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Attractions and Events

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Whether you want to “do it all” or simply relax, Worthington has something interesting to do for visitors to the community or residents enjoying the local flavor.

Exploring our History Because Worthington honors its past, the Worthington Historical Society maintains many historic attractions that are unique to Worthington and available to visitors. They include an historic residence built in 1811 with authentic furnishings, a home for the historical society featuring a doll museum and a prehistoric mound.

The Worthington Historical Society oversees the Old Rectory and Gift Shop and Doll Museum. The museum includes special exhibits, an extensive gift and exchange shop, and dolls and toys of the 19th century.

Orange Johnson House is the only pioneer home in Franklin County still standing on its original foundation. Featuring authentic furnishings from the period, the house attracts visitors of all ages who want to learn about Worthington’s origins.

Jeffers Mound, a large prehistoric mound, is a surviving portion of a Hopewell Indian earthwork.

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Rush Creek Village is inspired by the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Each house in the community is uniquely designed for the lifestyle of the homeowner, but also fits into an architecturally integrated pattern.

Celebrating the Arts A renovated, historical building, once the Worthington High School, celebrates the arts in Worthington. The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center (MAC) of Worthington, at 777 Evening St., is a nonprofit contemporary arts center that brings people together through experiences that spark learning and encourage creative conversation.

The MAC produces and presents a variety of more than 80 professional performances in the 213-seat theatre. A dozen art exhibitions are held annually, and the MAC also presents artist lectures, literary presentations, and film and cultural discussions. Residents can explore their own creative talents by taking advantage of quality instruction in dance and a variety of artistic media. Visitors can explore the ever-changing art in the 20,000-square-foot facility. Admission is free! The center is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.mcconnellarts.org.

Other Attractions Other attractions of interest to visitors include the American Whistle Corporation on Huntley Road. Ever wonder how the ball gets inside the whistle? Plan a tour; it’s the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States. Learn more at www.americanwhistle.com.

The Ohio Railway Museum attracts train enthusiasts. One of the oldest railway museums in America, the museum is designed to educate through displays and demonstrations, including a two-mile round trip on one of the museum’s streetcars or interurbans. More details available at www.ohiorailwaymuseum.net.

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You won’t have to go far outside Worthington’s city limits to find many other types of visitor attractions. Worthington is within a short drive of a number of amenities in the region, including the award-winning Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and major league sports venues. Arrange to take a tour of the Statehouse to see the beautifully restored rotunda, check out the botanical delights at Franklin Park Conservatory, or bone up on Ohio history at the Ohio Historical Museum. Head back to Worthington for an overnight stay at one of many Chamber-member hotels, to be found in the Hotels category within this guide.

Community Events and Festivals Community events and festivals draw residents together to celebrate traditions and attract visitors to Worthington year-round.

Downtown Events Nothing captures the spirit of old and new Worthington traditions quite like Old Worthington Market Day, the day-long festival presented each September by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. The event offers something for nearly every taste and interest, as visitors and residents are drawn to downtown streets for a colorful array of arts and crafts, food and farm vendors, community group fundraisers and family fun.

Each Market Day, more than 20,000 visitors and nearly 300 vendors fill downtown streets from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., rain or shine. Visitors can find many of their favorite artists, crafts vendors, nonprofit groups and activities stretched along High Street (US 23), from SR 161 south to South Street, and on the Village Green. Market Day vendor booths feature artisan-crafted goods ranging from jewelry, garden art, pottery and ceramics to paintings, decorative clothing, unique wooden crafts and many decorative recycled items.

Other attractions on Market Day range from book browsing at the annual sale conducted by the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries, to antique hunting at Worthington Historical Society’s flea market, to children’s activities and musical entertainment on the Village Green. For more information about the event, call the Chamber office at (614) 888-3040 or visit the calendar of events at www.worthingtonchamber.org.

The Olde Worthington Business Association works to heighten awareness of the city’s historic business district. The organization hosts several events throughout the year in downtown Worthington, including:

• Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings From May through October, shop the Farmers Market downtown from 8 a.m. to noon. From November through April, you’ll find the market at The Shops at Worthington Place from 9 a.m. to noon. (See “Shopping” for more details.)

