It was a picture-perfect weekend that missed the rains of this summer, which was good news for the 46th annual Westerville Area Chamber Music & Arts Festival at Heritage Park.
The summer heat was accompanied by a nice breeze July 13 and 14, as the sound of three music-packed stages and sweet smell of food from 18 vendors filled the air. Nearly 16,000 attendees took part in the weekend's activities.
This summer tradition, recently crowned Best of the Bus for Best Suburban Festival by CityScene Magazine, is one of the many community events that make Westerville one of the 'Best places to Live in the US'; a place that appreciates the arts, quality of life and demonstrates a partnership of business and public services.
More than 50 chamber businesses and 150 volunteers helped make the weekend possible, turning the lawn in front of the Everal Barn into a concert venue and serving as host to our second year with a headliner concert. This year the concert featured Westerville Jazz Series with the Urban Jazz Coalition, followed by the Reaganomics.
This year's festival taught us a lot of things. For starters, our community appreciates fine art and we saw that with an increase in visitors during the weekend.
We also learned this festival has become a family tradition for many in our community and for some who are new to Westerville. One couple came as far as Yellow Springs just to take in the music and another family said their mother always circles the dates on her calendar to come to town and keep her attendance streak of 25-plus festival years going.
We also learned that our community wants a headliner concert -- and more beer. We more than doubled our attendance for the Saturday-evening concert and our beer order, only to run out.
We appreciate all who came out to hear the Reaganomics and we already are working on making sure our concert meets your needs better next year.
All in all, it's hard to imagine a summer without our chamber member businesses and our community partners coming together to host this event and we look forward to its return the weekend of July 11 and 12, 2020.
Now that the festival is complete, we encourage you to join us for our upcoming chamber events, especially the Quarterly Membership Luncheon on Sept. 10, "From Buckeye to Business Owner," featuring former Ohio State Buckeye athletes Ryan Miller, M2 Marketing and the Second and Seventh Foundation; Shaun Stonerook, Schneider's Bakery and Coppa Gelato; and Zach Boren, Boren Brothers. Go to westerville chamber.com for more information and to see a full calendar of events.
Janet Tressler-Davis is president and CEO of the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, which provides Chamber Corner to ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion.