Christmas display in California sets world record

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 4:04 AM

Christmas tree.
Portland Press Herald/Press Herald via Getty Images
Christmas tree.(Portland Press Herald/Press Herald via Getty Images)

The executive director of a California holiday display said San Jose's Christmas in the Park has set a Guinness world record, KGO reported.

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Jason Minsky said the 600 illuminated Christmas trees in one location set the world record. The paperwork has been accepted by Guinness, KGO reported. It will become official after Christmas in the Park documents all of the trees on video.

According to the Guinness World Records website, the previous record was 559, held by the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas tree maze at Herald Square in New York City.

The official lighting of the 38th annual Christmas in the Park tree display in San Jose occurred Friday night. The display will remain open through Jan. 7, KGO reported.

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Downtown Hamilton’s new venture into outdoor drinking is closer to reality

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:10 AM


            Hamilton is planning on creating a DORA Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, where open containers of alcohol are allowed in certain areas when they are purchased from a restaurant or bar within the area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Hamilton is planning on creating a DORA Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, where open containers of alcohol are allowed in certain areas when they are purchased from a restaurant or bar within the area. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The latest economic-development tool in Hamilton — outdoor drinking of adult beverages as people stroll through downtown — moved closer to reality this week.

Hamilton City Council held the first of two required readings on Wednesday of legislation creating a proposed Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area. The next reading is scheduled for March 28.

The drinking is to start May 1, after a period during which businesses and the community will be taught about the program.

RELATED: 5 things Hamilton is doing to make the city more fun and vibrant

“We’ve been researching the other five cities that have already implemented this in Ohio, along with getting public feedback” from people in Hamilton, Kristin Youngmeyer, a city management fellow, told members of council.

The hours of operation would be noon to midnight seven days a week, a span that city employees say is easy to remember for visitors and residents.

The area would take in areas of the downtown, German Village neighborhood including the new Marcum Park, the Main Street corridor of restaurants and shops and the area of the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill on North B Street.

RELATED: Spooky Nook — Winter softball anyone? What huge Hamilton sports complex may offer

The city surveyed affected businesses, property owners, those who put on special events, residents within the area and all city residents in general, said Charla Henderson, another city fellow.

The property-owner survey went out to more than 1,000 residents of the area, because “we really wanted to make sure they were comfortable being part of something like a DORA,” Henderson said.

Another 500 surveys were received online, and that had “overwhelming support,” Henderson said. “About four out of five residents were very much in support of the DORA.”

A similar percentage said they would use the DORA, with about the same percentage approving of the boundaries. Most who disliked the boundaries also “disliked the DORA as a whole,” Henderson said.

Also, four of five said they didn’t oppose the $1 charge for a special DORA cup, which would identify the beverages as ones that had been purchased from an area business. The proceeds are to be used to clean the area and oversee safety programs.

MORE: Hamilton’s proposed “live here” scholarship called ‘cutting edge’

Some were concerned about trash, safety and potential disruption of business relationships. Henderson said trash cans will be added to the 161 containers already in the area. The safety and sanitation plan will be reviewed monthly after the first six months, and then quarterly after that.

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Why this weekend was an especially tasty treat for those in Hueston Woods

Published: Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 2:27 PM


            Visitors to Hueston Woods State Park learned about nature, trees and how Native Americans and pioneers made maple syrup during the Hueston Woods Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday, March 11, 2018. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF
Visitors to Hueston Woods State Park learned about nature, trees and how Native Americans and pioneers made maple syrup during the Hueston Woods Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday, March 11, 2018. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF

Visitors to Hueston Woods State Park learned about nature, trees and how Native Americans and pioneers made maple syrup this weekend during the Hueston Woods Maple Syrup Festival.

During what one naturalist described as the 52nd annual version of the festival, visitors to the park stood next to what Jenny Richards, a visiting naturalist from Shawnee State Park and a self-described tree hugger, told them was a 350-year-old tulip tree.

Richards told tour groups, who arrived in the woods by hay rides, almost any tree can provide sap that makes tasty syrup, with the nasty notable exception of sycamore trees, according to the late naturalist and wild-food proponent Euell Gibbons.

But maple trees are used because they have the highest sugar content, about 2 percent (with 98 percent water), people were told during the festival. Lids are kept over the buckets to keep out additional water to reduce the amount of cooking time. The longer the syrup is cooked, the darker it becomes, getting away from the beloved amber color.

RELATED: The Great Miami River could be the next big destination in Hamilton. Here’s why.

Richards told one group the sap is “the sweetest, most delicious water ever.”

No trees were harmed in the making of the syrup, naturalists promised.

In one sight visitors had that resembled a science-fiction horror film scene, sky-blue-colored plastic tubes spread through the woods like veins, with sap streaming through them by gravity and converging into larger tubes before pouring into a holding place, before the sap would be processed.

MORE: Here’s what Hamilton residents want, don’t want along the riverfront

At the “sugar shack,” tour-takers saw the process of evaporating water from the sap to produce a product they tasted before visiting a gift-shop area where they bought syrup, gloves, T-shirts and sweat shirts.

