COVID caused the cancellation of all of our events in 2020, but we are excited to announce that the events are returning in 2021!
Save the dates and click on the links below to learn more about these upcoming events in 2021! We will update this post as more event details become available.
Rock the Monument Four Miler - Friday, June 11, 2021
Art Affair on the Square - Saturday, September 11, 2021
Simon Kenton Chili Cook-off - Saturday, September 25, 2021
Holiday Horse Parade - Friday, November 26, 2021
And Save the Dates for these 2021 Downtown Urbana Shopping Events!
Plans set for the fall
If you like to cook and have a killer chili recipe, don’t miss this opportunity to win the grand prize of $1,000. Additional winners will pocket $500, $300, $200 or $100 as runner-up. The discounted entry fee of $25 expires Sept. 10. Entries received after that date will be $50. Entries are limited to the first 50 teams (a team is limited to 4 members) and everyone must submit a written application. Applications to enter the competition are available online at www.chilicookoffofurbana.com.
Take advantage of the early discount and shake out those aprons, get out those pots and pans and create the best chili in Champaign County!
The festival is sponsored by the Monument Square District and is held in conjunction with the Hoopla Parade featuring the Dayton Antioch Shriners and their miniature vehicles. Applications for the parade are available on the Festival website and 4-H groups, ball teams, scouts, church groups and area bands are invited to join the fun.
“This is truly a family affair – something for everyone,” said Chairman Bean. “ To ensure a safe environment, we will adhere to all COVID protocols in place at the time of the event.
To reserve a ride, click here. Rides will depart at 1:00 and 5:30 pm. Rides are weather dependent and due to COVID restrictions, the number of seats is limited. The airport ramp will be open from 9-6 with the plane arriving about 9:30 am. Entrance to the ramp is free (donations accepted ) and a tour of the plane is only $10.00. Don’t miss this chance to experience a piece of history!
When: Friday, June 11th at 7pm.
Packet Pick begins at 5:30pm, Rain or Shine, at the Upper Shelter house above the Adult Softball Fields.
Course is stroller and dog friendly (on a leash).
Where: Melvin Miller Park 731 Children's Home Rd., Urbana, OH 43078.
$25 Pre-register before June 1, 2021 - includes entry and t-shirt.
$25 Registration after June 1, 2021 - includes entry, but no t-shirt.
$30 Day of Race Registration - includes entry, but no t-shirt.
Groups of 6 or more? Team leader, call 937.215.7416 to be given a discount code ($20 per participant).
Click here to register online!
A goody bag will be given to all participants at check-in, which will include water and nutritional snacks.
Awards will be given out at 8:00 p.m. for top runners. The top overall male and female runners, along with 2nd - 4th place finishers, will receive a special recognition award.
All proceeds benefit our mission: to champion the vital downtown business district.
Monument Square District is a not for profit organization and any donation is tax deductible.
The family event will include the balloons, music, food trucks, contests, children’s activities and, for adults, a dedicated beer garden. Attendees can also enjoy dinner on the patio of the Airport Café and delve into a piece of “airport pie.”
Balloons will launch at 6 p.m. and glow at 8:30 p.m. weather permitting. Activities are still being scheduled and a complete event calendar will be available at a later date.
Vendors should register by Aug. 13 to receive a discount rate and to secure a position as space is limited. Registration forms are available online at www.balloonfestohio.com.
To ensure a safe event, the committee will adhere to all COVID-19 protocols as dictated by the Ohio Department of Health.
“The committee invites everyone to ‘Save the Date’ for an evening of fun and a spectacular display of light and color,” said Elton Cultice, committee chairman.
Travel a few minutes south and you will find one of Champaign County’s newest and most loved businesses, Dragonfly Vineyard and Wine Cellar. Visit this 4-acre vineyard in the Mad River Valley that produces its wine in its own onsite wine cellar from grapes that originate from its own estate vineyard as well as local and national vineyards. In the colder months a fireplace keeps you warm and cozy and in the warmer months sit among the vines and enjoy the view or call ahead/pre-order online for curbside pickup. Make sure you sample their award-winning Estate Cabernet Franc that recently received an honor from the Ohio Wine Producers Association.
Jump back on Highway 68 and head down the road to the largest indoor fish hatchery and the largest producer of fresh trout products in Ohio. At Freshwater Farms of Ohio, their well-known retail store is bursting at the seams with gifts, local foods, and local wine. Ask about their popular smoked trout spreads and take home a bottle of wine that pairs wonderfully with the assortment of Ohio cheeses that are also available. Freshwater Farms of Ohio is passionate about supporting local food and products. An online store and curbside pickup is available.