• Plant Fest Shop for heritage flowers, herbs and vegetable plants on the Saturday before Mother’s Day in May on the Village Green.

• Art Festival Find art on the Green on the third weekend each June from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. This juried show features more than 150 select artists and fine craftsmen exhibiting sculptures, ceramics, oils, watercolors, furniture, jewelry, fiber, glass, photography and mixed media in applied and fine arts.

• Treasures on the Green Hunt for recycled and repurposed bargains on the third Saturday each July from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Village Green.

• Fall Festival Celebrate the season on the second Saturday in October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy family activities, food and fun.

• Holiday Open House Kick off the holiday season with an event for the whole family, including Santa photos, carriage rides, entertainment and holiday shopping opportunities. Holiday Open House is on the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day from noon to 5:30 p.m.

• Illuminating Shopping Worthington dresses up for the holidays with a display of lights and luminaries at Illuminating Shopping, designed for holiday and seasonal shopping. Retail businesses are open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; entertainment and refreshments are available.

Worthington Organized Off-leash Friends (WOOF) sponsor an annual Fido Fest, including a Pooch Parade, for pet owners. For more information, visit: http://worthingtondogpark.com/fido-fest-0.

Other Chamber Events In addition to Market Day, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce presents several other events that are of interest and value to community residents, as well as Chamber members.

A Taste of Worthington is an outdoor, food-sampling festival with a block-party atmosphere, typically held on the third Friday in July from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event promotes area restaurants, caterers and others in the food industry who provide appetizers, entrées and desserts at the event. As many as 5,000 people have attended the event. Entertainment includes live music, a caricature artist, a bounce house and other activities for children, and cornhole competitions. There is a $2 admission fee, and attendees purchase their own food selections, priced from $1 - $7. They then vote on their favorite appetizers, entrées and desserts in a friendly People’s Choice competition.

Reds, Whites & Desserts is the Chamber’s largest networking event of the year, an elegant evening of wine and dessert tasting and silent auctions that began in 1998. Attendance ranges from 300 to 350 persons. The event offers wine tasting and advice from wine experts; coffees and dessert samples; a sumptuous display of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres; desserts for auction; and dozens of auction packages featuring travel, food, wine, fashion, sports, family fun and other themes. The event is held annually on a Friday in April or May.

The annual Groundhog Day Forecast Breakfast is a Chamber and community tradition and the highest attended early-morning event in the community. Held on Groundhog Day or the closest business day, the breakfast event features local leaders from city government, schools and libraries who summarize the highlights of the past year and discuss plans and issues affecting these public institutions and the potential impact on area businesses in the coming year. Keynote speakers address topics of concern to local business owners and residents, including economic development, transportation and other issues affecting economic vitality and quality of life.

Golfers from throughout the community are invited to participate in the Chamber’s annual Golf Outing, recognized as one of the best outings of its kind in central Ohio. The event is a great way to build relationships with a customer or client, reward a dedicated employee, or treat yourself to a day of golf while networking with other Chamber members. The event is held in September and alternates yearly between York Golf Club and Worthington Hills Golf and Country Club. The event, with a scramble format, includes 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch, picnic dinner and assorted beverages. Prizes are awarded to the top finishing teams, and golfers have a chance to win additional prizes through a door prize drawing and skill holes on the course. Hole-in-one contests offer exciting prizes, including cash, airline tickets, electronics and golf equipment.

Chamber members and the public are invited to participate in a Community Shred Day each April in the parking lot at the rear of The Shops at Worthington Place. Clear out old tax files, protect yourself against identify theft, help the environment and support Chamber-sponsored scholarships when you participate by dropping off sensitive documents and electronic devices. Experienced professionals shred the documents on-site at a mobile shred truck, for your immediate inspection. As a “cost” for the service, donations are accepted for Chamber-sponsored scholarships.

To learn more about Chamber-sponsored community events, call (614) 888-3040.

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