Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dicken's Victorian Village in Cambridge Ohio

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

Brainchild of Bob Ley, a local businessman, the Dicken's Victorian Village was his early concepts and sketches that turned Wheeling Avenue in downtown Cambridge into a display of scenes from Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.  Along with that these displays, the Guernsey county courthouse is emblazoned with lights, light shows synchronized with music early November until just after New Years Day.  Every night through that time frame, the court house's automated light show dazzles and amazes with the strobing lights, paired with holiday songs both classic and modern.

Talking with some of the local residents, they informed us that it can take up to 18 hours of work to sync the light display with just one song.  Each iteration of the "concert" lasts for 1 hour.

Stop into the visitor's center on Steubenville Avenue to see the wonderful staff there, get a gift, a scavenger hunt paper as well as a visitor's guide.  If the visitor's center is not open, most of the shops will have the visitor's guides as well.  This will help you navigate through the area.

This is one of those things that really need to be seen to be appreciated.  There is no YouTube video or image that can truly express the fun that will be had by attending the Dicken's Victorian Village event.  And there is no reason to miss it either!  Cambridge, Ohio is only a 1 hour drive from the capital city Columbus.  We have been to other Christmas light shows in Ohio and other states, but we believe this one is by far one of the most entertaining.

Check out the YouTube video that gives you a taste of the lights and music along of the Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show from our weekend at the Dicken's Victorian Village!

You will be outside, so make sure to stay warm!  Dress for the weather.  You'll want to spend at least an hour watching the show.  It runs daily Early November through Just after New Years Day from 5:30pm to 9:00pm and later on some days until 11pm.  Check the website link Seasonal Events for all the details.

Either before or after the light show, there are some great places to eat and shops to visit.  Our favorites for food were Guernsey Kitchen, Kennedy's Bakery and Theo's Restaurant.
If you want to venture out a bit from the downtown, we also ate at The Bear Run restaurant.  Excellent service and food there.  It is one of the top rated eateries in the area as rated by TripAdvisor.
Some shops of note are Nothing But Chocolate and Penny Court Antique Mall.

We didn't forget about the scenes all scattered through downtown!  We preferred to see them at night, lit up by the street lights.  Walk up and down both sides of a long stretch of Wheeling Avenue and there are scenes from A Christmas Carol.  All these mannequins are hand made locally.  The artists start with a foam head, then apply a type of modeling clay like compound to sculpt the features, then paint and add details.  The bodies are made of wooden frames, covered in bubble wrap, then clothed in their specific scene.  More details about the process can be had at the visitor's center.

These scenes are all over the place.  Some are in shop store fronts, others occupy the street benches while larger ones have their own custom made platforms.

No matter where you are in Ohio, we feel that this is a unique place to see.  Given the fact that it runs every single day for 10 weeks gives you no excuse for not getting there and checking out this wonderful holiday treat and special small town.  Cambridge has a decidedly vintage feel to it that lovers of this time of year will appreciate.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Independents Day 2015

Written and Photography by
Andrew Livelsberger

Held in the Franklinton area in downtown Columbus, this festival has 7 stages for music performances, vendors tents and art exhibits and performance art.
The feature here is independent artist and performers having a showcase to show you what they have to offer.

Official Independents Day Festival Website

If you've not been to this festival before you are missing out.  At first look, I thought it might be the same as Urban Scrawl, which we had just recently featured here at Visual Ohio.  It is not the same however.

Dayton local band Good English.

There is a stronger emphasis on music and performing arts.  There are tents and stages in every nook and cranny of the Franklinton area.   Make sure to investigate them all.

A fun place for all ages of family members.  Definitely, this festival needs more exposure and participation by the community.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Heroes For Heroes - 5K Obstacle Race

Written and Photography by
Andrew Livelsberger

This 2nd annual race organized by the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation department is a 5k race with intermittent obstacles along the way raises money to support Hope For The Warriors organization.

This was a great event with many teams coming in to support the cause.  Everyone was upbeat and positive, cheering on their teammates when they needed that little bit extra to keep going.

After the teams finished, a breakfast was provided and the times were calculated.  First through third place times were awarded medals as well as some other prizes.

The starting line.

Sled Pull

Tire flip

Hay bail

Running toward the finish line

Superhero team

After race cleanup

Filling stomachs!

First place team

Monday, October 5, 2015

Urban Scrawl 2015

Written by Dani Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

A 2-Day arts festival organized by the Franklinton Arts District.  It has been an annual event since 2007, featuring art murals from over 60 local artists.  This is on of central Ohio's largest urban renewal projects.

I was so amazed at the abundance of talent.  As I walked through the displays, I really could not pick a favorite.   From abstract to mixed media, there was something for everyone.  Visitors could stand and observe as artists made their visions come to life.  Food trucks, a bar, and even a skate park were available.  There were families and dogs and a real feel of community.  My only regret is we didn't attend previous years!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dayton R/C Model Airshow

Written by Dani Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

The Giant Scale Radio-Controlled (RC) Model Aircraft Air Show features more than 100 pilots and will entertain audiences as they perform skillful maneuvers with RC jets, prop planes and helicopters from all eras of aviation history.
The event is sponsored by the Dayton Ohio Giant Scalers and will take place on an airfield at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

This is not your Grandpa's hobby!  These R/C aircrafts are high tech jets and planes that can do stunts and tricks.
Of Course this hobby is fun for any age, and they were all there at the show .  Families came out to see the pilots show off their planes and their skills.  There were some vendors selling food and some plane and gear vendors a well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bigger and Better - The 2015 Ohio Renaissance Festival

Written by Andrew and Danielle Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

For years, Harveysburg has been the home of the Ohio Renaissance Festival.  30 acres of a recreated medieval town filled with vendors, gaming areas and stages for entertainment.  One of the biggest and most unique draws is the live, full armored jousting!  Yes, this is the real stuff.  Real lances, real hits!

We've been going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival since the early 2000s.  It was always a place where people could be free to express themselves in a bygone time period.

This year, there has been a major makeover of the festival grounds as well as the entertainment.  If you've been before, back are your favorites like the Swordsmen, Washing Wenches and the Mudshow, but new acts like the Kamikaze Fireflies have been added.

Food selections and seating have been expanded as well.

Throughout the town, you will find blacksmith and glass making demonstrations, games to play and fun characters to interact with.  This is a place where you can tell that the people that work here love what they do.

You might even get a glimpse of the Queen and her entourage as they go from the human chess board to a knighting ceremony or to the final joust of the day.

This years joust however, was one of the most exciting I have ever seen in our many years visiting here.

Yes, they joust for real, the hits, the falls, it's all full contact!  What made this year so special?  A double unhorsing (both knights hit the ground), but that is not happened TWICE in the same match!!  Thankfully, none of the knights were seriously injured.

This is definitely one of those events that needs to be experienced to fully appreciate it.  Couple the fun from the past with the new upgrades from this year and you will have a great time, no matter your age!

The festival runs every weekend from Labor Day (3 days) through the end of October.

10542 E. State Route 73
Waynesville, OH 45068