It could be said the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair always has been a homecoming of sorts for Hilliard residents, but organizers want to draw in even more central Ohioans.
The Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, on Main Street and several other local roads that are closed for the event. Main Street will be closed between North and Madison streets, and Center, Norwich and Madison streets will be closed between Columbia and Wayne streets.
Tim Kauffman, the new executive director of Destination Hilliard, said he is "excited" for a first look at one of the city's traditional celebrations.
The Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair began 33 years ago as a single-day street festival called "Old Hilliard Day." In subsequent years, sponsors changed, as did the venue when it was moved to the Franklin County Fairgrounds; it also was staged as a two-day event on occasion.
"I've read a ton about it and from my perspective it looks a great family event for Hilliard," said Tim Kauffman, who was hired last month as second executive director of Destination Hilliard, which former executive director Christy Clark described as "an accredited destination-marketing organization with the mission of promoting the city of Hilliard. Destination Hilliard works with businesses and organizations to bring economic activity to the city through events and sports tournaments."
Kauffman said he met the board of directors of the Hilliard Civic Association, the private organization that runs the street fair, last week to discuss how to promote the event in the future.
"I think it is marketable not only to our community, of course, but to visitors," he said.
One feature of the street fair is that patrons will be able to enjoy a craft beer while strolling at the event, even though it is not covered by the city's Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area rules.
Per state law, a DORA permits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas within certain boundaries during specific times and dates. Hilliard's DORA is in its second year and includes six establishments from which alcohol can be purchased.
Instead, the Hilliard Civic Association obtained a special permit to allow alcohol sales and consumption in public area only within the confines of the street fair, according to Robert Vance, secretary of the civic association.
Hilliard law director Tracy Bradford confirmed the organization met the requirements for the permit.
The craft beer will be available from North High Brewing, Vance said. But because the street fair isn't a DORA event, beer purchased at any of the restaurants cannot be taken off their premises, he said.
Overall, Vance said, organizers are striving to create a family-focused event, Vance said.
"Old Hilliardfest features a wide variety of food, music and family-oriented entertainment," he said.
Changes for this year's street fair include replacing a classic car show with a "Touch-a-Truck" display in the parking of Chase Bank at Main and Norwich streets.
"We thought it more family-friendly to have an event where kids can climb on things," Vance said.
As usual, food will be a primary focus, with vendors lining Main Street and other areas, he said.
Artwork and crafts will be displayed for sale, and three stages will provide live entertainment.
To view a full schedule of performances, a list of vendors and other scheduled activities, go to oldhilliardfest.org.
The third annual Run to Remember 5K will start immediately prior to the street fair.
Race-day registration is $30 and opens at 7:30 a.m. The race begins at 9:15 a.m. at Hilliard Heritage Middle School, 5670 Scioto Darby Road.
The 5K will conclude at First Responders Park at Main and Center streets, where an awards ceremony is at 10 a.m.