The Ritz Theatre

City receives funding for alley enhancement

Local foundations award $70,000 to pedestrian project

AlleyProject-nolightsonpoles

Conceptual drawing, subject to change.

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 20, 2017 – Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz announced at a Tiffin City Council meeting tonight that the city has secured funding to move forward with a pedestrian alley enhancement project in downtown Tiffin.

The city received two grants, $40,087 from the Meshech Frost Charitable Trust and $30,000 from the National Machinery Foundation, which will cover nearly all costs associated with the project.

“Thanks to the support of our local charitable foundations, we are able to move forward with a project that will transform one of the most used alleys in our downtown into a beautiful, inviting, pedestrian-friendly walkway,” Montz said. “The project will create a safe, well-lit connection between parking and downtown amenities, for both residents and visitors.”

The alley to be enhanced is located across from the Ritz Theatre between City Parking Lot #3 and South Washington Street, adjacent to 33 and 45 South Washington Street. The alley will be closed to vehicular traffic, with removable bollards to allow utility vehicle access.

Improvements will include installation of six decorative poles to support overhead string lighting running the length of the alley, a decorative stamped asphalt surface, and benches, trash cans, planters, and bike racks. Detailed design items will be finalized this winter and construction beginning as early as this winter or early spring, with a target completion date before September 2018. Gas and electric utility work has already been completed.

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp.’s Downtown Design Committee chose the project from the Downtown Tiffin Strategic Growth & Development Plan, adopted by council in 2016, and has been working closely with the City Engineer’s department to plan and fund the project. The plan pinpoints several alleys for enhancement, which will be considered upon completion of the current project.

Phat Cakes

Meet Natalie Wertz, founder and owner of Phat Cakes & Cafe. Located in downtown Tiffin across from the Ritz Theatre, the restaurant offers a full menu including craft beer, wine, mixed drinks, homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche, specials, and gourmet desserts.

Established as a home-based business in 2009, the hunt for a storefront started almost immediately as Wertz’ customer base grew. Looking to give new life to a building that was targeted for a tear down, the vision to open and coexist with Bunky’s Bicycle Service was put into motion. Demolition started in 2010 and it took a solid year of self renovation.

“At the beginning of construction it was almost impossible to envision that we were going to build this space into anything…demolition alone took months, but I’m glad that we were able to revitalize a vacant building downtown. I chose Tiffin for many reasons. The best one is because of my family and friends that are absolutely dedicated to the core. They have helped with the construction and growth of Phat Cakes from the beginning,” says Wertz.

Awarded the Entrepreneur Spirit award by the Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation in 2014, Wertz and her staff continue to add a positive vibe to the downtown scene.

From Natalie and the amazingly dedicated staff at Phat Cakes & Bunky’s, “We hope to see you soon!

More at Phat Cakes:

  • Gluten Free & Vegetarian Options
  • Party Booking
  • Hosting Benefit Nights
  • Beer Flights 5 for $8
  • A venue for local artists to preform
  • Catering with individualized menu planning
  • Party Trays – Sandwich & Dessert trays
  • Customized Cutout cookies & cakes
  • Desserts including over 100 different cupcake varieties, gourmet cheesecakes, cookies & more
  • Wine & Beer tastings
  • Paint Parties
  • Thirsty Thursday with Live Music at 7pm, $3 Craft Beers & $2 Tacos.

Open after the Ritz Theatre shows

Stop by Monday – Wednesday 10:30-2:30 and Thursday – Saturday 10:30-10pm!

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Downtown Tiffin businesses offer “Trick or Treat”

Downtown Trick or TreatA new Tiffin Halloween event, the 1st Annual Downtown Trick or Treat is slated for Friday, Oct. 30 from 3:30-5 p.m. More than 60 businesses, organizations and offices all over downtown Tiffin will be opening their doors to provide candy to children. Afterward, Tom Rodgers Flowers will have cider and donuts for adult trick or treaters from 5-6 p.m.

Organizer Yolanda Gonzales got the idea from a similar event in Owensboro, KY, where she used to live. “It was a win for the community, businesses got positive exposure, kids got candy, caretakers learned more about their community and it was daylight. I found myself entering business that I would not normally go into – it was a wonderful way to meet businesses in town – also meet the people who own the businesses and  people who work there,” she said. “So, I contacted Mr. Montz with the idea and he said it was a great idea – but he needed someone to coordinate it.  I volunteered.”

Gonzales was greeted with excitement and enthusiastic responses from downtown businesses and hopes to make this an annual event. “The owners of Cabin Creations said they used to do this downtown – but no one else remembers.  I hope this becomes a new tradition for Tiffin.”

The following organizations are scheduled to participate, as well as businesses displaying a flyer in the window during the event:

If you have a downtown business, organization or office and would like to join the fun, contact Yolanda Gonzales at yolanda.gonzales4@gmail.com.

This is only one of the many events taking place over the next two weeks. Other upcoming community Halloween events include:

Around the Town event welcomes back university students

around the townNearly 1,000 Heidelberg and Tiffin University students will have an opportunity to see what more than 60 Tiffin businesses and organizations are all about at a Welcome Back Students/Around the Town Event this Saturday, Aug. 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. on the courthouse green space.

Around the Town is one of the signature events of the Downtown Strategic Plan, and this is the first year that the event will be held downtown and combine both universities.

WTSC Seneca County Radio will be live broadcasting from the event, playing music and interviewing guests. Several restaurants will be providing free samples, shops and restaurants will hand out coupons and menus, non-profits will provide students with information about how to get involved in their organizations and students can check out local services.

SIEDC Downtown Development Specialist Bryce Riggs is a Heidelberg student the lead organizer of the event. “As a student and lifelong Tiffin resident, I am aware of the opportunities in the community, but the majority of new students don’t know what’s out there or where they can go. Tiffin has so much to offer! I would like other students to know what’s out there, so they can get involved in the local organizations and visit our restaurants and shops,” Riggs said.

Participating businesses and organizations:

Businesses open around the square:

Tiffin Art Fair & Art Walk this Saturday

2015_08_07 - Art Walk Map The Tiffin Summer Art Walk is this Saturday, August 8, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., in conjunction with the Tiffin Art Fair at the courthouse green space and the Tiffin Art Guild. In addition, the Seneca County Farmers Market on South Washington Street will be extended until 4 p.m.

Throughout the day, walkers can visit Tiffin museums and galleries to view exhibits, take tours, create crafts and enter into drawings for door prizes. There are also 15 downtown businesses participating, with free live music, art displays and demonstrations, and tours.

The following museums and galleries are participating:

Along with the following businesses:2015_08_07 - Art Walk Guide

For a complete map and more information about the museums, galleries and businesses, click here.

Bo Reid Memorial Baseball Tournament set for this weekend

The 11th Annual Bo Reid Memorial Baseball Tournament will take place this weekend with free events planned Friday, July 24 – Sunday, July 26. This year also features 24 youth baseball teams from Northwest Ohio and special guest, actor and author Dwier Brown.

The weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday with Dwier Brown speaking at the Ritz Theatre, followed by a free screening of Field of Dreams, the award-winning baseball film in which Brown plays Kevin Costner’s father. On Saturday at Hedges-Boyer Park, the tournament will begin when Dwier Brown throws out the first pitch at 8:45 a.m. There will also be activities for children and a screening of the film, Mom and Dad Save the World. The tournament resumes Sunday with the championship games and a trophy ceremony.

Dwier Brown will be also be signing copies of his critically acclaimed memoir, “If You Build It… A book about Fathers, Fate and Field of Dreams,” on Friday and Saturday.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Friday – Ritz Theatre

  • 7 p.m. – Dwier Brown
  • 7:30 p.m. – Field of Dreams showing
  • 9 p.m. – Q&A with Dwier Brown

Saturday – Hedges-Boyer Park

  • 8:45 a.m. – First pitch – Dwier Brown
  • 9 a.m. – Tournament begins
  • 10 a.m. – Bouncing inflatables, slides, play area
  • 12 p.m. – Dwier Brown speaks
  • 12:30 p.m. – Mom and Dad Save the World screening

Sunday – Hedges-Boyer Park

  • 9 a.m. – Championship games
  • 7 p.m. – Trophy ceremony

All proceeds from the tournament are to be donated to the Robert ‘Bo’ Reid Memorial Fund, managed by the Tiffin Charitable Foundation, to benefit Tiffin Park and Recreation.

Downtown lands new boutique shop

Simply Susan’s, a “unique boutique,” to open downtown

Simply Susan'sTIFFIN, OHIO – June 5, 2015 Scrap Happy owner Susan Wilkinson has announced she will be opening a new store, Simply Susan’s, at the former location of Hey That’s My Stuff in downtown Tiffin. Wilkinson hopes to open the store at 70 South Washington Street in early September.

