Educational & Cultural

Event to celebrate ‘Best Hometown’

Yellow Springs is the best hometown because we embrace the spirit of community. We are a town where neighbors help one another in good times and bad, and where one person’s voice can truly make a tangible difference.

Yellow Springs is the best hometown because you can be yourself, no matter where you are in the village.

Yellow Springs is the best hometown because there is art in every yard. It’s all around. I don’t get hassled for not mowing my grass and having weed trees growing in my yard. There are a lot of cats and dogs and squirrels in town. A lot of walnut trees, too!

The above are a few of the statements submitted in response to the request from the Chamber of Commerce that villagers say why “Yellow Springs is the best hometown.” Submissions were made on index cards and placed in boxes around town in preparation for the “Best Hometown” celebration, which will take place this Friday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the courtyard between the Emporium and the Senior Center. The event will honor the village having been chosen by Ohio Magazine as one of Ohio’s 2010 “Best Hometowns.”

Festivities kick off with a dance performance by Melissa Heston and her troupe performing their “Mellow Yellow” dance, created especially for the occasion. Local school children will read some of the “Best Hometown” responses, and Louise Smith and friends will perform two original songs from the 2003 local history play, The Peculiarly Salubrious, Singular and Curious, Mildly Outrageous and Sometimes Lugubrious History of a Natural Spring and the Town That Grew Up Around It.

Ohio Magazine publisher and editor Rich Osborne will attend the event to present the village with a framed Ohio Magazine cover of the Yellow Spring, which appeared in the November issue of the magazine in the southwest region of the state.

Following the celebration, hot cider and refreshments will be available in the Senior Center. The Third Friday Fling, which begins at 6 p.m., will kick off the holiday season in the village with free carriage rides, stores open late for holiday shopping, and the Hoppers performing at the Emporium.

People look you in the eye, even a stranger, and will greet you with a “hello” or a “good morning.”

You see groups of people standing or sitting and engaged in wonderful discussions.

I love running into all my friends at the grocery, post office or coffee shop!

Yellow Springs is a great hometown because kids growing up here have more freedom to express themselves, be who they are. And they can fairly safely walk or bike anywhere in town. It’s a safe place that inspires and encourages creativity.

The village was chosen after the magazine’s Travel Editor Jessica Esemplare visited Yellow Springs in August, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Wintrow in an interview last week. During her visit, which coincided with a Third Friday Fling, Esemplare and Wintrow were stopped on the street by a villager who talked about ways to improve bikability, and the two visited Miri Nasoff of Pass it On Kids, who spoke about youth initiatives in town.

The combination of those interactions, the Third Friday Fling, and the expected rebirth of Antioch College made an impression on Esemplare, Wintrow said.

“This is an award for the town, not the Chamber,” Wintrow said. “Other towns have cool downtowns or amenities or nature preserves. I think it was more the nature of the community that set us apart. In the end, what impressed her was the energy, the openness and the sense of community.”

Other 2010 “Best Hometown” winners in other parts of the state are Granville, central Ohio; Willoughby, northeast Ohio; Cambridge, southeast Ohio; and Sylvania, northwest Ohio. The winners were featured in the November issue, and will also be featured in the January and June issues of the magazine.

Yellow Springs is the best hometown because I can meet, greet, learn and teach as I run into people in the produce section of Tom’s grocery.

Good bread, foreign films and coffee in walking distance. Glen Helen and the intellectual diversity that Antioch College brings.

Yellow Springs is a fun town. I once was walking with my dad and he stopped to talk with about three or five people. That’s Yellow Springs.

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