419 Day events celebrate ToledoWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | email@example.com
There are a lot of reasons residents call Toledo home: like family, work, low cost of living and the convenience of a mid-sized city in close proximity to larger metropolitan areas.
Pride seems to be moving up the list, as shown by Toledo-centered events like 419 Day, which celebrates the vitality of the 419 area code on April 19 (4/19).
This year marks the fourth year the day is being celebrated.
Centered in the Downtown and UpTown neighborhoods, 419 Day celebrates Toledo and Northwest Ohio.
The two cornerstones of this year’s day are Artomatic 419! and Maker’s Mart. Artomatic 419! is a three-weekend celebration of arts that began April 11. The event is hosted at One Lake Erie Center, 600 Jefferson Ave., and runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. April 18 and 25. To coincide with 419 Day, Artomatic 419! is also open noon to 5 p.m. April 19.
Maker’s Mart is an indie art and craft fair presented and hosted by Handmade Toledo at 1717 Adams St. The juried fair features handmade goods, including bath products, clothing, jewelry, home goods and paper products.
Maker’s Mart, which began in 2012, is typically a one-day event, but is also being extended for 419 Day. It runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 18 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 19.
Maker’s Mart will feature goods from about 80 vendors in addition to the regular inventory at the adjoining Handmade Toledo’s Maker Shoppe, according to Jessica Crossfield, owner of Handmade Toledo.
The family-friendly event will also feature food trucks, doughnuts from the new company Holey Toledough, as well as coffee from Bleak House Coffee.
Crossfield said Maker’s Mart is an ideal event for 419 Day, and it made sense to extend the event to help celebrate Toledo.
“I think it gets people excited about Toledo — excited about where they live,” she said. “[People] want to do things, and they want to celebrate a little bit by doing more Toledo-y things.”
John Amato will also celebrate Toledo — not that it’s a new thing for him.
His company, Jupmode, a screen-printing business based in Perrysburg originating in 2007, has made its mark on the local clothing scene with its line of T-shirts and sweatshirts, many of which celebrate Toledo pride in some fashion.
Jupmode will be involved with both Artomatic 419! and Maker’s Mart, where it will allow people to make their own “You Will Do Better in Toledo” postcards.
“I think that 419 Day is really what we’re all about, and that’s promoting pride in Toledo,” Amato said. “It’s a somewhat random, fun day where people say, ‘Hey, let’s celebrate Toledo and let’s do something a little bit out of the ordinary to do that.’”
Jupmode will offer 25 percent off its three shirt designs featuring 419 on them (T-shirts will be $15 and sweatshirts $30) through the weekend.
Amato said 419 Day has already evolved and grown since it began, and he sees many signs that Toledo pride is on the rise.
“I absolutely think it’s trending upward,” he said. “There’s evidence of it in a lot of ways. We’re seeing a lot of individuals and organizations move into city limits and back into the Downtown area, in UpTown, in the Warehouse District, in the central business district. … You see a migration back into the city. We have great minor league sports teams that generate a lot of pride in the city. We have a great museum and a great zoo that people recognize as things that are fun to do at any age.”
Amato’s belief in rising Toledo pride is reflected in the number of Toledo-based shirts his company has sold.
“I think a strong indication that city pride is alive and well would be the number of people that want to use the slogan “You Will Do Better in Toledo” on it,” he said. “We print that slogan in different variations for quite a few people. For Restaurant Week, we had ‘You will eat better in Toledo.’ We’ve done ‘You will drink better in Toledo.’ The key to that slogan is the word ‘Toledo.’ People wouldn’t use that slogan if they weren’t proud of where they were, because it identifies with one thing, and that’s Toledo.
“I think you’re seeing a complete renaissance in the city,” Amato said. “I think there’s a ton of opportunity in Toledo. I certainly think our business is proud to be a part of that.”
Jeff Jones has done his part through social media to help those in the 419 area code show their pride in their city and region.
Jones, who has his own photography business, Snap It Photography, is the founder of IGers_Toledo, an Instagram group that has about 4,500 followers. Brandt Chapman is co-founder of the group that started in 2013.
