Category Archives: Ohio Light Opera

When You Seek the Unique…

Enjoy our beautiful Main Street Wooster.
Enjoy our beautiful Main Street Wooster.

Jacki Chamberlain, CTC, Marketing Specialist
Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Are you someone who likes to discover those one of a kind, out of the way places? Do you shy away from the big box chain stores and cookie cutter restaurants? Then Wayne County, Ohio may be just the place for your next quest to “SEEK THE UNIQUE.”

Shop Downtown Wooster, where parking spaces are as abundant as the many different shops and restaurants who call this historic tree lined main street community home. Whether your shopping style is funky or sophisticated, you’ll appreciate the unique “Soho Style” galleries, bakeries, restaurants, book stores, clothing boutiques and wonderful one-of-a-kind shops, including Everything Rubbermaid, Roomscapes, Friendtique Hospice Resale Boutique, and the Wooster Book Company, just to name a few. Downtown Wooster offers many locally owned coffee shops and restaurants such as Broken Rocks Café, Muddy’s, The Spoon Market & Deli, City Square Steak House, Local Roots, and the Oak Grove Eatery. Spend the night at the St. Paul Hotel, a New York style boutique hotel just a block off Public Square and in walking distance to many fine restaurants and night spots. The next morning be sure to stop by and see Elizabeth at the Tulipan Hungarian Bakery, right on the square or the Templetons at their Scottish Bakery in the lower level of the Liberty Street MarketPlace. You will feel as though you’ve stepped into an old-world European Bakery.

As you begin your journey into Amish Country, may we suggest a stop at Shisler Cheese House? A quaint little cheese shop filled to the brim with local culinary treats and perfect snacks for your picnic hamper. Owner, Rita Shisler, specializes in locally made cheese and meats, along with Amish made baked goods, chocolates, and trail mixes.

Just down the road you’ll find Lehman’s Hardware, a 45,000 square foot store and your source for old-fashioned and practical housewares, appliances, hand tools, and non-electric toys. Visit on a Thursday and enjoy the Kidron Livestock Auction just across the street. On auction day, many Amish housewives sell produce and baked goods from their buggies in the parking lot.

“With a name like Smucker’s it has to be good!” For over 100 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been proud to call Orrville its home. They are committed to bringing quality products to your table from their proud family of brands, such as Jif, Crisco, Pillsbury, Martha White, and Folgers Coffee. Today at their company store just south of Orrville, you are invited to taste many of these products, walk through the museum that captures this company’s heritage, and shop for anything from peanut butter and jelly to cake mixes and frostings, all housed in a beautiful red roofed timber framed barn. Be sure to stop by the café that offers delicious recipes made with their family of brands, or enjoy the self-serve ice cream bar featuring all the wonderful Smucker’s toppings.

You’ve seen the beautiful laser engraved wooden art, gifts, and home décor produced by P. Graham Dunn Gallery in Dalton, Ohio at hundreds of Christian Bookstores across the country. Now you can tour their 100,000 sq. ft. factory location and watch Amish craftsmen at work. For over 32 years, P. Graham Dunn has been creating home décor that pleases the eye and inspires the heart. Some of the attractive personalized products they make include music boxes, jewelry, kid’s décor, and American hardwood accent items. Have an item personalized while you wait for a one of a kind keepsake treasure.

Over 20,000 patrons from across the country and around the world come to Wooster for the Ohio Light Opera each summer. The 2016 season, which runs June 18 through August 13, opens with the Cole Porter hit “Kiss Me, Kate.” Other notable shows for the 2016 season include: “Annie Get Your Gun,” by Irving Berlin and “The Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Theater Goers find the matinee performances fit in well with local restaurants that offer upscale dining and still leave time for sightseeing. Evening performances can be followed by wine parings or decadent desserts and coffee. Special packages at local hotels and bed and breakfasts are available.

So if you are searching for fine dining with a local fresh flair, unique shopping, and exceptional entertainment then Wayne County, Ohio may be just what you’ve been looking for. Call us for a free vacation planner or visit us on line at wccvb.com

The 5 Best Features of One of America’s Top Spots to Settle Down

Guest Post By: Rachel Rieger

A national company located in Hudson, Ohio, Leaf Filter , has the pulse on America’s housing market and decided to help its customers in their search for the perfect place to call home by collecting data on cities across the country. Analyzing statistics like home value, household income, and population (among many other factors), the company compiled the Top 20 Places to Settle Down.

