ETC: Birmingham Ethnic Festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Press Staff Writer

        Out of concern for the health and safety of attendees and volunteers, the Birmingham Ethnic Festival Committee has made the decision to cancel this year’s festival, set for Sunday, Aug. 16. The Waiters’ Race and paprikas dinners set for the evening before, Aug. 15, are also canceled.
        “The member organizations are planning alternative means of sharing their Hungarian heritage by having take-out dinners and foods on other dates throughout the summer,” said Anne Brossia, 2020 festival co-chairman. “Watch for upcoming announcements.”
State Fair canceled
        The Ohio Expositions Commission announced that it will cancel the 2020 Ohio State Fair, originally scheduled for July 29-Aug. 9 in Columbus.
        “After careful thought and deliberation, we have decided to cancel the Ohio State Fair. Knowing how easily the virus spreads in large groups, we believe it is the safest path forward for the health and safety of all Ohioans.” said Andy Doehrel, chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission. “The financial ramifications of hosting a reduced-capacity fair would be too great, and we need to protect the Ohio State Fair for future generations.”
        “Our first priority is the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Ohio State Fair each year. While this is a difficult decision, we feel it is necessary to protect the fairgoers, exhibitors, volunteers, vendors, partners, performers, concessionaires, youth leaders, employees and sponsors,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair.
        Last year, 934,925 people attended the Ohio State Fair during its 12-day run. Attendees came from each of Ohio’s 88 counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Mexico.
Fireworks canceled
        Due to COVID-19 and current guidelines for physical distancing at mass gatherings, the Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce has canceled the fireworks show on July 3.
        “We waited as long as possible to make this decision, and it was not an easy decision for the board,” Chamber Executive Director Valerie Winterfield said. “Many factors were considered, but ultimately public safety is our utmost priority. The show may be postponed to a later date in 2020 and that will be communicated with the public as soon as more information becomes available. We hope everyone stays healthy and safe and we look forward to celebrating with you in the future.”
Schedel Arboretum & Gardens open
        The gates are open at Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, plants have been planted and the irises are blooming.
        Hours for 2020 at Schedel, located at 19255 W. Portage River S. Rd., Elmore, are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays noon-4 p.m.
        Learn more about upcoming workshops, sponsored by North Branch Nursery, of Pemberville, at
        To join or inquire about becoming a member, visit
“Classics in the Morning”
        Whether you love the classics” or had an unpleasant experience with them for a school assignment, the Wood County District Public Library invites you to join the new book discussion group, “Classics in the Morning.”
        The group’s first meeting livestreams via Google Meet, June 11, at 11 a.m. “This book group is on a mission to challenge you to consider ‘The Classics’ in new and exciting ways,” said Nicole Cordier of WCDPL’s Information Service Department.
        First up will be a discussion on “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” by Jules Verne. Download the book either as an ebook or audio book through Hoopla. To access Hoopla, visit Sign up with a library card and an email.
        To sign up and to get instructions for joining Classics in the Morning on Google Meet, email For more details, contact the library on its website chat or email
Virtual summer camp
        This summer, kids ages 6-13 can experience a week filled with exploration and discovery through a new, virtual camp session at Imagination Station Toledo designed to inspire creativity and spark a passion for the sciences.
        Design it – Virtual participants will explore the engineering design process as they solve design challenges about animals, transportation, space travel and much more. Participants will begin their day interacting virtually with each other and Imagination Station’s camp counselors for 90 minutes before diving headfirst into their daily design.
        The camp runs June 8-12, June 15-19, June 22-26 and June 29-July 3. The cost for each week-long camp is $75 per child.
        Virtual campers will receive online instruction from 9:30-11 a.m., a daily design challenge and passes for a future visit to Imagination Station.
        Visit for more information and to register.
        Imagination Station Summer Camps are presented by Jerl Machine, Inc. and sponsored by BP.
Deadline extended for
political cartoon contest
        Students in grades 6-8 and 9-12 have until Saturday, July 25 to enter a political cartoon contest sponsored by the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.
        Winning submissions will be included in the special exhibit “The Press & The Presidency,” opening Friday, Aug. 7.
        A political cartoon is a type of editorial cartoon that artists use to express their opinions about politics, public figures or events. The illustrations are often caricatures, and feature hyperbole and satire to draw attention to issues faced by the world today. Students are invited to voice their opinions through their own political cartoon illustrations.
        Submission information
        • The contest features two categories based on age group – a middle school category for grades 6-8 and a high school category for grades 9-12.
        • Entry is open to all students in the state of Ohio.
        • Submission confirms the knowledge that the cartoons will be made available for public viewing, publicity by the HPLM and other purposes. Cartoons will not be returned.
        Entries can be submitted by email to Three winners will be picked from each category by a panel of four judges. All artwork must be the student’s original work. Cartoons can be drawn by hand and scanned, or created digitally, but must be an original illustration.
        Winners will receive a store gift card (third place: $10, second place: $20, first place: $30).
        Students and their parents will be invited to the members-only opening of the exhibit on Aug. 6.
        For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit or follow on social media.
TMA summer art class sign-ups
        This summer, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is offering an assortment of virtual art classes for both youths and adults in a range of media.
