Thursday, October 20, 2011

Because Downtown Marion matters.

There are a host of ghostly & ghoulish things to do in downtown Marion in the coming weeks ... okay, so some have absolutely nothing to do with Halloween ... but there's aways something fun and interesting going on in Downtown Marion!

"Ghost Speak" -- a book signing of ghosts and grave walking by local author Carroll Neidhardt of Marion will take place today, Thursday, October 20, from 4 - 7 p.m. at Books on Center, 150 West Center Street. Dramatic readings and refreshments offered -- for additional information call 382.6875.

If you need more ghostly encounters, the Victorianna Bed & Breakfast at 343 South State Street in Marion will be hosting a more traditional Victorian Halloween on Thursday, October 27, from 6 - 9 p.m. Stories of burial traditions and ghost stories will be shared by Carrol Neidhardt. There will be refreshments, as well as a fortune teller (for fun & frivolity, of course!). Cost is $3 adults, $1 students/children 12 & under. There ARE rooms with graves available there and, if you survive the night, you get breakfast! Call 382-2430 for further information.

Not so ghoulish will be the movie at the Palace Theatre this weekend ... Winnie the Pooh will be shown at 2 & 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, October 21 & 23. This all-new movie features the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes and reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo—and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey. It's rate G and runs just a little over an hour. $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children 12 & under.

Also at the Palace this weekend will be vocaldente. Unlike other a cappella groups, the members of vocaldente don’t rely on technical devices, amplifiers and special effects. Performing a cappella without microphones in a purely acoustic format, their repertoire is contemporary, covering pop and rock music from the past eight decades, while also taking their audience on a captivating journey back to the Roaring Twenties. vocaldente -- Germany’s most successful a cappella export. Don’t miss this sound sensation! (Note: This performance is now being held in the May Pavilion. Those with advance tickets can pick up their replacement tickets at the Will Call table inside the Pavilion.)

Don't forget Trick or Treat at most Downtown businesses on Saturday, October 29. Kids and adults in costume will get treated!

Also on Saturday, October 29, will be a Medication Disposal Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will take place in the rear parking lot of the Marion County Building at 222 West Center Street. You can bring your expired and unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, including pills, liquids and syringes. Law enforcement officers will dispose of the medication in a safe, legal, and environmentally friendly manner with no questions asked. Containers will be recycles with your identity protected. This is a great service for our community, so please take advantage of this opportunity if you have unused medications.

The holiday season is fast approaching, and if you'd like to participate in the Marion Civic Chorus' annual presentation of Handel's The Messiah contact Ednita Vaflor at 389-4837 .... or just show up for the first rehearsal at First United Church of Christ, 326 South Prospect Street, from 2 - 4 p.m. on Sunday October 30. She will run through to place you in your proper vocal section. From that point, rehearsals are 2 - 4 every Sunday afternoon in November at the First United Church of Christ. The performance day at the Palace is on Sunday, November 27. Gary Iams will again be serving at this year's conductor with full orchestra and solos as in years past.
This will be the 70th anniversary performance of The Messiah here in Marion, and from what I understand it has the honored distinction of the longest continuing consecutive performance of this work in the nation. Wow! It's always a fabulous show, so plan on attending!

No matter what your age, you can join the Marion Young Professionals for an evening of art, wine, and desserts on Thursday, November 10, from 6 - 9 p.m. They will be showcasing the various talents of local artists, wine by Shamrock Vineyard, and desserts by Cari Newton. This special event will take place Downtown at 127 North Prospect Street — Lew Lause’s former studio, building behind APEX Church. If you'd like to attend, "Like" the Marion Young Professionals on Facebook to get your personal invitation. Or if you would prefer the old-fashioned way, you can also call Cara at 225-7733. Don’t miss this opportunity to socialize and learn more about this dynamic group of Marion's Young Professionals!
Wow! There so much, and I haven't even covered everything! So come Downtown and take advantage of one of these great events. Why? Because Downtown Marion matters.

Monday, June 13, 2011

“A New Era of Marketing” seminar is free to companies in the greater downtown area, or anyone thinking of opening a business downtown.

                           FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Karen Herr, 740.382.2181

  DOWNTOWN MARION PRESENTS SEMINAR                                                         Thursday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m. 

MARION, OHDowntown Marion, Inc. will be presenting a seminar this Thursday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m. entitled, “A New Era of Marketing”. This one-hour seminar, to be held in the Can Do/Marion Chamber of Commerce building, focuses on the current age of social media we are in, and how to use these free opportunities to expand your customer base.