As a College of Wooster graduate, I was elated to see that my little college town made the cut.

Wooster is perhaps one of America’s best kept secrets. At a glance, many don’t realize just how much this little town has to offer. This is a place brimming with small town charm and community pride.

I can say that in my four years as an honorary resident, I discovered a ton of awesome nooks and crannies to please every generation.

1) Fantastic Food Scene

Wooster’s growing downtown district is quite impressive! The wide variety of cuisines will surely satisfy any palette. Here are some of my favorite picks:

Old Jaol Restaurant and Tavern tops my list of favorite spots in Wooster. With friendly servers, lively atmosphere, and tasty food, it’s no wonder my friends and I made this our go-to choice for a fun girls’ night out.

Broken Rocks has some of the best chicken marsala I’ve ever tasted. It’s truly the perfect spot for a romantic Friday date night!

Local Roots was just up and coming when I was still a student at COW, but I remember stopping there for a quick snack a time or two. With the array of top-notch produce this year-round farm market co-op offers, their sustainable, locally sourced farm-to-table philosophy is certainly easy to get behind.

JAFB Brewing Company, while also new during my tenure at Wooster, offered a comfortable mix of local figures and college students looking to broaden their horizons.

2) Top Notch Shopping Options

At the north end of the city, you can find chain stores and restaurants galore. But the real gems are nestled in Wooster’s downtown district.

When the weather was good, one of my favorite pastimes was to take the short walk from campus to the downtown area, where I’d explore the local shops for the afternoon.

Books in Stock, with its selection of rare and used books, drew me in like a magnet. They carry everything imaginable – from long-forgotten childhood favorites to recent bestsellers I hadn’t had the time to pick up because of my coursework.

Lucky Records had also just opened when I was finishing my degree (are you noticing a trend here? Wooster is rapidly expanding!). It’s the perfect place to pick up a Christmas gift for your mom who loves Journey, and for your trendy best friend who can’t get enough of vintage tunes.

Pine Tree Barn is, hands down, my go-to place for getting Halloween pumpkins, Christmas trees, and outdoor décor. It’s a little off the beaten path compared to the other downtown locations I’ve mentioned, but make sure to check it out and enjoy the countryside views!

3) Opportunities for adventure

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, Wooster is a great place to be! Here are a few places that hosted some of my best memories:

Acres of Fun is a great pick for all ages. With a putt-putt course, go-karts, indoor roller-skating arena, laser tag, and arcade games galore, no one can possibly be bored here!

Ramseyer Farms is the best spot for fall fun! Find your way through their giant, twisting corn maze, take a hayride, or pick your perfect pumpkin for carving here!

Movies 10 always has the best movies, and is the perfect rainy day activity! Pre-purchase tickets to a midnight premier for a big franchise movie for even more fun (I dressed in costume to see the premier of Catching Fire here, and it’s in my top 5 college memories!)

The Ohio Light Opera, which calls Wooster home, is a great source of entertainment if you love operetta and musical theater! These performances are so high quality, you’ll feel like you’re attending a show on Broadway.

4) First Rate Schools

Okay, maybe I’m a little biased with this one, but, The College of Wooster is truly a great asset to the Wooster community.

The formidable Kauke Arch can be seen when approaching the city from the south, and the campus continues to lend to the small town charm from there. Not to be forgotten is COW’s independent study program, which many students choose to tackle right in the community!

The Wooster City School District is also excellent. With a state-of-the-art high school, and wonderfully supportive staff, this is a school district that will help your child grow into a well-rounded citizen.

5) Breathtaking Views

As with many college students, I had a bit of wanderlust during my stay at Wooster (who am I kidding, I still do!). But I always stopped short of buying an expensive plane ticket or booking a hotel.

Instead, I ventured outside of campus to take in some of the amazing views right in my own backyard, so to speak.

Christmas Run Park was a favorite spot of mine for sightseeing. I discovered Christmas Run while volunteering as a freshman. With the giant wooden castle of a playground and beautiful walking trail, I found the perfect place to commune with nature.

I’ll save you from an endless list of places to catch a view in Wooster. But, I will leave you ASHwith this picture I took at L.C. Boles Golf Course (by The Wooster Inn) the morning after pulling a classic college all-nighter. Doesn’t that look like the perfect place to settle down?