Wilkinson said she wants to make Simply Susan’s a “unique boutique” and gift shop. Offerings will include chocolates to be made in-house, customizable sugar cookies, craft supplies, scrapbooking basics and possibly apparel. The business will also include arts and crafts classes, a room available to rent for parties and events, and live Disney princesses for store events and private parties.

Though Wilkinson owned Scrap Happy, a scrapbooking supply shop, for nine years, this will be her first downtown venture. “This is a great time to open a store downtown, the passion is there. There’s a group of people there that are excited and they want to help you,” Wilkinson said.

She is also excited to be located next to Bailiwick’s Coffee Company. “The two businesses complement each other well,” Wilkinson said.

Susan’s is part of a growing resurgence in art for downtown Tiffin, joining businesses such as Bailiwick’s, Red Raven, the Tiffin Art Guild and The Ritz Theatre in offering visual and performance art opportunities through education, supplies and events.

Wilkinson is currently updating the interior of the store space and also plans to take advantage of the Façade Enhancement Program to repaint the building’s exterior.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Indie art show in Tiffin tomorrow

Local gallery to donate proceeds to art festival, scholarship

Art Gallery 4Local body and visual arts studio Red Raven Tattoo Gallery  will host this Saturday the latest in a series of indie art shows highlighting the creative talents of up and coming local artists. This Saturday’s show will display 21 works in the skateboard art genre by 12 area artists.

The show will run 6 to 9 pm, auction off the pieces, and proceeds will benefit the scholarship of this year’s Tiffin Music and Art Festival (June 12-13). In addition, 125 other art works will be on display and for sale. Separate donations to the TMAF Scholarship will also be accepted.

Tiffin’s vibrant arts scene is beginning to become more well known. Other arts offerings in Tiffin include:

Thousands attend 8th largest festival in Ohio

The Budweiser Clydesdales in the Heritage Festival parade. *Photo courtesy of the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival's Facebook page.

The Budweiser Clydesdales in the Heritage Festival parade.
*Photo courtesy of the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival’s Facebook page.

This month marked the 36th time Tiffin has celebrated the annual Heritage Festival. Friday, September 19th kicked off Ohio’s eighth largest festival with festivalgoers celebrating in the downtown and at Hedges-Boyer park, where people were treated to food vendors and live music throughout the night. On Saturday, September 20th, families gathered for the annual Heritage Festival parade in historical Downtown Tiffin. The parade featured local school bands, dance groups, Heidelberg and Tiffin University international students, Heritage Festival royalty, and a visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales. Following the parade, a short meet and greet with the Clydesdales was conducted in front of The Ritz Theatre.

Following the parade, festival attendees explored the Heritage Festival’s Downtown Area. Downtown featured food vendors, children’s activities, and a kid’s inflatable area in Courthouse Lawn. In addition, Frost Parkway featured a stage of live music and entertainment performers, along with an Arts and Crafts show. Finally, the night was once again filled with live entertainment throughout many Downtown locations.

Along with the Downtown festivities, the Heritage Festival features a living history village in Hedges-Boyer Park. The living history village takes attendees back to the Civil War era, where visitors experienced Civil War encampments, Native American villages, and Pioneer camps. Guests enjoyed open fire food vendors, vintage baseball matches, a kid’s craft area, miniature steam engine rides, and a Civil War military ball. In addition, a Heritage 5K and youth race occurred at the park.

Community remembers 9/11 at All Patriots Memorial

DSC_005913 years following the destruction that occurred on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial held a memorial service to remember the events that occurred on the historic day. The day’s events began with a program held for Tiffin Columbian and Tiffin Calvert freshmen students, where a documentary was watched at Columbian before being bused to the memorial for special remarks.

Later that day, thanks to a grant from The National Machinery Foundation and help from The Ritz Theatre, a second memorial service was held free for the public. People began the program at The Ritz Theatre, where a documentary regarding the 9/11 events was shown. Following the documentary, people proceeded to the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial. During the memorial services, various speakers shared their reflections on the tragic day’s events that occurred thirteen years ago.

The 17.5 foot long steel center column, weighing over 6,000 pounds, was retrieved following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. On August 23, 2011, three Tiffin Firefighters and one retired firefighter traveled to New York City’s JFK Airport to retrieve the steel artifact. The Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial was dedicated in September of 2012. The memorial sits in Tiffin, Ohio, on the corner of North Washington Street and Water Street, along the Sandusky River.