally connected not just via text or email. And, we bond with people in places that help us satisfy our needs. Worthington has always been that place to my friends and family—my neighbors.

Worthington is the epitome of a strong community. At least it has been until recently. That’s because in order for residents to feel that sense of belonging, they also need to feel that they have a say in what happens to them.  The fact of the matter is that most Worthington residents today feel the opposite. The more I engage with residents, the more I hear about their viewpoints being disregarded by city leaders.  That’s a core reason I am running for city council.  The divisiveness in our community is tearing apart our sense of belonging to what is the greatest community in all of Central Ohio to live, work, and play. With new leadership on city council, we can return to that extra special community, anchored by the Village Green, that dates back to when the Buckeye State was founded. 

 2.  What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

A bold enhancement to Worthington’s experience would be to increase parking. Our Downtown district is home to exceptional retailers, and it’s home to an extraordinary Farmer’s Market and other top-notch events. We need to partner with local businesses to ensure that those coming to shop at their unique stores and/or dine in their delicious restaurants can park conveniently. We need to eliminate the barriers to entry that drive business away from downtown Worthington and prevent people from other Central Ohio communities from coming back to Worthington more often or at all. There are several ways in which we can improve our parking deficits and at the same time fuel traffic into downtown vendors’ establishments. 

  3.      What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

A short-term priority for me to enhance the Worthington experience would be to incorporate more public art into our community fabric. Art for all, and all for art.  Public art is another well-known way to bring people to a community. Public artwork engages people in conversation that can vary based upon  their historical understanding, cultural backgrounds, etc.  Public art can also drive an attachment to our city for those who are visiting while at the same time it can reinforce civic pride in our residents. Plus, public art can be a tool to drive growth and help our community thrive economically. A recent study revealed that seventy percent (70%) of Americans believe that the “arts improve the image and identity” of their community. Moreover, public art can enhance our residents’ sense of belonging. Public are can slow pedestrians down sufficiently in order to let them not only enjoy the piece, but to also experience all the other amenities that Worthington has to offer. 

 

4.      How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

Our historic district is what makes us who we are. It’s that quaint, safe, traditional feel about which most, if not all, residents remark. To me, the most important aspect of the Worthington experience is that we are a community anchored by a town square—the Village Green—that dates back to the founding of the State of Ohio.  That said, it is important that we do not lose sight of where we came from as we look forward.  When we contemplate the strategic direction of the city, we must take into account the future path of our historic district.  The historic district is too integral to who we are to do otherwise. 

I believe we can be long-term stewards of our heritage and historic building fabric while moving in a forward direction. I believe the historic district can, and will, evolve to serve the greater community.  I’ve watched the historic district evolve for decades. To the best I can recall the changes have always strengthened our historic district, with one exception—the loss of the Worthington Inn.   But, it is not up to me to determine in what ways the historic district should evolve to serve the greater community. Nor is it up to city council to unilaterally decide the answer for us.  Strategic conversations amongst local businesses, community leaders, residents, and others should already be taking place regularly to explore matters like these. In business, if you wait too long to look far enough ahead, you won’t be around for long because you will be too far behind the competition.  If conversations are not already underway about better serving the greater community and attracting visitors vis-à-vis the historic district, we need to get them started right away.

 


 MICHAEL TROPER:

What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience?

The most important aspect of the Old Worthington experience is the character and charm of Old Worthington. Whether you are coming to experience the 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 or the Pub Out Back, the quaintness and people make the Old Worthington experience warm and inviting.

What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Old Worthington experience?

I think that Experience Worthington should host an annual Community Health and Wellness event. The local restaurants could offer special vegan or gluten free items; the various wellness and fitness organizations in Central Ohio could promote their services. Worthington Parks and Recreation could promote the Bike and Pedestrian Master plan.

What is a short-term-priority for you related to the Old Worthington experience?

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.

How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

 The Old Worthington Partnership has done an amazing job creating events to attract visitors. The Picnic with the Partnership and First Wednesdays are two perfect examples of how this organization has been able to attract visitors to our historic district. The Worthington Farmers Market is one of the best in Central Ohio. I would like the market to expand with additional vendors to meet the ever-changing consumer tastes of Worthington and the surrounding community.