 Rachel attended the College of Wooster from 2010 to 2014, which now seems like a lifetime ago. She currently works at Leaf Filter, Inc. where she works with a remarkable team to help customers protect their biggest asset – their homes.

 RachelHere’s Rachel after she completed her own Independent Study!

Thank you Rachel for your great guest post-we loved having an article written from a College of Wooster Alumni point of view.

 

ENJOY HOME-GROWN FAMILY FUN IN WAYNE COUNTY, OHIO

Jacki Chamberlain, CTC, Marketing Specialist
Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Secrest Arboretum
Secrest Arboretum

If you’re looking for a great place to vacation with the kids this summer without having to dip into their college accounts, you might want to check out all that Wayne County, Ohio has to offer.
Enjoy, a visit to an old fashioned hardware store where the Amish shop for nonelectric goods, corn mazes with hayrides, pick your own fields of seasonal fruits, an ice cream dairy, rodeo, farmer’s markets, bike paths, hometown festivals with parades and fireworks just to name a few.
If your family is partial to outdoor activities such as hiking or biking? Wayne County is home to many recreation areas such as Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve, Secrest Arboretum and Gardens, Shreve Wildlife Area, Wilderness Center, and Rails to Trails Bike Trails.
Wayne County is home to thirteen local historical societies who are proud to display the rich heritage of their communities. Your family might enjoy a train or track car ride with the Orrville Historical Society or a tour of the Wayne County Historical Society Campus complete with a turn of the century firehouse and an alleged haunted horse-drawn 1869 steam engine.
Treat your family to live musical theater with The Ohio Light Opera, who call the College of Wooster home during their summer festival season. What youngster isn’t crazy about swashbuckling pirates and knights in shining armor? The 2015 list of shows includes “Brigadoon” and “Yeoman of the Guard.” Children’s ticket prices are just $10.00.
We offer restaurants that feature home-made foods from local produce, a tea room, Amish family style restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. How about dining in an Amish buggy or an actual jail cell? Yep, we’ve got that too.
We offer accommodations to fit any budget including hotels, bed and breakfasts, cabins and campgrounds. During the summer season you can stay in a college townhouse apartment complete with kitchen and up to three bedrooms.
The Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau would be happy to offer suggestions for your next family trip. Give us a call at 800-362-6474 to request our latest travel guide or visit us online at wccvb.com.

Opera in Wayne County, Ohio? You Bet Your Crescendo!

toTTJacki Chamberlain, Marketing Specialist
Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Most of us are well aware that Wayne County, Ohio is part of the world’s largest Amish settlement. Home to Lehman’s Hardware, The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café, P. Graham Dunn, Everything Rubbermaid, and The Cat’s Meow Village. Historic Downtown Wooster has become an eclectic blend of unique shopping, great restaurants and nightlife. But were you aware that the Ohio Light Opera, summer resident opera company of the College of Wooster, is gearing up for their 37th festival season?

The 2015 season, which runs June 13 through August 8, opens with the musical Brigadoon. Also, included in the productions this summer are The Yeomen of the Guard and Ruddigore, by Gilbert and Sullivan. Can-Can, by Cole Porter, Oh, Kay! By George and Ira Gershwin and OneTouch of Venus.

“Ohio Light Opera productions are enjoyable, entertaining, and easy to follow,” says Executive Director Laura Neil. “Each show is performed in English. The sets are breathtaking, the costumes are beautiful, and the music is magnificent.”
Ohio Light Opera performers are chosen from auditions that are held each fall and winter in up to eight cities across the country, including New York and Boston. The artists that make up the residency ensemble are chosen for their ability to perform and participate at the highest level used in the repertoire-singing, acting, and dancing. Many former OLO performers have gone on to successful careers elsewhere, including the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Over 20,000 patrons from across the country and around the world come to Wooster for the Ohio Light Opera performances in the intimate confines of Freedlander Theater, which is located on the College of Wooster Campus. Individual tickets start at $48. Tickets for students (ages 16-23) are just $20, and admission for children (ages 3-15) is just $10. Call about special overnight and dining packages. Group discounts and subscription packages are also available. VISA, MasterCard, and Discover Card are accepted.
Additional information about the Ohio Light Opera is available by phone (330) 263-2345 or online at OhioLightOpera.org. Further information about Wayne County can be found at wccvb.com or by contacting the Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the area’s tourism authority, at 800-362-6474.