June is coming, which means it’s time for summer and the 43rd Annual Historic Old West End (OWE) Festival, set for June 7 and 8.
“The people that live in the neighborhood and the people who enjoy the Old West End Festival see it as a kick off to summer. You get a week or so after Memorial Day and here it is,” said Josh Thurston, OWE Festival Committee member and OWE resident.
This year’s festival — one of the city’s iconic summer events — is expected to be just as grand as years’ past.
“We have stuff for the whole family. … [We have] five Historic homes and mansion tours, an art fair on the grounds of the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, wonderful food, beer garden and lots of entertainment, garage and yard sales and children’s activities available throughout the weekend,” Thurston said.
People eager to partake in the festivities can visit the beer and entertainment garden from 6-11 p.m. June 6 at the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum at the corner of Delaware and Robinwood avenues.
The official kickoff to the festival is the King Wamba Carnival Parade at 10 a.m. June 7.
The tradition of the King Wamba parade started 105 years ago so local dignitaries could welcome guests from sister city Toledo, Spain, Thurston said. It was dropped at some point and then picked up again in the late 2000s, he said.
The parade’s grand marshals will be the firefighters of Toledo Fire and Rescue Station No. 17.
“Every year we try to highlight someone within the community that we feel embodies the neighborhood and our festival and this year we really wanted to recognize our firefighters,” Thurston said. “This year was very important to recognize the work that they do in our neighborhood.”
People from around the Midwest came to Toledo to create the art cars and floats for the King Wamba parade, which will be made up of about 100 participants and musical groups, including the Scott High School’s marching band, Thurston said.
A coronation ceremony in front of the Historic Mansion View Inn on Collingwood Boulevard will crown this year’s Wamba King and Queen Sancha, Dave and Lynne LaPlante, longtime OWE residents and community volunteers.
The “jewel in the crown” of the Old West End Festival is the house tours available 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7-8. Thurston said people are lined down the block to get into the tour, which is by far the most popular of the many events.
“Each year the festival’s ‘House Tours Chairperson’ selects a grouping of homes to open to the public,” according to the festival’s website. “Homeowners graciously throw open their doors for Saturday and Sunday to share the unique architecture and history that make up our Historic District.”
The five homes that will be on the tour this year are: the George Allen-Deb and Todd Kienzle home, 2238 Scottwood Ave., built in 1892; the Edward and Florence Scott Libbey home, 2008 Scottwood Ave., built in 1895; the Helen Doyle Pratt-Joyce Lockford home, 2515 Glenwood Ave., built in 1907; the George Williams-Jane and Dave Petitjean home, 2532 Glenwood Ave., built in 1914; and the Reynolds Secor home-Mansion View Inn, 2035 Collingwood Blvd, built in 1887.
Tickets to the house tour are $15 per person or $25 per couple. If purchased in advance, the cost is $10 per person and $5 for a single house tour. Children 12 years old and younger get in free. To purchase a ticket for $10 at the door, bring five canned good items to donate at the information booths. The canned goods will benefit St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
Located near the Toledo of Museum of Art Glass Pavilion will be the art fair, happening 11 a.m to 5 p.m. June 7-8.
Forty-five artists from Toledo as well as six surrounding states will have their wares on display and for sale, organizers said. Some artists are coming from as far away as Florida and Pennsylvania.
The artists needed to meet a certain criteria to be selected by a jury in order to participate in the fair, said Art Fair Chair Tara Hubbard.
“It’s a juried process,” said Hubbard, who is also a fine artist. “The artist needs to apply and then send in images of their work and it’s sent before a jury.”
Hubbard moved the art fair to the Toledo Museum of Art five years ago.
“It brings everything together and gives it a more beautiful setting,” she said, “Artists love it as well because it’s on the grass and under the trees which gives it a nice artsy feel and it’s more professional.”
Festival goers who work up an appetite walking or shopping can chow down on fair-style food, including BBQ, gyros, pizza, funnel cakes, smoothies, fries, ice cream, hot dogs and more. The food vendors will be parked at the art fair and the arboretum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For those who want a cold brew, a beer garden will be held at the Arboretum along with entertainment. The beer garden is open noon to 10 p.m. June 7 and noon to 5 p.m. June 8. Maumee Bay Brewing Company will provide the beer.
