Downtown Bowling Green

Ice bar & garden gives BG a place to chill

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Winterfest BG Chillabration is back for 2018 even bigger and better than last year. The Saturday evening of live bands, incredible ice bar and amazing ice garden met with rave reviews.  This year the heated Frozen Swamp Tent will not only provide shelter for live music from 4 – 11 pm, it will also present the first ever Winter Market from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  All this happens in the Huntington parking lot on the corner of Clough and S. Main Streets. This is also the location for our beautiful ice garden and live ice carving demonstrations.  The ice garden officially opens at 10 am. This year we will host mascots from 10 am – 6 pm and they will be the models for our extremely talented ice carvers from Ice Creations.  This is sure to be a hit with every age group.  The schedule of these live sculptures and appearances are:  10 am – Bobby and Betty Bobcat, Noon – Walleyes’ Spike and Cat Trick, 2 pm – Freddie and Frieda Falcon, 4 pm – Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot.  Many thanks to the sponsors of these live demonstrations; Almar Property Management, Greenbriar Inc., Thayer Honda and Walmart and to those that made it possible for us to have all these great mascots at our event; The Mud Hens, BGSU Athletics, Bowling Green City Schools and Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Retro.   There will be Mud Hens tickets given away as a part of the Walleyes sculpture demonstration and Thayer Honda will have giveaways including a $100 Visa Card during the last demonstration of the day.  BGSU Athletics will be on hand to let us know about the special programs they have going on too! Our incredible 6 foot ice bar that will be unveiled at 4 p.m. was sponsored by Nate and Wally’s Fish Bowl, Everyday People and Uptown/Downtown. They are all businesses in Downtown Bowling Green.   The design is under wraps and is sure to be one of the “coolest” sculptures of this event. The ice garden sculptures this year offer everything from a huge piggy bank to a tricycle.  Those that attend will have a chance to win prizes at the following sponsored sculptures:  Elite Collegiate Apparel, Howards Club H, Sundae Station and For Keeps Gifts is offering customers a special when they stop in and say what was inside their sculpture.  We received ice sculpture sponsorships from all of these businesses too:  Heritage Corners, BGSU, Copy Shop, Banfax Exterminating, Ben Franklin Crafts, Randall Roberts, CPA, Wood County Insurance, Main Street Ace Hardware, The Sentinel-Tribune,  The City of Bowling Green, BGSU Athletics, The Union Bank, Newlove Realty, The Four Corners Center, Marsh & Marsh Attorneys at Low, Blush Bridal, Brookdale Bowling Green, BG Parks and Recreation, BG Youth Hockey, and all these realtors of BG Danberry Realtors: Maggie Fawcett, Sandy Rowland, Scott Estep, Bryan Hartzel, Joann Amos, Deb Shaffer, Tracy Brownell, Linda Smith, Donna Friesner, Traci Dobbelaere, Reggie Hanneman Allison Luce, Jeff & Joy Studer. We want to thank everyone who has help us create the most exciting ice garden ever for our Winterfest Chillabration 2018.  This is just one part of the overall event, but it will be the part of the event you will not want to miss.  It will be…

BG has lot on its plate with Community Action Plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The completed Community Action Plan has given the city a lot to chew on. “What’s that saying, ‘You can’t eat a horse in one bite,’” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said about the plan. “There are so many things in there, we could get overwhelmed very quickly.” The CAP is like a smorgasbord that the city will have to decide what it can handle now on its plate, and what needs to wait. “It’s a lot,” Planning Director Heather Sayler said. “It can’t all be done at once.” The plan, which cost the city $89,000, will be presented to City Council and City Planning Commission members on Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., in the Wood County Courthouse Atrium. The city wants to make sure that others in the community join in the smorgasbord. “We can’t shoulder this all on our own,” Fawcett said. Those community partners include BGSU, businesses and residents. “We also need neighborhoods to champion this,” Sayler said. The Bowling Green Community Action Plan follows in the footsteps of the vision set by the Land Use Plan Update adopted by the city in 2014. It describes strategies to improve the quality of life for residents throughout the city, with a definite focus on the East Side and neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The goals of the plan are generating a stronger owner-occupied household market, attracting and retaining professionals and young families, developing high-quality rental units, encouraging greater investment toward improving existing properties, and establishing better community connections. The CAP has also been guided by comments received through the planning process, such as the need to address conflicts between homeowners and BGSU students, lack of housing diversity, ineffective zoning regulations, and misunderstandings about code enforcement. The plan offers “7 Bowling Green Principles” created to act as a tool to evaluate requests for new development and guide redevelopment and revitalization of the city’s core area. The plan focuses on the East Side, which has been greatly impacted by the growth of BGSU and has become a magnet for student rental properties. Over the years, the character of the neighborhood has changed from single-family owner-occupied homes into an area dominated by rental properties geared toward students, compounded by aging housing stock and lowered property values. The Land Use Plan emphasizes the opportunity to attract stable households to this community, making it walkable to downtown and the university. But the plan warns that given the lack of private reinvestment, impact on Bowling Green’s quality of life and relationship to the success of BGSU, the risk of not adequately addressing these neighborhood issues would be a major setback for the city, its residents and property owners. The Land Use Plan recommends broad initiatives intended to attract the city’s target market of young, educated professionals and starter families. The university, city, and local neighborhood organizations are encouraged to work together to promote a safe, sustainable and livable community. Following are the seven priority areas suggested in the plan. The costs to implement the proposals in the CAP range from “low cost” to more than $1 million. The plan identifies the partner most likely to lead each proposal – either the city, private funding, grants, neighborhoods, or BGSU. CORE DEVELOPMENT Extends from the eastern edge of downtown and connects…

