Thursday, June 7, 2018

American Brain Tumor Association 5k Run & Walk

Written and Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

This multi city event is used to raise money for cure research and awareness.  Teams raise money and walk and/or run the 5k route through downtown Columbus.

More information can be found at their website:
American Grain Tumor Association BT5K Columbus

I honestly did not know what to expect from this event.   I was contacted by one of the event coordinators, Jessie Wlodarski.  Great contact and information, even provided a shot list!

Everything was well coordinated from beginning to end.

Now, to the most important part.

This organization raises money to help research brain tumor cures.  Those participating in the event are survivors, those actively fighting, families of those who are no longer with us.  It has been a very long time since I have felt such unity in a group.

The love, the care, the compassion...the sense of hope, the sadness of loss.  They were all there to love and support one another.   This is the way we should be.

Liz Schilling shares her story of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
Here she releases a butterfly in unison with other brain tumor survivors.

Shortly after the race started, the mass of runners and walkers
make their way down the street next to McFerson Commons park

Father/daughter team crosses the finish line, together

A survivor is greeted with a high five after crossing the finish line

Some brought pictures of those they want the world to remember
There are many great causes out there.  We at VisualOhio implore you to find one that is near and dear to your heart and volunteer.

Most think that they cannot do much.  Give a little money, volunteer...come out and cheer these people on.   Come out and get to know them, understand their struggle.  Even just a kind word and compassionate ear can work wonders for all.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Ariel-Foundation Park

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

250 acres of land reclaimed and reused from an old glass factory, Pittsburgh Plate Glass.
The factory closed down in 1976, and in 2000 initial purchases started the project.
More information can be found on the Ariel-Foundation Park website.

Rastin Observation Tower

We though this a great idea, reclaiming an old factory to make into a park space.  Everything was well marked and the maps guiding you around the park were clear.

You can see the Rastin Observation Tower from blocks away, being that it is the tallest structure in Knox county.  You definitely notice it upon your approach.
The tower is 280 feet tall in total, and a set of spiraling stairs will take you up to 140 feet.  If you are the counting type, there are 224 steps.   More adventurous souls trekked up the spiral on the day of our visit.

If you are ever in Knox county/Mt. Vernon Ohio area, please take the time to visit this wonderful space.

There are many structures through out the park that show portions of what used to be here.   Large elevator shafts where sections of plate glass were moved.

This glass river flows down the sculpted terraces from the tree line above down to a section of paved walkway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Zoar Village

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

Zoar village was settled in 1817 by German immigrants looking for religious freedom.  Their community was an experiment in communal living, which lasted until 1898 when it was disbanded.
In the village remains a vast array of the architecture and artifacts from the founding.

Historic Zoar Village Website

Driving into the village, there was ample parking.  Just find one of the marked lots.   

Walking up and down the streets, you get a real sense of history just from the architecture.  Not shy about using color and bold architecture, the historic buildings really stand out.

There is a visitors center as well as a museum.  Definitely take the time to stop in.  Self guided tours cost $8 per person, paid at the visitor center where they will give you a wristband.  Take note that if you are a member of the Ohio History Connection, entry is free!  Just show your membership card at the staff.

In the visitor center, you'll get a map of the town.   Everything is worth your time to visit!  One of the great things about Zoar is the staff.  Every place we went, there was a docent, dressed in period appropriate clothing and expertly knowledgeable about the location.  Our favorites were house #1,the museum and the blacksmith shop.

Even given the unpredictable rainy weather, the visit was excellent.   We were going to visit the gardens, but there was a wedding that day.  By the time we got there, the wedding was already in process, so we didn't want to disturb them!

Check out the images below to get an idea of what awaits you!

A German language bible inscribed with the year 1817, thought to have been brought over from Germany.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Columbus Oddities and Curiosities Expo (some adult content)

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photo/Video by Andrew Livelsberger

Billed as the first and original traveling oddities festival, founded in 2017.  The expo started as 2 cities in 2017 and has expanded out to 8 cities in 2018.
Looking for the strange and unusual?  This is your place!  From "freakshow" like acts to real human skulls, taxidermy and eight legged can all be found here.

Fortune teller


First - at the bottom of this article contains some adult content.  No nudity, but there are piercings, people suspended from hooks and people getting things stapled to their bodies.  If this is not something you want to see, then now is your time to close the browser, click the back button and go back to safety.