Three entertainment stages will be set up around the festival at the arboretum with musical acts beginning at 7 p.m. June 6, the Art Fair Stage at Parkwood Avenue at Woodruff Avenue and the Commons Park Stage on Bancroft Street at Robinwood Avenue.
Musical acts are local and from outside the city, including Ann Arbor and Detroit. Styles range from psychedelic garage rock to acoustic rock to jazz. For a complete listing of acts, times and stages, go to www.toledooldwestend.com/owe-festival.
On June 7, an antique car show will happen under the shaded trees of Toledo Spain Park in front of the Park Lane Luxury Apartments, 142 23rd St. Scott High School, 2400 Collingwood Blvd., will host a Community Bash event on its front lawn from 11a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 7.
On June 8, the Old West End 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by the Old West End Festival, will take participants through the neighborhood as musicians play along the route. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the event starts at 9 a.m. on Jefferson Street near Monroe Street.
Organizing all the OWE festival events, activities and entertainments requires dozens of volunteers and so many hours of preparation that Thurston was reluctant to put a number on it.
“There’s so many people who have been involved in the festival. Everyone’s got their own thing they are in charge of,” Thurston said. “We have dozens of committees. We started having monthly meetings in the winter and they go up to a week before when it’s all hands on deck. It just all falls into place but it’s a lot (of work).
“It’s a lot of work but it seems like it all comes together because we have a real core of 20 to 30 people who put a lot of time into their area of the festival,” he said. “When you get that many people who are passionate about the festival and the people, it’s an easy thing to do when you have this many committed volunteers.”
Thurston said he enjoys his involvement as spokesperson and parade volunteer in an event that sparks appreciation for his neighborhood.
“For me, the festival is an opportunity to showcase where we live. There are people in Toledo who say the Old West End is dangerous, but you come down for a festival. It’s just an entire community that comes together and has a good time,” he said. “Everyone’s neighbors, especially for that weekend. It’s just a real sense of neighborhood pride that lasts the whole year.
“Come down, see our Victorian homes, walk around, have a beer, have some food and enjoy what we get to see every day,” Thurston said. “We want as many people to see what we see — just a great place to live.”
All the money raised by the OWE Festival goes to the OWE Association and will be used for neighborhood improvements among other neighborhood projects, Thurston said.
For more information, visit www.toledooldwestend.com/owe-festival.
Tags: 43rd Annual Historic Old West End (OWE) Festival, antique car show, beer garden, Community Bash, Dave LaPlante, Entertainment, festival, Food, Historic Mansion View Inn, King Wamba, King Wamba Carnival Parade, Lynne LaPlante, Memorial Day, Old West End, Old West End 5K Run/Walk, OWE, Queen Sancha, Spain, Toledo, Toledo Fire and Rescue Station No. 17, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, Wamba King
When most people think of baseball game concessions, hot dogs, peanuts and beer come to mind.
At Fifth Third Field, the options go far beyond the basics.
This season, the food and beverage department has added 10 new items to the concessions menu, including nachos, burgers, fries, sandwiches, ice cream and more.
Craig Nelson, assistant general manager of food and beverage, said the department does extensive research when deciding which items to add.
“We get a lot of feedback throughout the season, so we always revisit that. We also look at what other ballparks are doing, which helps us see what’s trending,” he said.
The department also considers what has been popular in the past.
Because of that, Greek Nachos were added to the menu at the portable cart located in Section 113. Nelson said that is always one of the most visited concessions spots in the ballpark. It is so popular, in fact, that Sports Illustrated included its hummus and pita sandwiches, gyro sandwiches and fried bologna sandwiches among its Top 10 Minor League Ballpark Foods last year.
The new Greek Nachos are made up of fried pita chips topped with gyro meat, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. Nelson said the fried pita chips can also be topped with hummus on request.
Another of the ballpark’s most popular stands, Gilhooley’s Grille, boasts two new menu items.
The Double Play Burger is one-third pound of Black Angus beef topped with Philly steak, green peppers, onions and provolone cheese on a Kaiser bun. The burger, which Concessions Manager Corey Pleasant called his favorite new menu item, can be ordered on its own or as a combo with fries and coleslaw.
The Bloomin’ Bacon Burger can also be found at Gilhooley’s Grille. It is also one-third pound of Black Angus beef on a Kaiser bun, but this one is topped with bacon, onion rings, American cheese and bistro sauce.
