Southwest Ohio private amusement park to open to public for Fourth — and there will be fireworks

Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Stricker’s Grove is typically open for private events only, but on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4, it will be open to the general public. DONNA HACKER/CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
Stricker’s Grove is typically open for private events only, but on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4, it will be open to the general public. DONNA HACKER/CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Looking for some last-minute fun on this Fourth of July holiday?

Today you can get a rare chance to spend the day at Stricker’s Grove in Ross. 

>> How to celebrate the Fourth of July all weekend long

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Stricker’s Grove — typically a private venue — is open to the public on the Fourth of July from 2-11 p.m.

>> 7 Southwest Ohio amusement parks we miss

The park, which is available to rent for private events, opens to the general public four times each year. The Fourth of July is one of those days this year. Other dates include Aug. 12 (Family Day), Sept. 3 (Labor Day) and Oct. 14 (Customer Appreciation Day).

Enjoy rides from 3-11 p.m., food and fireworks at 10 p.m. 

Admission to the park is free.

There are costs for rides. Ride ticket packages range from $1.75 to $20. Wristbands for unlimited rides are $15. Parking is $5 per car.

>> 5 amusement parks where Daytonians went for adventure

Celebrants of the 25th year anniversary of LaValle Private School of Fairfield ride the Tornado roller coaster at Stricker’s Grove in Ross Twp. The family-owned amusement park rents to groups. CARRIE COCHRAN/JOURNALNEWS(Staff Writer)

ABOUT STRICKER’s GROVE

Stricker’s Grove has two coasters, a carousel, ferris wheel, scrambler, tilt-a-whirl, train and tons of carnival-style rides, plus an 18-hole miniature golf course, arcade with video games, skeeball and more

>>Americana tour bittersweet: Good memories of park now in poor condition

WANT TO GO?

What: Fourth of July celebration at Stricker’s Grove

When: July 4th, 2-11 p.m. Rides operate from 3-11 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m.

Where: Stricker’s Grove, 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton

Cost: Free admission. Costs apply for rides (individual tickets or wristbands). Ride ticket packages range from $1.75 to $20. Wristbands for unlimited rides are $15. Parking is $5 per car.

More info: (513) 738-3366 | Website | Facebook

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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