“It’s awesome,” said Sandeep Deshpande of Shelbyville, Ind., who traveled with his wife about 60 miles for the event. He most enjoyed the history he learned about how syrup was made by Native Americans and pioneers hundreds of years ago, he said.

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Dozens show up to discuss the future of Hamilton’s abandoned freight house

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 9:53 AM


            A rendering of what a market at a former Hamilton freight house could look like.
A rendering of what a market at a former Hamilton freight house could look like.

About 90 people showed up Wednesday to learn about, and offer their ideas for, a proposed year-round market at the abandoned Freight House located east of Hamilton’s downtown.

They showed up for two meetings, at 6 and 7 p.m., at Miami University’s Hamilton campus to hear about the proposed use for the property at 1007 Maple Avenue, located south of High Street.

RELATED: Hamilton’s old freight house will have to overcome challenges to become a new community market.

All ideas were welcome, one of the effort’s leading proponents, Alfred Hall, assured the audience during the first session.

“Our thoughts and ideas are our thoughts and ideas,” he said. “You have your thoughts and ideas.”

One goal of the market, which proponents hope would operate through the week and all year, is to make everybody in Hamilton feel welcome, Hall said: “We feel the best way to do that is through food.”

He envisions a commercial kitchen, where vendors and small companies would have a place to prepare foods that they aren’t allowed to create in their homes for public sale.

Audrey Burch, 31, a Hamilton native who lives on the West Side, said she considers the effort a good one, partly because it would allow farmers and others to sell quality, fresh food, and also, “to preserve that historic building is a good idea.”

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Get lost in a-MAZE-ing fall fun this year

Published: Friday, September 09, 2016 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, September 16, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Views of the Bonnybrook Corn Maze from the Sky 7 drone.

Who doesn’t like challenging their wits and skill against the wily notions of a farmer and what he or she does with a cornfield on a brisk autumn day? 

There are some excellent mazes near Dayton that range from a minor obstacle to mind-numbingly mystifying.  

Here are a few of our favorites:

🌽= Perfect for kids of all ages

🌽🌽 = You might get lost

🌽🌽🌽= Have a search party on standby

🌽 COWVIN'S CORNY MAZE

Young’s Jersey Dairy

6880 Springfield Xenia Road

Yellow Springs

(937) 325-0629 | WebsiteFacebook 

Tasty treats await you at the end of Cowvin's Corny Maze.(Contributed)

About the maze

Open now through Oct. 29, the more than 3.5-acre maze wraps around to more than a mile of pathways. But there’s more to it than just finding your way out. While you probably won’t find the Goblin King within this Labyrinth, you will be given questions, and the answers will help lead you out of the maze. The maze is open on weekends only from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Sept. 23, after which it will be open every day during those hours.

Will I get lost?

Young’s Dairy says the maze was designed with children in mind and they haven’t lost a guest in more than a decade. So, if you get lost, I wouldn’t suggest telling anyone.

How long will it take?

The average time spent in Cowvin’s Corny Maze is between 20 and 40 minutes.

Extra

When you’re out of the maze, check out tons of other activities at Young’s including animals, mini-golf, slides, batting cages and more. Plus ice cream!

Cost

$6.50 (ages 5 and up); children under 5 admitted free. Children 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

>>7 fall festivals we just cannot wait for

🌽 BONNYBROOK FARMS

Bonnybrook Farms

3779 State Hwy. 132

Clarksville

(937) 289-2500 | WebsiteFacebook

Bonnybrook Farms on State Route 132 in Clarksville features a 5-acre Crazed Corn Maze. Clues to solve the corn maze are based on characters like Thomas Edison and Wright Brothers in the farm’s Adventure Wagon Ride and are located throughout the corn. The Crazed Corn Maze is a traditional design says owner Bonnie Mercuri and is fun for all ages. http://bonnybrookfarms.com/fallfarmdays/ TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

About the maze

Bonnybrook Farms, about 45 minutes south of Dayton in Clarksville, features its Crazed Corn Maze as part of its Fall Farm Days celebration from Sept. 30- Oct. 29, noon to 6 p.m.   

Will I get lost?

Bonnybrook Farms adds a twist in navigating your way around the 6-acre maze. Challengers are asked a series of questions pertaining to local history throughout the journey. The directions they take all depend upon their answers. That said, the maze is designed so entire families can get in and get out in a reasonable amount of time.

How long will it take?

If you’re an Ohio history buff, you can get out in about 20 minutes. If you’re not into bringing up the past, it’ll be about a half hour.

Extra

There are a number of other things to do at Fall Farm Days, including petting farm animals, Clodhopper Golf, Giant Slingshots, archery, wagon and pony rides and more.

Cost

Admission and parking are free.

Children 4 and under are admitted free to most attractions with a paid adult admission. The Crazed Corn Maze costs $7 (or two tickets). Farm wristbands, allowing unlimited access to other Fall Farm Days attractions, can be purchased for $30 each.