Nelson said the decision to add two burgers to the concessions menu is on point with what’s current in the world of ballpark food choices.
“Burgers are definitely trending right now,” he said, adding that the Bloomin’ Bacon Burger is one of his favorite new items.
The process of selecting these new items began last season, Pleasant said.
“We started going over new ideas last season and finalized them around January or February,” he said.
Another new menu item is the Bases Loaded Fries, which are available at the Triple Play Grille. These French fries are topped with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, scallions and sour cream.
For ballpark patrons with a sweet tooth, several new treats from Toft’s Dairy will join an already lengthy list of items. The Strawberry Slugger, with vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, hot fudge and Oreo cookie pieces layered twice and topped with whipped cream and a cherry will be served at the Toledo Treats stand.
The Brownie Slugger boasts a brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and chopped nuts and is now on the menu at Casey’s Creamery and Home Run Hot Dogs. Red Velvet Rush, a new flavor from Toft’s, is also available. A new drink offering will be a Lipton blend of half iced tea/half lemonade.
New items available only in party suites include Deep-Fried Pickle Spears, Boursin Cheese Potato Skins, a gourmet sandwich tray of 16 sandwiches and wraps, and The Texas Twist, a hand-twisted soft pretzel measuring a foot across.
Nelson said he’s happy with the new additions to the concessions menu at Fifth Third Field.
“These new items round out our menus,” he said.
For more photos, map and more information about new food items available at Fifth Third Field’s concession stands, visit www.mudhens.com and click on “Food & Beverage.”
Eating a raw food diet can become a permanent lifestyle, although it’s not always recommended to go all the way.
“Most of us think about investing in our financial future, but not in the future of our health,” said Don Bennett, disease avoidance specialist for Become Healthier, a natural health care organization based in Ann Arbor.
Bennett was looking for the healthiest way to live and decided to eat a fruit and vegetable raw diet that excludes items like cooked food, processed foods, refined sugars, meat products and dairy. He has been eating a 100 percent diet of raw foods for 18 years.
“You can get everything you need from a fruit and green, leafy vegetable diet. They are what we were designed to eat in the first place,” he said.
There are different raw food diets, Bennett said, and “gourmet” raw food restaurants mimic meat dishes like lasagna and meatballs. He cautioned, though, this type of raw food is high in fat because of the nuts and other ingredients used to make the food.
Bennett also said it is important for people to realize the difference between dieting and a diet. A diet, he said, by definition is the food you eat on a regular basis.
“Variety is key in your diet,” Bennett said. “You also need to be active enough. Some people don’t make the connection between healthy eating and activity. We’re designed to be active, so if you’re not active, you may be undereating in nutrition.”
Debbie Verkin-Siebert, a dietician with St. Vincent’s Mercy Children’s Hospital, acknowledged that American diets need improvement, including borrowing some of the practices of those who adhere to a raw food diet. She said dietary guidelines published by the government are recommending many of the principles of raw foodism, but a raw food diet alone would exclude entire food groups.
“We can extract principles of the raw food diet,” Verkin-Siebert. “We need to move more toward unprocessed food and move away from refined products. But I don’t think we can allow the pendullum to swing all the way the other way. I don’t think it’s something we’d be ready for as a general population.”
According to Verkin-Siebert, many nutrients in meat and dairy products are easier for the body to absorb than they are in raw foods that provide the same nutrients. Red meat is an important iron source, she said, and the iron is more “bioavailable” — easy for your body to process — than vegetable sources of iron, such as kale, collard and mustard greens.
“When you go to grocery store, shop the outside aisle,” Verkin-Siebert said. “Try to eat less fast food, less convienient things. To take it to the extreme … I don’t know how much more benefit that would be. Move more toward better eating, but not necessarily the extremes.”
If you choose to try a raw food diet, Verkin-Siebert said it is important to let your physician know. She recommended growing children, adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women not make drastic changes in their diets.
What has helped Bennett stick to a raw food diet are the results — not only his personal results, but what he has seen happen for other people. He has seen people battling diabetes, heart disease and other health issues, which have improved greatly after beginning a raw food diet. The most typical struggle people have, he said, is being pulled to the things that they used to eat like pizza and chocolate, things Bennett calls “designer” foods. Bennett recommends a “raw food buddy” and to stay socially connected to people who can support you.
For more about Bennett’s Become Healthier natural health care, visit becomehealthier.org.