Worthington News

'Past and Present'

Griswold Center marks 20 years


Worthington's Griswold Center is known for its 55-and-older programs, but the facility's leaders hope to attract a different crowd this weekend as it hosts its 20th-anniversary celebration, highlighted by its "Past and Present" event.

After a Griswold Center members celebration Friday night, Saturday's event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Village Green, is intended to bring a wide variety of community members together.

"As far as parks and recreation goes, our main focus is to provide a quality experience for the Worthington community," event manager Ryan Cooper said. "That includes families and everything that the community encompasses."

The event will focus on Worthington's past, Cooper said, adding that focusing on the city's history was an easy decision.

"We were looking to do something for our 20th anniversary, and just through sort of brainstorming, we came up with this idea to focus on Worthington history," he said. "Our building is set on a historic site registered with the state, and Ezra Griswold was one of original settlers back in 1803. Our building has historical meaning, so we just kind of took that and ran with it."

History-focused performer Hank Arbaugh will perform his Ohio History through Music and Storytelling at the free event,which will include interactive exhibits and crafts to entertain the younger history buffs.

"The crafts and games definitely are more geared toward kids," Cooper said.

The Worthington Historical Society will offer a historical bus ride throughout the city ($14 pre-registration is required) that will highlight other historical landmarks and locations.

Worthington's J Liu Restaurant & Bar will be open for the event.

Funding for the celebration will come largely from donations accepted at the various exhibits, and volunteers from both the Griswold Center and the historical society allow for the afternoon's operation.

Despite the low budget and limited advertising, Cooper said, he expects a large turnout.

"I was out at the arts fest, where there were thousands of people walking around, (and I was) handing out information for our event," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of people already knew the event, so it seems like it should be a great event, assuming the weather holds up."

Cooper said the celebration would be held rain or shine, but if severe weather approaches, organizers will move as many activities inside as possible.