Nearly 20,000 photographs on Instagram have used the #IGers_Toledo hashtag for images “highlighting Toledo’s beauty, one moment at a time,” according to the group’s page.
The group recently held a meet-up that attracted about 90 people from throughout the Midwest.
Attendees shot photographs at numerous places throughout Toledo and the region.
Jones and Chapman are participating in Artomatic 419! and also have an area set up for Instagram users. Ben Morales, a frequent contributor to and supporter of IGers_Toledo, is putting together a group meet-up for 419 Day.
Jones encourages Toledoans to become tourists of their own city. 419 Day is a good reminder of that, he said.
“It’s a day that celebrates our city,” he said. “I feel like there’s a lot of good things in our city but people just have to open their eyes up. … Turn yourself into a tourist. You’ll go to another city and you’re amazed by so many things, but you forget about what’s surrounding you. We encourage people to turn themselves into a tourist for a day and they’ll rediscover the things that are near and cool and fun to go to.
“Our focus with IGers_Toledo is to promote our city, promote the good things, the local things we love,” Jones said. He said he’s also getting ready to launch a website to help accomplish that goal.
Other 419 Day events include:
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: BrunchOmatic 419!, featuring an omelette, mimosa and bloody mary bar at Artomatic 419! Tickets are $30, include a $10 voucher toward the purchase of artwork at the show and must be purchased in advance. A cash bar will be provided by Village on Adams and Bicycle Wheel Expo silent auction curated by Dustin Hostetler. Call The Arts Commission at (419) 254-2787, ext. 15, to find out if tickets are still available.
- Noon: IGers_Toledo meet-up at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion courtyard. From 1-3 p.m., the group plans to explore Downtown sites, and possibly conduct a rooftop photography session at 3 p.m.
- Noon and 3 p.m.: P. Marie Talent Management presents “419 Summer Dreams,” a kids’ and teens’ fashion show and mini expo at the Toledo Zoo, featuring a runway show, talent contest, vendor tables, raffles and prizes. Mini expo doors open at 11 a.m., with shows at noon and 3 p.m.
- 3 p.m.: Opening of Corporal Klinger Sportsball Complex at the intersection of Adams and 13th streets. The complex is the first of a series of parks to be opened on Adams Street and will feature a 60-foot oyster-shell sand bocce court, a five-on-five soccer/flag football field and planted seats planted with herbs and edibles provided by Toledo Botanical Garden and the Collingwood Garden.
- 9 p.m.: 419 Day wrap-up party at Wesley’s, The Attic on Adams and The Ottawa Tavern.
For more information, visit the 419 Day Facebook page.
1) Christ the King Church (photo by Laura Menard)
2) Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve (photo by @littlecoal)
3) University Hall bell tower at University of Toledo (photo by @dkwap21)
4) Bridge over Portage River in Pemberville (photo by @emilyafgordon)
5) Statue along riverfront at Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo (photo by @greynavy)
6) Mural near Junction and Belmont avenues (photo by @hobbes2485)
7) Toledo-Lucas County Main Library (photo by @toledotom)
8) Bridge in Grand Rapids, Ohio (photo by @ethan23brown)
9) Veterans’ Glass City Skyway (photo by @exploringnwo)
10) Owens Corning lobby (photo by Toledo Free Press)
11) Staircase at Standart Lofts (photo by Rajiv Bahl)
12) Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay (photo by Toledo Free Press)
13) Mural at Veritas Cork & Craft (photo by @tenjake)
14) Toledo Amtrak station (photo by @littlecoal)
15) Mural on Collingwood Avenue at Black Kite Coffee (photo by @coreywhodgson)
16) Toledo Museum of Art (photo by @mpollzzie)
17) Art Tatum Celebration Column, Downtown Toledo near Huntington Center (photo by @lrosen1234)
18) “The Spot” at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark (photo by Zak Kolhoff)
19) The Historic Church of St. Patrick (photo by @benmorales)