KAREN WILSON

What do you believe is the most important aspect of the Worthington experience?

I feel at the core of the Worthington experience is the age diversity of our residents. I love how I have grandparents, more recent empty-nesters, and families with new babies and kids all together on the same street. We all share similar values; we all moved here for a reason: we weren’t seeking a pretentious golf course community or far out ‘burb. We appreciate our history, architecture, and our quaint downtown. That unique New England village vibe is the reason people visit here, establish businesses here (large and small), or make their home here. Visually it is a quaint and welcoming oasis, it is family-friendly, with some nice shopping and dining options for adults, too. All of the Worthington Partnership events play on our strengths very well. The village vibe of our historic downtown and its events as they relate to the rich age diversity of our city is the most important aspect of the Worthington experience.

What do you envision as a bold enhancement to the Worthington experience?

A bold enhancement to the Worthington experience would be an expansion of visitor-, business-, and family-friendly sites beyond our current historic area. Everyone loves Worthington; basically we need more Worthington. I’d propose additional brick sidewalks, curved bench nooks and planters along High Street. (One good location might be as a replacement/improvement of the weedy front lawn in front of Kinkos/Ace Hardware next to Dairy Queen!)


Of course, the boldest of enhancements and expansion could involve the oh-so-contentious UMCH property. Sadly this might not have been so contentious had our city possessed the kind of strong leadership needed to own and articulate a holistic vision years ago. As I speak to residents, it is clear that filling up the property primarily with dense housing (as is currently proposed) is not the best way to enhance the Worthington experience. Rather, quality of life development in the form of restaurants and parkland, plus revenue-generating buildings and venues is preferred. If we had a clear vision, we as a community and the developers who wish to partner with us wouldn’t have to be in such contention over a single property. We’d be able to look at the big picture of our city and see we truly are a land of opportunity with room for ALL our needs—commercial, residential and quality of life properties—no need to argue over one single parcel.

What is a short-term priority for you related to the Worthington experience?

Money and Vision. Of course our city needs to ensure we continue to have revenue to help fund these enhancements. In the short-term, that means filling the Anthem building and continuing to focus on Wilson Bridge investment. This is already happening. The more urgent short-term priority directly addresses our city’s lack of leadership. In the last several years, it seems Worthington has been growing and developing without any real direction. It is vital that we establish a vision for what we (visitors, businesses, residents) want. As a marketing professional, we have valuable brand equity, yet we are not realizing our full potential. Residents constantly gripe: “If I see one more bank or pizza shop...” In order to get the kind of development I believe many of us want, it takes a proactive, rather than our current reactive, approach.

How can our historic district evolve to serve the greater community and attract visitors?

Our historic district has limitations mainly due to its small size, yet we have done such an excellent job creating events that are a good draw. I believe if we want to attract more visitors we need more to do and see in the form of more restaurants, kid-friendly spaces, and larger events. I continue to think of all the opportunities a large, open, green space could be for our city. It could be draw not only for the greater community and visitors, but a draw to business and residential developers as well: much in the way The Commons was for downtown Columbus. Once again, vision and leadership are required. When City Center was demolished, the resulting large expanse of green seemed ridiculous at the time. The idea was “if you build it, they will come;” it is an excellent success story. I see the UMCH property in a similar light: an opportunity to evolve our historic/business district in a way that can serve residents and attract visitors.


Annina Parini
12 Spots to Enjoy Cocktails in the City
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Whether it’s a special date, dinner with friends, or a relaxing night out, you’ll find plenty of options to sip cocktails in and around Worthington.

If you’re looking to imbibe one of the classics or taste a new creation, visit one of these 12 spots around the city! 

The Light of Seven Matchsticks & Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
5601 North High Street
Hidden underneath Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, The Light of Seven Matchsticks is a cozy and kitschy cocktail bar. Their experienced staff creates seasonal specials to go along with all the classics. Just head down the stairs, slip into the bar, and if you can’t find a seat, gather in the small waiting area and pass your order through the small door. Cocktail menus are printed inside the stacks of books sitting on your table; house creations are labeled with fun names like One to the Morgue, Breakfast Can Wait, and Fanfare for the Common Manhattan. They offer non-alcoholic options, too!

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Upstairs, Natalie’s offers a full cocktail menu that complements their crispy oven-fired pizzas, wings, arancini, and stellar line-up of live music. 

The Whitney House
666 High Street
Whether you’re enjoying a quiet dinner with friends, brunch with the family, or a casual happy hour, The Whitney House offers a creative selection of cocktails to go with your meal. Taste the light and refreshing Whitney Mimosa with sparkling wine and mango nectar, or the sweet and spicy Pillow Talk with tequila, mezcal, tarragon, strawberry, poblano, apricot, and Benedictine. The colorful Katie Has a Beet Tattoo mixes beet-infused gin, Averna, fresh strawberry, Peychaud’s, plum wine, and Grand Marnier. 

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The Half Pint
671 High Street
Although the Half Pint is known for their collection of 40 beers on draft, they offer a small cocktail menu to go with lunch, dinner, or brunch as well. Order up a classic like a white Russian or a Manhattan, or let the bartending crew get creative. Pro-tip: cocktails are $1 during happy hour, 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday! 

House Wine
644 High Street
House Wine is one of Worthington’s favorite destinations to taste wines by the ounce or by the glass, or to sample the dozen craft beers on tap. But they offer a small selection of cocktails as well, usually on Saturday mornings during the Worthington Farmers' Market! While you’re shopping the market, stop in for bubbly cocktails, mimosas, Bloody Marys, or an Aperol Spritz. 

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La Chatelaine
627 High Street
Belly up at the beautiful copper-topped bar at La Chatelaine to enjoy a cocktail or two. Try morning specialties like their mimosa, Bloody Mary, or the sweet and fruity La Chatelaine Martini. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m., when house cocktails are $5!

Everest Cuisine
652 High Street
While you feast on jhol momos, tandoori chicken, goat curry, vegetable biryani, and crispy naan, be sure to take advantage of Everest’s full bar!

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Random Precision Brewing
2365 W. Dublin-Granville Road
While Random Precision excels at house-brewed sour beers, they offer a small selection of barrel-aged cocktails for the non-beer-drinker. The menu rotates, but you’ll often find classics like the Manhattan, Negroni, mimosa, and El Capitán. 

Old Bag of Nails
663 High Street
Visit the cozy Old Bag of Nails for pints of beer and platters of fish and chips, and order up a cocktail or two while you hang out! Bonus: well liquor is $2 off during happy hour, 2-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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J. Liu Restaurant
6880 N. High Street
The elegant and spacious J. Liu serves up an enjoyable cocktail menu to go with lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. Try the Tomblin with Watershed Distillery’s Old Fashioned base, pomegranate liqueur, simple syrup, Woodford spiced cherry bitters, cherries, and orange zest. Not Your Granny’s Martini blends Watershed’s apple brandy with apple juice, simple syrup, and an apple slice! 

Cameron’s American Bistro
2185 W. Dublin-Granville Road
Cameron Mitchell’s first venture into the restaurant world just celebrated 30 years in business! The eatery has long been a destination for classic American fare like steaks, seafood, and pastas. Their cocktail program is strong, offering all the staples plus house creations like the Friend or Foyau? with Bulleit, Old Forester Rye, pomegranate, apricot, and Amaretto di Saronno, or the Red Whiskey with Jameson, Monterey Pinot Noir, passion fruit purée, agave nectar, and fresh lemon. 

Level One Bar + Arcade
130 Hutchinson Avenue
Kids of all ages love playing vintage arcade games at Level One! For the adults, they offer a healthy selection of craft beers, plus a cocktail menu with game-related names. Sip the Donkey Kong with banana liqueur and coconut rum mixed with Coke, or the bright blue Tron made with vodka, rum, gin, blue Curaçao, and a splash of sour and Sprite.

Nicholas Dekker
Market Day Is Here! See What's Happening and Learn Its History
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Market Day is upon us! The annual celebration of handicrafts, good food, and community fills up High Street on Saturday, September 28.The day’s festivities will see the street lined with tents and booths from more than 200 vendors. 

Produced by the Worthington Chamber of Commerce, Market Day has been held for over 50 years. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Chamber’s scholarship programs.