Presenters Nikki Workman of Marion Technical College and Pastor Tom Toney of Family Life Church will advise attendees that the new way to sell is to not sell at all. They’ll help business owners learn how to use the power of social media to leverage their business, build relationships, gain social clout, and in turn, create awareness and respect in the online world.

This workshop will also introduce attendees to the tools available and give them a brief overview on how to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and YouTube to engage and enlarge their audience. Additional information may be obtained by calling 740-382-2181.

The “A New Era of Marketing” seminar is free to companies in the greater downtown area, or anyone thinking of opening a business downtown.

Downtown Marion, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is the revitalization of downtown Marion as a central hub for the community. Further information may be obtained at

Sunday, June 12, 2011


DATE:                                   June 13, 2011                          
Karen Herr, 740.382.2181


MARION, OH – In these tough economic times, cities find it hard just to maintain the essential city services.  Under staffed and underfunded, it’s often the extras that city departments simply do not have the resources to handle any longer.   

This was the case for the Marion City Parks Department when it came to the 14 large round planters in Downtown Marion.   Parks Superintendent Mike Cheney stated, “We realized how important these planters are to the overall appearance of our city to residents and visitors alike, but we just didn’t have the budget or manpower to purchase the necessary plants and get them put in … and that’s when Nucor came into the picture.”

Nucor Marion, located on Cheney Avenue, is a steel mill that employs 258.  Amanda Berry, Shipping Clerk, said, “Nucor takes its role as a corporate citizen very seriously.  We recognize our need to create a cleaner environment, a safer workplace, and a stronger community.”
Cheney had done extensive research on the variety of plants that would work well in these types of planters, maintaining their appearance with little supervision.  Nucor then purchased the foliage based on Cheney’s diagrams and the help of Marion Flower Shop; and approximately 25 Nucor employees and their families met downtown Saturday morning to complete to the planting project.

Amanda Berry (back to camera) gives instructions to Nucor volunteers as they prepare to plant flowers in the 14 downtown Marion planters Saturday morning.
Berry, who coordinated the effort for Nucor, said, “We had wanted to get everything done prior to the car show.  Unfortunately, various things from the weather to work schedules put us behind.  However, Nucor employees were excited to do this project for the community we live and work in.”  Workers at General Recycling, a division of Nucor Steel Marion located on Bartram Avenue, also joined in the spirit of this project and planted a couple of the planters last week.

Downtown Marion Manager Karen Herr was ecstatic with the results of the project, “You’d probably be surprised by the number of people who had asked me about the planters – it was amazing how many took note of the fact they had not yet been done.  I’m so pleased Nucor stepped up and took this on. With all of the budget problems our local governments are currently facing, I believe these public/private partnerships will be an essential part in moving Marion forward.”

Cheney was also very pleased with the results of Nucor’s endeavor, “On behalf of the City of Marion and myself,” said Cheney, “I’d like to thank both Nucor and the volunteers who took time out of their busy weekend to do this.  They did a wonderful job.”

 Downtown Marion, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is the revitalization of downtown Marion as a central hub for the community.  Further information may be obtained at

Saturday, April 30, 2011


The board of Downtown Marion, Inc. has named Karen Herr as the manager for Downtown Marion.

This full-time position was created as the needs of coordinating an active slate of events and working to provide continued growth for businesses, organizations and residents have been increasing over the past few years, states a Friday press release.

Herr will be actively involved in all downtown activities, as well as aggressively pursuing a

 multi-layered approach to enliven the downtown area for the community's economic growth and revitalization.

Herr's background is in communications, public relations, media coordination and advertising. She brings organizational skills honed from working on a variety of events and projects, including as a trustee and advertising/public relations chairman of the Marion Popcorn Festival for nearly 20 years. After more than 15 years working for advertising and public relations firms, Herr opened her own consulting firm in 1999.

"My family has lived and worked in the Marion area since 1822," Herr stated "I have a love and understanding of Marion and its history, and a great enthusiasm for its growth potential ... especially in the downtown area, the heart of our city and county. I look forward to working with everyone to make our city the best that it can be."

Downtown Marion, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is the revitalization of downtown Marion as a central hub of the community to its former state of functionality, accessibility and profitability.

Further information may be obtained at

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Downtown Marion, Inc.
Six Month Review of Activities

On June 26 2010, the downtown festival Celebrate Summer
featured 75 historic cars, music, food, organ grinders, wood carvers and art booths. We co-produced this with the Marion County Historical Society as a fund raiser for them.   A volunteer committee of 11 members worked 6 months to bring this “car museum” and art festival to the streets of downtown Marion for residents to enjoy for free.