If you need something cute to look at, check out the kittens HERE.

Our only knowledge of this festival was from a teaser clip on the website.  Once we saw it, we knew we had to show up!   Who doesn't like strange and unusual things?  Most people we know do!

I'm not sure anyone who planned this event could have predicted the kind of turnout.   We arrived right at opening and the line for tickets and entry stretched on for quite some time.   We purchased tickets online in advance, so getting in did not take very long and we recommend that you get your tickets this way.

We did hear from some that at it's longest wait, it took some people 2 hours to get in. 

Visiting for over 2 hours, the Expo building was packed the whole time.  If they bring this back next year, it would be great to have a larger space or perhaps have it over an entire weekend and not just one day.  Also, there felt like there was no a/c and the building had no cross breeze of any kind, so it did get a little warm.

Minor inconveniences, though as it did not take away from our enjoyment!

Some vendors had insects like the walking stick above for sale.

Below, a couple started off with some bullwhip demonstrations, but then soon went to something more dangerous....

For those that are squeamish or do not like blood and those kinds of things, here is the section of the article you should skip.


At the end of their show, they invited those that enjoyed to drop a few bills into a top hat in front of the stage.  However, for those that wanted to give a little extra, they allowed $5 and up tips to be stapled directly onto their bodies with a staple gun.

Further down the oddities rabbit hole we have the piercing and suspension area.  Here, volunteers got pierced by hooks and suspended for a few seconds from their piercings.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Coming Soon! Fat Mike's Camp Punk in Drublic Coverage

Written by Sonnie Jones

What do you get when you mix 20 punks bands, a couple thousand people, samplings from dozens of breweries with over 200 craft beers, and camping? Come back in June and find out what this once in a lifetime experience was like!

Fat Mike Presents Camp Punk In Drublic
Three-Day Punk Rock Camping, Craft Beer & Music Festival
With NOFX, Rancid, Pennywise, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones,
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes & Many More

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lanterman's Mill

Photography by Andrew Livelsberger
Written by  Dani and Andrew Livelsberger

Tucked up in the Youngstown/Boardman area, North East Ohio we have the Mill Creek Metro Parks. 

Lanterman's Mill was built in 1845-46 by German Lanterman and Samuel Kimberly.   It was built for grinding corn, wheat and buckwheat.  A unique feature of the mill is that it's water wheel is located inside.

The mill went through restoration, starting in 1982 and finished up in 1985, thanks to the Ward and Florence Beecher Foundation.

There are also a few trailheads that start here, so not only can you visit the mill, but also go on a hike.

Parking can be found in 2 lots across the street from the entrance to the mill.  Walking distance is very short and access can be from street level or a dirt path that leads from the closest lot, under the giant bridge.

The Mill Creek Metro Park system is very well put together and maintained.  One of the must see areas there is Lanterman's Mill and the surrounding trails.

The mill is open on the inside and for a modest $2 per person, you can get into the wheel room.   Just inside the entrance is a gift shop and park maps.

Behind the mill, you will find a covered bridge that leads to some shorter trails.  Longer trails can be found on the east side of the mill (side facing the waterfall).

A note on the trails.  They are not steep or hilly, but they are covered with large rocks and exposed roots.    We mention this only to give you a heads up that good footwear should be considered.

The back deck give you view to the top of the falls as well as a good view up and down the river.

One of the original mill stones.  There are several on display around the entrance to the mill.

View west from the covered bridge just behind the mill.

This is a typical structure found along the east gorge trail

Stringy moss growing on a tree along the east gorge trail

A family hikes the east gorge trail.

A spur trail that goe up to road access on the east gorge trail.

At the end of hte east gorge loop, you'll find what is called the "princess Bridge".  Not sure of its exact history, but we do know that Idora Park used to be located on the opther side of the bridge in the pictture below. Perhaps this bridge was an entrance to the park or part of the park itself.

Many people take advantage of the park system here.

This person uses the bridges structure to aid in doing some pull ups.

We've been wanting to get to this area for a long time and we finally had the time to get there.  The weather was perfect for the hikes we took and the visit to the mill.  A nice, non strenuous hike coupled with a bit of Ohio history makes for an exciting time here in Youngstown, OH.