        Registration for these classes opened Friday, May 29, at 1 p.m. at
        “Even though COVID-19 has temporarily paused on-site art classes at TMA, the Museum is continuing to integrate art into the lives of people through instruction in the visual arts,” said Mike Deetsch, the Emma Leah Bippus director of education and engagement. “The staff at the Museum has creatively reformatted the structure of a variety of classes to fit a virtual environment.”
        Each weeklong art class includes a series of prerecorded videos, an hour-long livestream session with the instructor and a materials kit. Registration costs range between $15 and $50, depending on the class and whether the participant is a Museum member.
        Session 1 will take place the week of June 22; registration for this session closes Thursday, June 18. The registration deadline for Session 2, which will take place the week of June 29, is Thursday, June 25.
        Due to the nature of these virtual art classes, neither the teen work study nor scholarships are applicable towards the cost of registration. For questions or help with online registration, call 419-255-8000, ext. 7406.
“Life on Lake Erie” photo contest set
        The Ohio Lake Erie Commission is seeking submissions for its 28th annual “Life on Lake Erie” photo contest, which invites amateur photographers to submit their favorite photos of Lake Erie and surrounding landscapes.
        The contest is open to amateur photographers who are at least 18 years old and who submit original photos taken between Aug. 1, 2019, and July 31, 2020, of Ohio’s Lake Erie watershed. Entries may include photos of the lake itself or surrounding landscapes, boating, swimming, people, wildlife, or events around the lake, for example.
        The entry form and official contest rules can be found at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission’s website, The deadline to enter the contest is July 31.
        Winning entries will be announced at the fall meeting of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. Winning photographs may be displayed on the commission’s website, social media platforms, publications to promote Lake Erie, and photography-viewing tours throughout Ohio with Lake Erie partner organizations.
        The Ohio Lake Erie Commission works to preserve Lake Erie’s natural resources, to protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and to promote economic development of the region.
Exhibit extended
        Visitors will have more opportunities to learn about the Lake Erie monster, Mothman and other Ohio legends, as the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is extending its special exhibit “Ohio: An Unnatural History” through Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.
        The exhibit, which features folklore and mythical creatures from around Ohio, opened Feb. 28 and was open to the public for two weeks before Hayes Presidential shut down to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Hayes Presidential’s buildings remain closed. A reopening date has not been set.
        Since the closure, Hayes Presidential has received inquiries as to whether the exhibit will be extended so that those who were not able to see it will be able to visit before it ends.
        Staff are closely monitoring the situation and following the governor’s orders and directives. When the facilities are able to reopen, an announcement will be made at and on Hayes Presidential’s social media pages.
        While the museum remains closed, those at home can participate in the exhibit by drawing their own mythical creature through a game available on Hayes Presidential’s website at
        Share drawings on Hayes Presidential’s social media pages: @rbhayespres on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #UnnaturalOhio. Drawings could be posted in the exhibit.
        For info, call 419-332-2081, or visit
“Best Exhibition Award”
        The Wood County Museum received the Award of Achievement for Best Exhibition from the Ohio Museums Association (OMA) for the exhibit, “For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio By Way of the Poor Farm.”
        The OMA Awards program is an annual celebration of the outstanding achievement of Ohio museums in visual communications, individual and institutional achievement, and the tireless work museum professionals undertake to help advance Ohio’s museum community both locally, and on a national level.
         “For Comfort & Convenience” explores the administrative story about public charity in Ohio that dates as early as 1816 using photographs, ephemera and interpretive panels. It also explores the rise of the Ohio State Board of Charities in 1867, its transition in the 1930s to the Ohio Department of Public Welfare, Division of Aged, and how the preservation of former Wood County Infirmary as the current Wood County Museum impacts the story of public charity in Ohio. With the help of local photographer Jeffrey Hall, a journey of over 5,000 miles to all 88 counties documented the current condition of each former poor farm site.
        This is the third award for this exhibit; the Museum was recognized by the Ohio Local History Alliance and the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office.
        For more information, contact the Wood County Museum at 419-352-0967 or visit
Stone Lab remains remains closed to public
        In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory at Lake Erie and its educational programming on South Bass and Gibraltar islands will remain closed to the public through at least July 6. This closure includes all university facilities, as well as Stone Lab’s Gibraltar Island history tours, programs at the Aquatic Visitors Center and lighthouse tours. The South Bass Island Lighthouse grounds will remain open to the public, with physical distancing protocols in place.
        Changes to the current timeline will be announced online at and and
        Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is Ohio State’s island campus on Lake Erie and the research, education, and outreach facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit
Metroparks a Finalist for Ntl. Gold Medal Award
        The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced that Metroparks Toledo is a finalist for the 2020 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
        Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
        Applications are separated into six classes, with five classes based on population and one class for armed forces.
        Metroparks joins Dallas Park and Recreation, East Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission and Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities as a finalist in the Class I division, which includes park districts and departments that serve a population of 400,000 or more.
        Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials.
        A panel of five park and recreation professionals will review and judge all application materials. This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the six Grand Plaque recipients will be announced during the 2020 NRPA Conference, which will be held virtually in October.


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