Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Blue Tip Parade + Festival -- Wadsworth, OH

While perusing Facebook a few months ago I came across an event listing for the Blue Tip Parade and Festival in Wadsworth, Ohio. The parade and festival were founded in 1973 and are annual favorites in town. Like me, you might be asking yourself, why is there a blue tip match festival in Wadsworth? After a little digging, I found the an answer submitted by Michael Schario on the site Roadside America:

"Ohio Match Company was one of four Ohio companies that helped move Wadsworth from a coal mining town to an industrial community. Established in 1893, the company made the world famous "Ohio Blue Tip" strike anywhere matches. The company was the largest employer in Wadsworth, employing 1,600 people, more than 600 of them women, but demand for matches declined significantly in the late 1960s when disposable pocket lighters became common. The company closed in the 1980s.
The annual Blue Tip Festival every June starts with the lighting of a 17 ft. tall match during the Blue Tip Parade. The match burns 24 hrs a day for the duration of the festival."

According to most sources (including the Blue Tip Festival website) the match is actually 20 feet tall, it's unclear if it's actually the largest match in the world.

The Blue Tip Festival kicks off with the parade on Tuesday night, there is the 5k Matchstick Race (and now a half marathon as well) on Friday night, followed by the end of the festival on Saturday night. The weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday, so we set out to Wadsworth for the Blue Tip Parade and opening night of the festival.

Per news articles about the Blue Tip parade it always kicks off late, which gave us time to drive to Wadsworth after work and find street parking near downtown.


Once the start of the parade reaches the match, the match is lit to officially kick things off.


The parade participants varied from local businesses, to judges, to church groups -- all were showcasing Wadsworth pride, and some blue tip match pride.



Full disclosure -- the parade is long! We stopped watching after an hour and fifteen minutes and got a closer look at the famous match before heading over to the Wadsworth Brewing Company.

The Wadsworth Brewing Company is usually closed on Tuesdays, but they opened in the evening for festival goers. At 4:00 p.m. they tapped the keg of BlueTip Blueberry Ale which they created to commemorate their first Blue Tip Festival. The BlueTip Blueberry Ale is described by the Wadsworth Brewing Company as "a malty blonde ale with blueberries. The flavor and aroma of the blueberries is prominent and the beer is very refreshing on a warm summer’s day."

The location of the Blue Tip Festival itself is in Memorial Park which is .7 miles away from the Wadsworth Brewing Company.

There is a stage which will host nightly musical acts, rides, and all of the festival food that you can eat.

We decided to indulge just a little...

For the record, the giant match is not always out, it is only out for the Blue Tip Festival. The match will burn for five days and then be put away until next year's 45th Blue Tip Festival. Although Blue Tip matches are no longer manufactured in Wadsworth, the town has turned the parade and festival into a celebration of itself -- at the end of the festival all of the money will be donated back to Wadsworth based charities.

Ohio Wanderlust Rating for the Blue Tip Festival:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Open Door Coffee Company -- Hudson, OH

In our continued quest to seek out local coffee shops, Dave and I found ourselves at Open Door Coffee Co. a few weekends ago. We hadn't set out to find a coffee shop (we actually set out to adopt a second cat, but that's a story for another time) and ended up in Hudson at Open Door Coffee Co.

Open Door Coffee prides itself on selling Fair Trade Coffee and home-baked goods. They are located on Main Street across from the clock tower in the old Saywell Drugstore building. Open Door continues to honor the legacy of Saywell's which was in place for 90 years -- by refurbishing several pieces of furniture as well as the solid marble soda fountain counter. The wall on the art is modern and created by local artists.

We settled into two leather chairs by the window to enjoy everything we ordered.

We decided on a few pastries for breakfast, an Orange Cranberry Scone...

and a Cheddar Herb Scone.

Unfortunately on the morning we visited Open Door was having problems with their espresso machine. I had ordered a latte, but once they realized there was a problem with the espresso machine, the barista suggested an Americano instead so that my coffee would still have milk and the flavoring.

We liked our scones so much (and still were waiting for the Humane Society to open) so we ordered two more pastries -- a chocolate chip cookie and a blueberry muffin.

Ohio Wanderlust Rating for Open Door Coffee Company:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Yoga with Goats -- Amherst, OH

You read that right -- Yoga with Goats. Yoga with Goats classes started popping up at the end of 2016 and are one of the newest yoga crazes. We previously attended a Yoga with Cats event with adoptable cats (that's how we met and adopted our first cat, Cappuccino), but even if the goats were adoptable, Dave probably would not have let me bring one home.

Last month when I read about a Yoga with Goats class starting in Amherst, I knew that I needed to schedule myself in a class, no matter how inconvenient the drive might be for me. Usually Dave alone embarks on weird journeys with me, but this time my former intern, the goat loving 4H alumna Julia, joined us. She educated us on goats and goat etiquette on the drive to Amherst.

Goat Yoga classes are hosted by Threads of Wellness, a Lorain yoga studio, but the classes are held at Downs on the Farm, a non-profit founded to give people with developmental disabilities a place to participate in Animal Assisted Activities. The mission of Downs on the Farm is "to bless and enrich the lives of special needs kids and adults that reach out to us, make homes for as many neglected animals possible, as well as educate others of the importance of responsible agriculture and natural growing techniques."

The partnership of Threads of Wellness and Downs on the Farm is what brought the Yoga with Goats craze to Northeast Ohio. In the time since I booked our class they have added even more dates (some family friendly if you have little ones) and the classes are selling out. Here is how the class is described:

Goats are playful, generally friendly critters that love to see what you are doing...from on your mat, to under you to even on top of you! These loving animals will explore yoga and demonstrate some of the most sought after qualities we wish to instill in ourselves: non-judging, loving, happy, curious, playful and restful.

Downs on the Farm is not far off the turnpike, and there isn't too much on the road that it's located on. I did pass it the first time, but knew immediately that I had done so and was able to turn around and get back to the start. Look for a farm with a parking lot near the road.

As we walked to the entrance, I took off my earrings, and Julia and I already had our hair up. Goats like to try to eat EVERYTHING.

Once you sign-in and sign a waiver (standard for any and all yoga classes), you have about 10 minutes to snuggle with the goats. There were two tiny baby goats and the other five (or six) were still little, but much larger than the younger ones. In the photos below, you'll see us holding the babies, whereas the older goats just kind of roamed.

When we got there the babies were being snuggled and all of the other goats had found a comfy location to sit on someone's blanket. There's a mix of blankets and towels throughout, yoga mats are hidden beneath, because the goats like to eat the mats. The goats are surprisingly smart though, you can see Oreo in the photo below trying to lift Julia's blanket to eat the yoga mat beneath.


The class is deigned to be a gentle flow, although instructor Tanna Torkelson will give you the option to choose your own flow and to make the practice your own. If you're not totally distracted by the goats, you can make this class as difficult as you would like as far as yoga moves.


Whenever one of the little baby goats walks near you, you just have to snuggle it.




Near the end of class the goats were re-energized by treats!



Things to know:

You MUST  bring a towel or blanket with you to cover your mat, it is a requirement. The mats will be provided to you, because every once in a while a goat will manage to distract someone and take a bite out of a yoga mat.

The goats will step on you, attempt to eat your clothing, and hair. They're little and cute, and the reason you came to Yoga with Goats was probably to interact with them, so just don't wear your best clothes.

This one seems obvious to me, but just in case -- the goats will make a mess. There were people at the ready in case a goat decided to pee on the floor or poop on your blanket (the latter happened to us). Our class managed to avoid the goats peeing on people, mats, or blankets -- but it probably happens. It's the risk you take with any animal.

This is not going to be an intense vinyasa flow, we spent most of our time playing with the goats. Most people spent the majority of their time playing with the goats, they will make sure that they are on top of you or directly in the way of your yoga pose.

It's fun! The goats are interested in interacting with you and with each other. At one point the babies had a very cute little scene together in the middle of the room, because they were being held by different people and missed each other. The entire point of this session is for the novelty and relief of stress and with this class, you will get it.

My rating for Yoga with Goats: