By Susan Tebben
With the spring thaw finally on the horizon, Mill Creek MetroParks events almost are ready to begin again.
With an Easter extravaganza March 23, the parks will kick off another year of events, including entertainment, fine arts, exercise and education.
Some events, such as the Easter celebration and the baby animal shower at the beginning of April, are annual, but new exercise classes, a new part of the golf course and the rebranding of the concert series at the Judge Morley Pavilion are among the new arrivals.
“We’re branding the Morley very differently this year,” said April Stanislaw, assistant marketing director for the parks.
Starting in June, “Live! at the Morley” will begin, and with the new series comes a new art show, the idea for which Stanislaw came up with recently.
“We’ve never really embraced the fine arts, so I’m excited that we get to do that now,” Stanislaw said.
The Art Walk will be a weekly showcase of local artists of all kinds who will display and sell their original works. Stanislaw said they have received many calls about the walk and are excited to start receiving applications from artists who plan to participate.
Also new with the concert series are Saturday shows, including an Elton John and Michael Jackson tribute.
Outside of entertainment, new fitness classes featuring yoga and Pilates, among others, are being arranged by the parks.
“Right now, they’ve been all over the parks, but we’re working to get them all in one place,” said marketing director Linda Kostka. “It will be nice to finally be able to get outside the buildings to have these.”
The parks also are looking forward to the summer vegetable garden program for children, along with a daffodil show starting April 19 at Fellows Riverside Gardens. The gardens are going to be in bloom in new ways this year as well. New walkways were installed last fall, and brick, flagstone and mulch paths connect major areas of the gardens on the eastern side, according to horticulture director Keith Kaiser. The new Ohio Woodland Garden will be a good place to see early spring wildflowers as well, he said.
With 21 outings already scheduled at Mill Creek Golf Course, the season already is looking up for the course. But now that they will have a driving range close to the 10th tee, more people will take advantage of their free time to golf, course manager Dan Walsh said.
“If they can’t get out to play, they can at least come on their lunch breaks and hit a bucket of balls to stay loose,” Walsh said.
The range is scheduled to open at the beginning of May.