Monday, December 12, 2016

The Red Carnation - William McKinley Memorial and Museum

Written: Danielle and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography:  Andrew Livelsberger

McKinley Memorial
William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States from March 4, 1897 until September 1901 when he was assassinated.  He kept America on the gold standard and fought to protect american industrial interests.  He successfully lead America to victory in the Spanish-American War.

His memorial and the adjacent museum outline his contribution to the American nation.

Impression:June  6, 1905 saw construction begin on the McKinley Memorial site.  It would be completed September 1907.  Detailed information about the timeline of the memorial can be found at the McKinley Museum website.

It is a wonderful site to see in person.  The 100+ steps to the top are easily navigated with plateaus to rest if need be and an elevator and ADA accessibility are provided.  There were many people there enjoying the park and using the steps to exercise.

Inside the memorial are laid to rest President McKinley and First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley and family.

The McKinley Museum just off to the side of the memorial is a great place for family to go and learn about Stark county history, science, and McKinley's legacy.

Discovery World area shows nature, past and present including a machine that generates tornadoes and other fascinating scientific phenomenon like phosphorescent paint that keeps your shadow on the wall even after you leave the area!

Create a tornado exhibit in Discovery World
Robotic Dinosaurs in Discovery World
The Street of Shops is a look into the past, when we still relied on blacksmiths and general stores.  The area has multiple levels to explore.

The McKinley gallery showcases items from the McKinley campaign and White House with an animatronic William and Ida McKinley explaining different points in his presidency.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival 2016

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

39 large, illuminated displays adorn the Natural Resources Park of the Ohio State Fairgrounds.  The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival runs from from November 25th 2016 through January 2nd 2017.  Viewing times are 5pm to 10pm nightly.  The Event offers lighted silk lanterns, food vendors, and an entertainment stage.  Performance times are Sun-Thur:  6:30pm and 8:00pm, Fri-Sat: 6:30pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm

Tickets for the event can be purchased online or on site.

Prices vary depending on age groups.  Discounts are also available, which are explained on the website.

entry archway or "paifang"

When ypu think of Chinese lanterns, most people think of either the round paper or silk lanterns.  prepare to have your impression blown by the sites you'll see at the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival.

Taking over the entire Natural Resources Park, the installation has several cultural specific pieces.  These also include information and descriptions of the significance of the pieces.

As you walk through the initial entrance, you are greeted by a large archway, also known as a Paifang, beautifully emblazoned in red.   Just past the paifang, you go through a tunnel that is roofed by lit flowers.  The left side of the tunnel has animated windmill type lanterns and the right has plant lanterns with green stems and white, closed buds.

Through the tunnel is a giant Chinese dragon that no pictures can really do justice.   It must be seen to be believed!

There are maps of the park, showing where the installation pathways go.  In the main park pavilion, you will find food.   Vendors also line parts of the path where you can buy souvenirs.  The main park stage also has shows that run.  While we were there, we saw some juggling acts as well as a martial arts demonstration.

The detail in the lanterns are fantastic as well as the scope of subject matter.  As mentioned previously, there are lots of what many would consider culturally traditional pieces, but there are also a lot of modern nods as well.  In particular, there is a Finding Nemo themed area and in the very back is a Christmas installation with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and Christmas trees.

kylin dragon

kylin dragon closeup

The Kylin(Qilin) Dragon installation was one of the most beautiful I've seen.  The body of the creatures are made up of thousands of small, clear bottles that have colored liquid in them.  The colors you'll see emanating from the dragon are coming from the bottles!