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TBT: The last ride at Olentangy Park

Mike Thomas

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With its brick facades and bright blue awnings facing High street, The Olentangy Village apartments are a Clintonville landmark in their own right. Though you’d never know it from the orderly rows of dwellings that stand there today, the stretch of land between High Street and Ackerman was once home to one of central Ohio’s most thrilling destinations.

From 1899 to 1938, Olentangy Park—once one of the largest amusement parks in the nation—occupied the space that is today Olentangy Village.

Opened by the Dusenbury Brothers, Olentangy Park was home to “The Figure Eight,” a full-scale wooden roller coaster. Other park attractions included a tunnel of love, a zoo featuring wildlife including monkeys, bears, and elephants, and a Japanese Gardens exhibit imported straight from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

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Expansion of the park continued in the 1910’s, with the addition of several more rides such as the “Loop the Loop,” an early example of a looping roller coaster. A ferris wheel was added, and in 1914, a carousel—the very same that is enjoyed by riders today at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

By 1938, effects of the Great Depression had greatly deceased Amusement Park attendance, and Olentangy Park was forced to close. Many of the rides were liquidated or dismantled altogether, with some relocated to the Wyandot Lake Amusement Park. The land was eventually leveled to prepare the way for the construction of Olentangy Village Apartments.

Today, the only building from the Olentangy Park that remains intact is the park’s office and zoo keeper’s quarters on North Street, which has been repurposed into six apartments.

The next time you’re grabbing a gyro at Aladdins or getting your hair did at Aveda in Clintonville, picture generations of people screaming their heads off several stories above you on wooden roller coaster!

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“It’s a-me, Mario!” Buy tix now for video game-inspired racing in Columbus

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You’ve played Mario Kart and you’ve probably played Beerio Kart, but have you played Mushroom Racing?

This live-action go karting experience is coming to Columbus Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30.

Eventbrite tickets are still on sale.

The $55 experience includes costumes, 20 laps, DJ and after party, games, activities and more.

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If you’ve got your drifting and shell-throwing down to a science, you could win yourself a place in the Mushroom Racing in Las Vegas.

There will be 20 spots in the final with three ways in which racers can win a place on the grid in Las Vegas:

  1. Having the fastest lap time in your city.
  2. Collecting the most stars in your city (Top 3 in the country will go to Vegas!)
  3. A lottery – Every person that purchases a ticket to the event , will be entered into a lottery.

There will also be prizes for collecting the most stars throughout the Mushroom Rally series!

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FREE Boyz II Men concert will bring you down “On Bended Knee”

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One of the most iconic “man bands” of this generation will be gracing us with a FREE concert this summer! It’s far from the “End of the Road” for Boyz II Men, who will be performing live at Columbus Commons on Thursday, August 8.

Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman will be bringing you down “On Bended Knee” with their smash hits from the 90s like “I’ll Make Love To You,” “A Song For Mama,” and “Motownphilly.”

None of those songs sound familiar? Maybe you’ll recognize the latter from this scheme in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

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While the tickets are free, you must still acquire them to attend. Early access tickets will be available to Columbus Commons newsletter subscribers on Tuesday, June 25 at 10 AM. A limited number of additional free tickets will be released on Thursday, June 27. Sign up for the Columbus Commons newsletter for early access to tickets at columbuscommons.org.

See below for additional details.

  • Gates will open at 6 PM.
  • Ticketholders will not be permitted to access the park before gates open at 6 PM.
  • Easy and convenient $5 parking for this event is available at the Columbus Commons Main Garage, located at 55 East Rich Street.
  • Food trucks and bars will be available.
  • Folding chairs and blankets are welcome.
  • Coolers and outside alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  • Free tickets are required for entry.
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I…Declare…an Office Trivia Bar Crawl in Columbus!

Mike Thomas

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Start a new series on Netflix, or re-watch The Office for the 100th time? We already know which option you’ve chosen, so why not put the countless hours you’ve spent with the Dunder Mifflin gang to work?

The “That’s What She Said Trivia Bar Crawl” is the perfect way to face off against other Office Super fans, putting your knowledge of all things Scranton to the test. The crawl will take place over multiple bars on Saturday, June 1, with registration running from 4-6 PM at Park Street Cantina.

This is not a drill! Free Dunder Mifflin souvenir t-shirts will be available for those who sign up early, as well as a souvenir D.M. ID card, lanyard and crawl guide for all participants.

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Food and drink specials – hopefully chili – will also be available to participants as they take on 3 rounds of 25 questions about everyone’s favorite workplace docu-comedy TV show.

“Dundies” and other prizes will be awarded for for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trivia winners, as well as prizes for the best costumes in individual and group categories.

This event is 21, and please note that you will need a cell phone with data to take part. For more info, visit the event page here.

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