The next stop on the Wine Trail takes you to the heart of Champaign County in historic downtown Urbana. At Cafe Paradiso, you will find a little piece of Tuscany with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Sip on a glass of vino while you enjoy a plate of freshly prepared Italian food. Cafe Paradiso offers complete lunch, dinner, and wine menus where you will find a flavor for any occasion. They also offer a dine at home option if that is your preference.
While in historic downtown Urbana and the larger Monument Square District, venture to Teabaggers on North Main Street for a lunch stop or to shop their extensive selection of coffees and teas or to enjoy a beverage from the espresso bar. Enjoy a salad, a panini, a specialty or classic sandwich, a cup or bowl of homemade soup, a pastry, or the cheesecake of the day. While enjoying your meal, share a bottle of wine or enjoy your own glass of fine wine from their varied selection.
The remaining two stops on the Champaign County Wine Trail take you to the eastern part of the county to the village of Mechanicsburg. Mixx 165 is a hidden gem that offers an extensive lunch and dinner menu. In addition, Mixx 165 is focused on craft beer selections with new selections being offered weekly on rotating taps, including a strong focus on Ohio craft beer. In addition to the craft beers on tap, an extensive wine collection is available, including many Ohio wines. Consider going on “Wine Wednesday” where select bottles of wine are half off.
As you head into the countryside you will be greeted with more beautiful views and winding country roads that lead you to Folck Winery. Here, micro-wines are made from hand-picked berries grown on their small, family farm. Choose from a variety of strawberry, red raspberry and blackberry wine as well as artisan jam and honey that are also available. At Folck Winery, the tasting room is available by appointment and curbside pickup is available by calling the winery.
For more information about the Champaign County Wine Trail and other ideas for exploring Champaign County contact the Visitors Bureau at 937-653-5764 or go to visitchampaigncounty.com. When visiting, explore our other tourist trails and enjoy an overnight stay at one of our local lodging establishments.
By Chelsea Bray-Elle A. Design
Five Reasons to Move to a Small Town
If you have been thinking about making the move to a small town for a while, here are five more reasons that will make you want to take the leap. Often the charm of a small town is the more relaxed way of life and having more space of your own to enjoy. There are so many more benefits to living in a smaller community that you might not know about!
1. Lower Cost of Living
This is a pretty common reason to want to live in a smaller town but often when we think of cost of living, we focus on housing. Many times, everything from gas prices to grocery prices will be cheaper in a small town so your money will go a lot further. You will save money and have more room to live when you move to a small town.
2. Community Appeal
Getting to know your neighbors, sitting on your front porch, and waving to strangers may seem like things from a movie but they are things that actually happen in a small town. It is easy to build connections and relationships with people and become a part of the community. You will get to know the people you interact with every day and they will get to know you too.
3. Less Competition for Small Business Owners
If you are moving to a smaller town to start a business, this could mean less competition for you! Trading the constant traffic for a very loyal customer base could mean more success for your business. There is also a chance that the business you want to open doesn’t even exist in that town and there may be a need for it that you can fill.
4. Shorter Commutes and Less Traffic
If you are tired of spending hours a day in your car, moving to a small town could be the change you need. Rush hour isn’t going to hold you up from getting home and spending time with your family. Plus, your overall commute will most likely be shorter, giving you more time to sleep in or spending time doing things you want to do.
5. Smaller Schools and Churches
When you live in a small town, the people in your community become an extension of your family. Knowing everyone you go to church with makes the experience more valuable and everyone takes care of each other. Kids that go to smaller schools have smaller class sizes and really get to know their teachers. Their teachers are people known in the community and take pride in helping each student grow.
Whether you are looking for a place to retire, raise a family, or just a place to slow down, a small town may be for you. Take some time to visit some small towns to see what your life could be like. For more info on visiting the small towns that make up Champaign County, and finding one that might be perfect for you, click here.
By Chelsea Bray - Elle A. Design
Spooky season is upon us! Our friends over at the Champaign County Preservation Alliance are bringing back their Cemetery Tour at Oak Dale Cemetery. Local historian, John Bry, will be leading the tour that winds through the oldest parts of the cemetery. Oak Dale was established in 1856 on just a mere 25 acres and today sits on 60 acres of land. You never know what is waiting for you to discover or what may be revealed about Champaign County’s history.
The tour will be held on October 23rd and 24th with four tours each day. The tour takes around 45 minutes and is a walking tour through the natural terrain of the cemetery. Comfortable shoes should be worn and depending on your tour time, you might need to bring a flashlight. Tours will be scheduled at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00pm.
Although the tour is in a cemetery, this is a family friendly event. The real history of Champaign County is highlighted as you visit some of Urbana’s past residents’ final resting places. Pets are not permitted to attend. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/cemetery-tour.html or at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce during their office hours. Adult tickets are $10, children age 6-12 are $5 and children under 6 may attend for free.