>>VIDEO: Bonnybrook Corn Maze

🌽🌽 NIEDERMAN FAMILY FARM

4972 LeSourdsville-West Chester Drive

Liberty Township

(513) 779-3228 | WebsiteFacebook

The Niederman Family Farm corn maze for 2017 looks challenging.(Contributed)

 

About

The Niederman Family Farm has been in operation through four generations, dating back to 1948. The family began offering attractions like tours, paintball, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze to offset the rising costs of farming. This year’s Fall Fest runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 29.

The farm is open Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday hours from 6 p.m. to 9p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesdays are available for large groups.

Will I get lost?

The farm has made their 14-acre maze a little more challenging in recent years. So it’s certainly possible you’ll take a wrong turn somewhere. 

How long will it take?

The maze takes about 15 minutes, but, if you’re the type that likes to look around before making your exit, it could take up to three hours.

Extra

The Niederman Family Farm sells various treats to help you stay energized for your journey through the maze.

Cost

Admission is $11 at the gate. You can get a slight discount by ordering your tickets through their website. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

>>It’s time to sink your teeth into this grub at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

🌽🌽🌽TOM'S MAZE AND PUMPKIN FARM

4881 Germantown-Liberty Rd.

Germantown

(937) 866-2777 | WebsiteFacebook

Corn Mazes

About

The folks at Tom’s Maze like to boast that “it’s more than just a regular corn maze.” This being their 20th anniversary, they’ve turned their eight-acre cornfield into a commemorative puzzle, which you have to solve to help you get through it. There’s three miles of pathways to make your way through in the process. The maze is open Sept. 15 through Nov. 5; Thursdays (noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday (noon to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m.).

Will I get lost?

Most assuredly. This wasn’t nominated as one of the top 10 corn mazes in the state for nothing. There are various bridges and 12 puzzle pieces to locate. If you get frustrated, there are helpers within the labyrinth to help you out. Water stations are also located at the bridges to quench your thirst, but the main bridge you’re looking for is Victory Bridge.

How long will it take?

The staff at Tom's Maze says most people make it through in about an hour during the daylight hours. However, it can take two hours or more once the sun goes down.

Extra

Hayrides and orchard rides are available. The farm also offers a kids play area, pumpkin painting, a corn cannon, campfires and more.

Cost

$9 (children 5 and under admitted free with paid adult). Free admission for active duty military and vets with identification Sept. 15-17. 

>>25 September food events to help you fall in love with fall

🌽🌽 APPLE COUNTRY FARM MARKET

2323 U.S. Route 42

Spring Valley

(937) 862-4376 | WebsiteFacebook

Getting there will be all the fun with Apple County Farm Market's maze.(Contributed)

 

About

This family-owned and operated farm uses its fall celebration to give back to the community by donating proceeds to the Greene Memorial Hospital Foundation Circle of Victory, which supports cancer patients in Greene County. The farm will be open Sept. 9 through Nov. 4, Fridays (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Saturdays (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sundays (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

Will I get lost?

Probably. The farm says it’s normal for people to get lost in the 11 acres of the “Maize” (get it?), which features two bridges and 10 stations to add to the difficulty. If you get lost, you can ask one of their helpful “Corn Cops” to point you in the right direction. However, if you’d like to bail out with as few witnesses as possible, there are halfway points cut into the maze to allow for an instant exit from the madness.

There is also an interactive “Simon Says” maze for children 5 and younger.

How long will it take?

The Maize takes an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

Extra

Hayrides and orchard rides are available. The farm also offers a kids play area, pumpkin painting, a corn cannon, campfires and more.

Cost

Adults (14and up) are $9. Youth admission (13 and younger) is $7. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

🌽🌽 IDLE-HOUR RANCH

4845 Fenner Rd.

Troy

(937) 339-9731 | WebsiteFacebook

Safari-themed corn maze at Idle-Hour Ranch near Troy from 2016.

About

Run by the Iddings family since 1999, this animal sanctuary was opened to the public in 2007. However, it’s only open for 66 days out of the year, so it’s best to take advantage when you can. This year’s corn maze is open Friday and Saturday (noon to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m.), from Sept. 8 to Nov. 5.

Will I get lost?

There’s a good chance you will. You must collect messages located at 22 stations hidden within the six-acre maze and complete a booklet. Those who make it out the fastest are in the running for a free season pass for next year.

A kids maze is also available.

How long will it take?

It takes about an hour and a half to get through the large maze. It takes about 15 minutes to successfully negotiate the kids maze.

Extra

Idle-Hour Ranch also offers hayrides, bonfires, movies shown on the barn up until 10 p.m. as part of their Flashlight Nights on Fridays and Saturdays.

Cost

Before 6 p.m.: $10 (ages 3-12), $12 (ages 13 and up), $10 (ages 65 and up)

After 6 p.m.: $10 per person (ages 5 and under admitted free).

Special rates for military and first responders.

Tell us about your corn maze. Send an email with photos and all of the details like you see above at contact@dayton.com

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