Saturday, July 31, 2010

Plum Park West: The Garrett Wonders Memorial Bike Race

The 7th annual Garrett Wonders Memorial Bike Race zooms through Uptown Westerville this weekend - Saturday, July 31st from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Kurt Lehmkuhl and the folks at Westerville Bike Shop, 29 W. Main, have organized this race to honor their friend.

State St. and sections of E. College, Summit, and E. Park are closed for the race course.  Police will make accommodations for all local (resident) traffic. W. Park residents can come south on State from Walnut (past the Local Traffic Only signs) and cut through the parking lot at 79 S. State (where the bridal shop is).

Even though vehicles will not be streaming through Uptown Westerville for a while, you can still park, walk, shop and dine Uptown Westerville. A family-friendly event, it costs nothing to come up and watch the races. The bikes roll fast, the races are exciting, and they're fun to watch - and each year there is a very cool pace car! (The bike races are a great subject focus for photographers.)

Come up for breakfast (Schneider's Bakery is open, Chef Rick's Westerville Grill serves breakfast, Jimmy V's serves up brunch, and Serendipity, Java Central, and Heavenly Cup are open early), enjoy the races, shop, browse and visit Uptown Westerville's shops, and stay Uptown for lunch, dessert, or a beverage!

What makes this event special: A friend of the Westerville Bike Shop, in 2004, Garrett Wonders was looking at a full life and a bright future. Following his passion for cycling, Garrett was captain of The Ohio State University cycling team, a member of the Armed Forces cycling team, and a contender for the Olympic cycling team. During a training ride, Garrett, a friend, a son, a husband, a cycling enthusiast, a brother, a grandson, a musician, a Navy officer, an athlete, a scholar, and a teacher was hit by a car and killed when he was just 25-years-old.

The Garrett Wonders Memorial Bike Race is designed to honor and remember Garrett, to build interest and enthusiasm for cycling, and to raise awareness of cyclist safety on-the-road.

Proceeds from the race (entry fees) go to The Garrett Wonders Memorial Fund to maintain two scholarships at The Ohio State University for student athletes and also funds various cycling advocacy campaigns to promote cycling safety and education.

If you would, take a couple minutes and get to know Garrett Wonders (a bio written by Garrett's Mom):

And, honestly, everyone rushes around in their effort to get through their days, and next time you see a cyclist on the road, or even approach a neighborhood crosswalk, take a beat (a few seconds of awareness can save a life) - there's a real person, just like you, just like your kid, Garrett, on that bike!

This year, the race expands into a 2-day weekend event, with races in Uptown Westerville and downtown Columbus (Columbus Bike Fest). There's $6,600 in prize money and there are amateur, pro, and regular folk (all ages) races.

Learn more about entering the race:

To enter the race:

The full weekend:

Westerville Bike Shop:

Now, here's the details for Uptown (provided by Kurt Lehmkuhl):

Parking & Restricted Street Closures for Uptown Westerville:

- The start/finish line for the race will be in front of 21 S. State Street (City Hall), near the State/Winter intersection. The racer's route will be State St.(south) turning left onto Park (east), then left onto Summit (north) left onto College (west), and finally left onto State (south).

- State Street, between W. College and Park, will be closed from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. on race day. Area residents will be able to gain access to this portion of State Street from the nearest officer on duty, who will allow area residents in and out privileges before the races begin and during breaks in between races. Those who are attending weddings at nearby churches will also be able to get through by finding an officer on duty, but should expect some delays.

- Other roads on the route will be closed from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on race day; however, as with State St, area residents will be able to gain access to these other roads that are part of the race course from the nearest officer on duty, who will allow area residents in and out privileges before the races begin and during breaks in between races.

There will be no parking allowed along these sections from Midnight (12 a.m.) on July 31st (esseintially Friday night), through completion of the event. Note: All vehicles not removed from the route will be towed starting 7:30 a.m. on July 31st.

Parking Arrangements:

Parking can be found in the following areas: by the Westerville Bike Shop on 29 West Main, behind the City municipal complex at 21 South State St., behind the Westerville Public Library (126 S. State), and in the parking lots on E. Home.

Remember W. Main is no longer a throughway, due to the bridge construction.

Questions & More Information:

For Questions concerning parking and street closures, contact the Westerville Police Department at 614.901.6453.

To pre-register for the event or for more info about the races, go to If you would like to help, stop by or contact the Westerville Bike Shop at 29 West Main St. or contact Kurt Lehmkuhl at 614.361.9047.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Plum Park West: Alum Creek Bridge Project

Starting Monday, July 12th, the W. Main Street Bridge over Alum Creek will be closed for a $5.7 million bridge replacement project managed by the Franklin County Engineer.

The bridge will be closed through August 2011.

W. Main Street is accessible from either direction, but will not be a throughway.

Alternate routes include taking N. Cleveland Avenue north, turning east on County Line Rd., then south on N. State to access Uptown Westerville or Schrock Rd. east to State into Uptown, or accessing Otterbein Avenue or McCorkle to the east.

For more information:

Image: Colorized postcard of Westerville's W. Main Street (Alum Creek) bridge, early 1900s courtesy of Linda Foor.

Plum Park West: Music & Arts Festival!

This weekend, July 10th (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and July 11th (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) stop by Heritage Park at W. Main and N. Cleveland for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce's 37th annual Music and Arts Festival.

Live music, art for sale, youth art display at Everal Barn (always impressive and the barn has A/C!!), art activities for kids, and more.

To learn more, check out the Music and Arts Festival online.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Plum Park West: Westerville Stars in a Vintage Commercial

Happy Independence Day Weekend.

Enjoy this national Pepsi commercial filmed at Westerville's 1970 July 4th Parade! (That's right, when there was one high school!!)


Friday, July 2, 2010

Plum Park West: 2010 Independence Day Weekend in Westerville

Best Independence Day Weekend Wishes!

Celebrating Independence Day is a full day in Westerville with events, block parties, and cookouts with friends and family. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Westerville and all its sponsors. This year, Westerville is celebrating the holiday on Saturday, July 3rd.

Congratulations and thanks to Hanby Magnet School 4th Grader, Mitchell Whittaker for naming this year's parade theme: Freedom - the Best Gift of All.

Here is Westerville's Independence Day Schedule:

The day starts with the 5k Rotary Walk/Run at Alum Creek Park, North. You can pre-register or register on-site from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., the walk/run starts at 8 a.m. and there are on-site activities for kids that start at 9:15. What a great way to start the weekend! There is an admission fee ($30; proceeds to the Rotary Club of Westerville) - for details check the website.

The Rotary Independence Day Parade starts at 1 p.m. at Heatherdown and S. State and moves North to St. Paul. We highly recommend watching the parade in Uptown Westerville!

Westerville Symphony is performing at the Sports Complex (County Line and Cleveland) at 9 p.m.

Finally, Fireworks!! 10 p.m. from Alum Creek Park, South off Schrock Rd.

Have a safe, happy holiday weekend. Happy Birthday, America!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plum Park West: Uptown Westerville Classic Good Eats

Classic Good Eats

From gourmet cuisine to chili dogs, a friendly welcome and good food abounds just around the corner in Uptown Westerville.

Family friendly, group friendly, good food, drink & dessert.


Dairy Queen, 84 S. State, 614.899.CAKE (2253) DQ Menu
Classic Dairy Queen eats and treats favorites, including custom ice cream cakes. Dilly Bars and Buster Bars are hand-made.

Java Central, 20 S. State, 614.839.0698
Java Central signature roast coffee, Mozart's pastries, specialty coffee, tea, and chai beverages (hot & cold), gifts, Vera Bradley accessories, Free music on Fridays & Satudays, WiFi, Meeting room

Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co., 2 S. State, 614.890.2400
Organic, kosher, free trade teas & spices, accessories, aroma bar with fresh brewed teas, bistro menu

Thai Grille, 15 E. College, 614.865.4515
Thai cuisine with a focus on locally-grown, free-range, and organic ingredients served in a relaxed, elegant & friendly atmosphere.

Serendipity, 33 E. College, 614.392.2352
"The Dip" An Otterbein College student favorite. Coffee, tea, and hot beverages made by the cup, Cafe Menu, WiFi, Music on the Weekends, Meeting Room, Ashby's Sterling Premium Hand-Dipped Ice Cream, Sammy's Bagels, Hand-made pottery, Jewelry, Art, Catering

Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta, 14 N. State, 614.882.6200
Sylvia Francisco's home cooking! Pizza, pasta, subs, salads, dessert. Beer & Wine. Catering. Delivery. Televised Sports.

The Old Bag of Nails Pub, 24 N. State, 614.794.6900
Famous fish 'n' chips, classic pub fare, full bar, and more, including entertainment.Televised sports. Banquet room & Catering.

Pizza Primo, 10 E. Main, 614.895.1212
Pizza, salad, subs. Delivery.

Heavenly Cup Espresso, 25 N. State, 614.523.3306
Coffee, tea, chai, smoothies, frappes, Der Dutchman pastries

Graeter's Ice Cream, 1 N. State, 614.895.0553
Hand-dipped ice cream

Jimmy V's Grill & Pub, 1 S. State, 614.865.9090
Lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, extensive menu with classic pub fare and Mediterranean touches. Sports atmosphere with over 20 televisions. Full bar. Happy hour.

Chef Rick's Westerville Grill, 59B S. State.
Classic American diner fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Catering. 

For Pantry and Table:

Schneider's Bakery, 6 S. State, 614.882.6611
An Otterbein College student favorite (opens at 3 a.m.). Just really, really good baking! Pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, rolls.  Note: Cash or check only accepted at Schneider's -- no debit or credit cards!

That's So Sweet, 13 E. College, 614.559.2212
Candies and confections, events, candy buffets

Meza, 48 N. State, 614.259.3101
Pantry foods and wines, wine tastings, event room

Most Uptown establishments offer catering services and several have meeting and event spaces.

By the way, Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State, has a Starbucks Kiosk.

And, Otterbein College Courtright Memorial Library at W. Main and S. Grove has a coffee shop (The Otter Bean Cafe) that's open during library hours.  The Campus Center, 100 W. Home, features a Quizno's at the Roost and The Cardinal's Nest on the second floor managed by Bon Appetit. And, The Roost Express, in Roush Hall at N. Grove and W. Park features a quick stop for coffee, a variety of breakfast items and sandwiches, convenience foods, and beverages.  These spots are open to the general public.

Just steps away, at N. State and E. Home, May through October, Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market features home-grown, home-made, Ohio Proud market fare.  Certified organic and conventional produce, meats, and artisan foods.

Plum Park West: Peace, Quiet, and Trash

November 2007, City Council approved ordinance 06-41, setting new hours of operation for commercial refuse haulers.

These commercial haulers must collect their refuse between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Westerville Service Department staff has contacted all commercial refuse haulers to inform them of the ordinance.

To report an incident in which a refuse hauler is collecting prior to 7:00 a.m., please call 901.6740 or email Eric Beverly with the Service Department:

Photo of circa 1950s city trash pick-up courtesy of City of Westerville.