“Market Day hearkens back to the days when the farmers brought their crops to market,” says Kathryn Paugh, president and CEO of the Chamber. “It shows a shared love for conviviality, of people getting together downtown, bringing others to our downtown, showing off what we have – artistic talents, great food, all the things that make up a community.”

How Did Market Day Come About?

Curious about the history of Market Day? Thanks to the Worthington Historical Society for this timeline!

September, 1963: The Society holds the first Flea Market on the Village Green, "Olde World Market," sponsored by the Society study groups to support the restoration of Orange Johnson House. The opening of the market was signaled by ringing a cowbell at 9 a.m. Groups sold white elephants, fleas, antiques, baked goods, crafts.

1973: Friends of the Library began a book sale on the Village Green in front of the library in conjunction with the Flea Market; the title "Market Day" was first used in the newspaper to describe the event.

1974: Worthington Arts League set up artists on the sidewalks.

1975: Historical Society Flea Market expanded to two quadrants of the Village Green. Downtown merchants started hosting special events at their storefronts; High Street closed for the first time.

1977:  Worthington Community groups participating include Sertoma Club, Worthington Community Band, Worthington Songsters, Worthington Community Theater, Worthington Civic Ballet, Worthington Art League, Worthington Crafts Guild, Worthington Arts Council, Worthington Athletic Association, Worthington Lions, Worthington Jaycee, Old Worthington Association, Downtown Merchants

1984: More than 40 community groups participate with fundraisers and meet-and-greets

1986: Theme of the market was "183 Years of Going to Market," as the event is reminiscent of times when folks would come to town for food and supplies each week and socialize; 50 community groups participate

1987: Farmer's Market begins participating in conjunction with events. By this time, "Old Worthington Market Day Incorporated" is in charge of the event and is comprised of representatives from Downtown Merchant Association, City of Worthington, Worthington Arts Council, Worthington Chamber of Commerce, and Worthington Historical Society

Early 1990s: Chamber of Commerce takes over the event

What’s Happening in 2019?

Here are a few things to look forward to at the 2019 Market Day!

Loads of Handcrafted Goods

More than 200 booths will line High Street during Market Day. Look for products and crafts like:

  • Home décor like stamped books and memorable signs

  • Homemade soy candles, essential oils, body products

  • Fabric goods like bandanas, doll clothes, custom clothing

  • Jewelry, beach glass, metal-smithing, leather, wood crafts

  • Apparel for people, pets, and dolls

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Plenty to Eat

As usual, guests of Market Day will find plenty of good food throughout the neighborhood, including:

  • Cousins Maine Lobster parked in front of Worthington UMC

  • Momos from Everest Cuisine sold out front along High Street

  • Lemonade shakeups

  • Sweets like candies and chocolate-covered fruits

  • Plenty of street foods, from breakfast sandwiches to brats, prepared by local charitable organizations like the local Kiwanis club, veterans organizations, and Boy Scout troops

  • Restaurants in Old Worthington like La Chatelaine, the Whitney House, Everest, Old Bag of Nails, The Half Pint, House Wine

  • The DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) will be in effect, too, so guests can purchase drinks from participating establishments and bring them outside

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A Visit from the TWHS Marching Band

  • The Thomas Worthington High School marching band will perform on the northwest quadrant of the Village Green at noon!

Antique Sale on the Village Green

  • In tandem with Market Day, the Worthington Historical Society hosts an antique sale on the southeast quadrant of the Village Green

  • A variety of vendors will be selling antiques and collectibles throughout the day

  • The Shop at the Old Rectory will also have a booth set up on the Green, too

A Technology Fair with FCBank

  • In the parking lot at the northeast corner of New England and High Street, FCBank is hosting a Technology Fair

  • A collection of booths will showcase everything from 3D printers to robotics, plus virtual reality, digital caricatures, a selfie station, giveaways and prizes

Old Worthington Market Day

Saturday, September 28

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Free parking is available at Thomas Worthington High School. Shuttles for guests and vendors will run from the high school lot to the Griswold Center and the Worthington Inn from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit worthingtonchamber.org.

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Nicholas Dekker