If you love history, spooky season, and all things hauntingly fun be sure to check this tour out. The CCPA works hard to educate the public about historic preservation and why it is important. They also want to help highlight the county’s unique historical heritage. You can learn more about what they do at https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/ and can even become a member to help support their cause.
GENERAL INFORMATION: There is free parking available at the city park (Melvin Miller Park) adjacent to the Museum grounds. In addition to numerous food vendors serving a diverse variety of food and a beer tent, there will be over 60 craft vendors selling a variety of goods. Patrons can browse and buy from original fine and functional arts, hand-made seasonal and holiday decorations, home and garden accessories, pottery, wood, glass, paper, and fabric crafts, knitted, sewn, and crocheted items and original designs in pet wear, handbags, totes, and jewelry. They can also take time to browse the Museum which will be open during the event. Oktoberfest-themed music will be provided by DJ Rich Ebert.
PRECAUTIONS: Due to Ohio State Governmental restrictions regarding COVID-19, specific restrictions and suggestions will be followed. General admission is open to both the outside grounds and inside the Museum. Masks/facial coverings are required for inside the Museum and masks/facial coverings are only encouraged on the outside grounds where social distancing can be achieved.
The Champaign County Historical Society and Museum is wholly supported by membership fees, donations, and proceeds from our fundraisers.
Submitted by Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Fall is in the air and there is nothing better than cozying up with a warm cup of coffee in the morning or for an afternoon pick-me-up at a local coffee shop. Champaign County makes a great destination to experience unique, locally owned coffee shops and a well-known coffee roastery.
We invite you to start your experience on the east side of the county in the Village of Mechanicsburg, just 30 miles from Columbus. Here you will find Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, founded 15 years ago with a mission to transform coffee communities through business. Owners Paul and Grace Kurtz have seen lives transformed, communities lifted out of poverty, pastors funded, debts paid in full, and relationships of mutual trust and respect established. Not bad for a cup of coffee! They shake the hand of the coffee farmer and in turn deliver a delicious product that you can feel good about. Be sure to ask about their newest product, craft chocolate!
Just up the street from Hemisphere you will find Simple Comforts, a coffee cafe and bakery where you can also purchase artisan produced crafts and fresh farmers’ market items. Owners, Mervin and Tammy Miller love their town and it shows! They worked diligently to restore the historic building and brighten the center of Mechanicsburg with their mission to create a place for people to gather who need hope, inspiration and rest.
Head to the county seat of Urbana to find the remaining stops on the Coffee Trail, all located in or near the town’s epicenter. First you will find a pretty in pink bakery, Let's Eat Cake, a “cupcake boutique” specializing in cakes, cookies and brownies. Owner, Tina Knotts, will tell you that nothing pairs better with dessert than a cup of freshly brewed Hemisphere Coffee that Let’s Eat Cake serves fresh daily.
Just north of the roundabout you will find Teabaggers Coffee, Tea, & Wine Cafe. This locally-owned cafe offers handcrafted sandwiches, soups and salads accompanied by a full coffee and wine bar. Owners and “coffee designers”, Grant and Demora Holcomb are passionate about delivering a quality product and will personally mix flavors to create a specific coffee taste for each customer.
Take a short walk down the street and you will find one of Urbana’s newest businesses, Downtown Nutrition. Here you will experience good vibes and healthy options including energizing teas, healthy meal shakes, and high protein coffee drinks. Owners, Sammie and Michael Ropp have designed a beautiful and inspiring space where you won’t feel guilty about your menu choice. A high protein iced coffee contains only ten calories and two grams of sugar.
Next, travel a couple minutes north to The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse for caffeinated drinks and delicious desserts that are flavored by three special ingredients: product quality, spirit of service, and life of opportunity. Owner, Bobbi McKee, was inspired by her brothers, Eric and Levi, both born with Down’s Syndrome and her love of coffee to provide an open atmosphere and a workplace opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. As a result, you will receive a delicious, quality product served with a healthy dose of positivity!
The last stop on the Champaign County Coffee Trail is a restored 150-year-old train depot and the home of The Depot Coffeehouse. Here owners, Susan and Dave Oelker have created a place for community, conversation and coffee frequently hosting local businesses, government organizations and civic groups, as well as featuring the work of local artists and musical guests. The Depot also had a dog-friendly patio, and is located on the Simon Kenton Bike Path allowing for easy access and outdoor dining.
For more information about the Champaign County Coffee Trail and other ideas for exploring Champaign County contact the Visitors Bureau at 937-653-5764 or go to visitchampaigncounty.com.