 Monthly Art Walks featuring music, poetry, and art displays in various downtown locations on the second Friday of each month.

Summer months involved the sale of street banners that served a two fold purpose.  
We do this to have the banners as a visual welcome to our city; this year touting our fantastic higher educational facilities of MTC and OSUM.  But we also do this as a principle fundraiser to help cover other expenses our board incurs.   We felt it was important to hang these before the Popcorn Festival to welcome the thousands of visitors to Marion and put a festive face forward.  When possible, our manager attended the Popcorn Festival meetings to offer support from our Downtown Board.

September 17 was a joint effort with Tri-Rivers faculty and students, the United Way Staff and Downtown Marion for the students to physically work downtown planting, raking,
washing, decorating windows, Make A Difference Day Giving pride and understanding about their hometown was a gratifying effort for those involved. 

Fall Festival October 2 in Busby Park was a wonderful success. Again so many varied groups came together to make this a reason to enjoy the unique qualities of our town. It featured free cookies, cider, and pumpkins from Timothy Lutheran Church. The Whetstone Woodcarvers carved the pumpkins on site while the children waited and watched. The Humane Society brought adoptable dogs. Heart of Ohio Mentoring gave away free books to the children and helped them make bird feeders. And a musician was playing various instruments and explaining to the children what each was and how to play them. The number of grandparents, parents and children that attended was heartwarming. Again this festival was held to show the residents of Marion what a unique and friendly town they live in. We also had special sidewalk sales, a church booth selling homemade goods, Lawrence Orchard’s apples and cider, a mum sale by the Altrusa Club to make money for their charitable causes. The area store owners all offered special sale items that day.
Christmas Open houses were held Nov. 6 to highlight the many downtown area merchants and the unique items they offer.  Carolers roamed the streets and merchants reported good sales with this added push of buying local.

In downtown Marion on Dec. 4 the annual “Peanut Push” was held to make money for the Junior Service Guild’s Christmas Clearinghouse for deserving families from 10 to 11:00. Beginning at 11:30 was a 5K race. The annual Christmas Parade kicked off from 1:00 to 2:00 with thousands lining the streets. This parade was three times the size of past parades and while we received great praise for it, my favorite comment was from an elderly gentleman who simply replied,” well, that was worth coming to! ”Other comments said it reminded them of Marion when they were young." Isn't that warm friendly feeling exactly what this board is striving for? How exciting our momentum is taking Marion there. A committee of 6 volunteers and 25 float builders accomplished this return to yesterday‘s proud parade. The side benefit was the praise from the area merchants that said their cash registers rang because of the activities. After the parade free cookies and hot chocolate were given away at City Hall and the Palace Theater held a free movie for families which resulted in a packed house.

 The same evening of Dec. 4th we held our first
Gala of Trees Auction generous area businesses sponsored the decorated trees. The luncheon on Friday was well attended and the Sat. evening cocktail party/auction as a lively affair. Again, we are grateful for the money raised to help support the board’s many activities.

On New Years Eve, dozens of Marion Downtown volunteers proudly offered “Our Night Marion” to compliment the Pop and Drop at midnight.

Each age group of Marion citizens had activities to enjoy. Families attended free crafts and movies at the Palace Theater, while in the May Pavilion the Palace sponsored a $75 per couple dinner dance.

For middle school students the Marion Recreation Department was rented to offer safe, supervised crafts, food and a dance at no cost to the families.

High school students were treated to a dance and food at Apex Church 162 W. Center for just a $5 ticket.

At Park Place, 143 W. Center, a beautiful disco themed dance rocked the night for partiers 21 and older. This ticket was just $15 per person or $25 per couple. Park Place took on a club atmosphere that you would see in New York City with a DJ, flashing lights, videos, disco dancers free appetizers and a cash bar.  At midnight everyone met at the corner of Center and Prospect Streets and took part in the count down and ball drop ushering in the New Year. Who says there’s never anything to do in Marion! 

While the six months of activities just mentioned are impressive, the Marion Downtown Inc. is very proud of their decision to join Main Street which will give our citizens further guidance in activities and goals for rejuvenating the economy of Marion.  We are thankful that our City Council members reconsidered the mayor’s recommendation to dropping support to Downtown Marion, Inc.  This financial support is a requirement to keep Marion’s Main Street status.  The year ahead will be demanding, but with the continued support of our local citizens and volunteers we will see Downtown Marion Thrive once again.

Want to get involved with your Marion Downtown organization and help with the fun? Drop us a line!