Visit Gahanna: Herb Day returns May 1 with new location at Veterans Memorial Park

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Customers browse through various herbs for sale during the 2019 Herb Day event at Creekside Plaza in Gahanna. The yearly event had about 50 vendors and more than 5,000 plants representing 100 varieties of herbs for purchase.

Garden enthusiasts will be able to touch and smell plants with the return of an in-person Herb Day in Gahanna.

The May 1 event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a new location at Veterans Memorial Park, 73 W. Johnstown Road, to provide for social distancing.

Lori Kappes, Visit Gahanna director, said the Ohio Herb Center and Visit Gahanna are pleased to present Herb Day at Veterans Memorial Park, with the assistance of the city of Gahanna.

Visit Gahanna's Herb Day will return as an in-person event this year at a new location at Veterans Memorial Park, 73 W. Johnstown Road.

"The change of location was made in an effort to keep participants and patrons safe," she said. "We hope the community will come out to purchase plants and visit vendors as they have in previous years."

Herb Day traditionally features more than 5,000 plants representing 100 varieties of herbs available for purchase.

Doug Heindel, Millcreek Gardens LLC business-development and marketing manager, said Millcreek has enjoyed working with Gahanna over the past several years and looks forward to another successful season this year. 

He said some of the more popular varieties that will be available for sale will be rosemary, including the common, barbecue and Arp varieties; basil, including the Genovese and Valentino varieties; and lavender, including the munstead, hidcote and blueberry-ruffles varieties. Also available will be Italian parsley, cilantro, English thyme, Robert Mitchum peppermint, lemon thyme and Italian oregano.

"There are many more varieties as well but these will have the largest numbers," Heindel said.

Genovese, a variety of basil, will be among the many plants for sale at Herb Day.

Vendors will be set up around the park area and the large plant sale will be in the same footprint, said Kayleigh Bowe, Visit Gahanna community-development and events specialist.

“We will not have any speakers or classes in order to avoid gathering,” she said.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person event was canceled last year while sponsors, vendors and speakers that were scheduled to be part of the day were recognized virtually.

This year, attendees will find all the herbs they've come to know and count on purchasing, said Amanda Ferguson, Ohio Herb Center coordinator and instructor.

“We have expanded our quart perennial herb selection, which is perfect for adding herbs to your landscaping at home,” she said. “We are offering plant bundles for contactless pickup this year.” 

Ferguson said each bundle contains a 1-quart herb and five 3-inch pot herbs. 

“These bundles were curated by Ohio Herb Center staff and include pollinator, culinary and sensory plants,” Ferguson said. 

Lavander hidcote will be available for purchase at Gahanna's May 1 Herb Day.

Each bundle costs $25 and must be paid for in advance. 

Visit Gahanna has been sourcing plants from Millcreek Gardens LLC in Ostrander for close to nine years, according to Ferguson. 

 To ensure the safety of the event, she said, the number of vendors has been reduced to allow people to spread out and have allotted space for 15 vendors. 

“Attendees of Herb Day will be happy to see familiar faces from crowd favorites with the addition of a few new vendors, all showcasing the creativity of central Ohio artisanal products,” Ferguson said. “Our vendors range from pottery, recycled art, jewelry, soap, body care products, garden accessories, honey, seasonings and, of course, herbal products.”

Bowe said several COVID-19 safety protocols would be followed:

• Vendors will be at least 8 feet apart.

• Everyone who enters will be required to use hand sanitizer (and more will be available at vendor locations).

• The vendors and plant sale will have a one-way traffic flow.

• Masks will be required.

• Social-distancing standards will apply.

 “We are working with the city of Gahanna to ensure that we are following all of the current COVID-19 protocols so that we can provide a safe and fun event for the community,” Bowe said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla