Bexley News

Ohio Chautauqua 2013

History-themed event sets out to entertain, educate visitors

Performances, workshops part of the festivities to take place July 16-20

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Members of the Ohio Chautauqua troupe coming to Bexley are (from left) Dan Cutler as Iroquois leader Chief John Logan; Debra Conner as Margaret Blennerhassett; Marvin Jefferson as Lewis & Clark expedition member York; Hank Fincken as Johnny Appleseed; and Jeremy Meier as Oliver Hazard Perry.

"Ohio Chautauqua 2013: When Ohio Was the Western Frontier," a historical celebration, will be held July 16-20 on Capital University's front lawn on East Main Street.

The event will depict the state's frontier history from five different perspectives: naturalist and folk hero Johnny Appleseed, aristocrat Margaret Blennerhassett, Iroquois leader Chief John Logan, Lewis & Clark expedition member York, and the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry.

"It's been 34 years since Bexley first hosted a Chautauqua, and we're excited to be bringing this event back to Main Street," Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said.

"Bexley has a deep and meaningful sense of history, and the community is excited to celebrate our heritage and of course we would never miss an opportunity to enjoy good food and good company on Bexley's front lawn."

Interactive workshops will be held each day at 11 a.m. for children and 2 p.m. for adults at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus,1125 College Ave.; Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.; the Drexel Theatre, 2254 E. Main St.; and Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St.

Capital University will host different food trucks each night, along with musical entertainment at 6:30 p.m. and living history presentations at 7:30 p.m. under a red and white striped tent.

A schedule of events is available at

"Ohio Chautauqua is a celebrated annual event with a following," said Ohio Chautauqua Coordinator Fran Tiburzio. "We expect people from around the state and especially central Ohio to visit Bexley and Capital University for this event."

The Ohio Chautauqua planning committee includes representatives from Capital University, the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce, Bexley Community Foundation, Bexley Historical Society, Bexley Public Library, Bexley Recreation and Parks Department, the Bexley Women's Club, the city of Bexley, the Drexel Theatre and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus.

The event is presented by the Ohio Humanities Council and funded locally by a $20,000 grant from the Bexley Community Foundation.

"This community partnership illustrates our grants mission," said Susan Quintenz, Bexley Community Foundation board president. "We encourage our grantees to form community collaborations that will enhance the work of all of our organizations. It's wonderful to see this many local groups join together to bring a community-building event to our city."

Other sponsors of the event include ThisWeek Community News, the Whitehall-Bexley Rotary Club, the First Bexley Bank and the Bexley Chamber of Commerce.