BG eyes 2018 goals – neighborhoods, food trucks, downtown cameras and more

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neighborhood revitalization, food trucks, more cameras in the downtown bar district, and code enforcement by police made the list of 2018 goals for Bowling Green city officials. City department heads listed their top priorities for the year during a work session held Saturday morning for city council. Mayor Dick Edwards set the tone. “This is going to be a very ambitious year, and if we think otherwise, we’ll get smacked right in the face with it,” Edwards said. The mayor repeated some of the projects he mentioned at last week’s council meeting, including progress on Wooster Green, East Wooster corridor, and new City Park building. Unlike those highly visible projects, the city will also be updating its charter – making sure the effort is “citizen-driven,” Edwards said. And efforts will be made to define the city’s goal of being a “welcoming community.” The mayor talked about the city’s goal to become more diversified industrially. Sue Clark, the city’s economic development director, has reported increased interest in the city. “The phone has been ringing off the wall,” Edwards said. “It spells a very promising picture for 2018,” Edwards said, noting the importance of economic growth to city services. Edwards revisited a topic that consumed much of last year – the Nexus pipeline.  “That was gut-wrenching at times for all of us. That’s going to be a special challenge for us in 2018,” he said. City officials still have not been given a timeline for the pipeline construction. Concerns continue, the mayor said, about state legislation that could have negative effects on municipalities. Edwards has talked with State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green, about the state’s plans for 2018. “They keep talking in very positive terms about supporting local government,” Edwards said about state officials. “All the words coming out of Columbus are encouraging, but the proof is in the pudding.” The mayor also took time to try resurrecting the city historic preservation effort that was started and then dropped. “I would at least like to get something before you that you can address,” he said to council. Cities like Toledo are taking advantage of tax credits to revitalize downtown historic areas. Bowling Green could do the same, Edwards said. “Other communities have really been benefitting from this,” he said. Each of the city’s department heads also listed some goals for 2018. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said she would like to work on updating city regulations for permitting peddlers, solicitors and itinerant merchants. That includes regulations for food trucks. “We get many, many calls about this,” Tretter said. The current rules require 150 feet of right-of-way between food trucks and the roadway. “This ordinance has not been updated in a very long time.” Finance Director Brian Bushong will be working on bond rating and issuance for the I-75 interchange roundabouts and the City Park building. Bushong said the city will likely have to borrow money again in 2019, since efforts will be made to stay under $10 million in 2018. The city’s finance office is also working to replace its paper timecards for hourly employees. The new “Executime” process will eliminate paper and streamline the process, Bushong said. Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley talked about the new…

Chillabration offers businesses, organizations the chance to sponsor ice sculptures

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Winterfest BG Chillabration is back for 2018 even bigger and better than last year, Feb. 9, 10, and 11. The Saturday evening (Feb. 10) of live bands in a heated tent, incredible ice bar and amazing ice garden met with rave reviews.  This year the Frozen Swamp Tent will not only provide shelter for live music from 4-11 pm, it will also present the first ever Winter Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..  All this happens in the Huntington parking lot on the corner of Clough and South Main Streets. This is also the location for our beautiful ice garden and live ice carving demonstrations.  This year we will host mascots from the area from 10 a.m. to 5 p..m and they will be the models for our talented ice carvers.  This is sure to be a hit with every age group. This event offers something for everyone.  Families come out for the day and another crowd comes out to enjoy the hours of entertainment and craft beer and wine served from behind the incredible ice bar.   The Downtown Foundation will be overseeing the ice sculpture sales as a fundraiser. We are asking you to consider partnering with us to help make this year’s event spectacular with your commissioning of a custom ice sculpture displayed for the thousands of people expected to attend.  They will also be seen via our website, social media and other media coverage. The funds raised will help us continue to complete beautification projects in our historic downtown.   You can contact our office at 419-354-4332 or download an order form from our website at

Downtown BG announces Holly Days winners

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN It’s been a wonderful holiday season for Downtown Bowling Green and we are excited to announce winners of our Holly Days Drawings and Merchant Window Decorating Competition. There is still time to see the beautiful windows that our merchants dressed for the holidays in hopes to be selected the favorite.  Those that participating in our competition were:  Almar Property Mgmt, Evans Home Loans & Insurance, Farm Girls Vintage Boutique, Coyote Beads, Art-a-Site, Rock’em Sock’em Retro, Ace Hardware, Ben Franklin, Eden Fashion Boutique, Homeworks, For Keeps, Mode Elle, Painted Clovers, Waddington Jewelers and Blush-a bridal boutique.  Only one could be a winner and our shoppers voted 184 times of over 1000 votes placed for The Farm Girls Vintage Boutique.  They will have lunch delivered for 10 courtesy of Qdoba.  Many thanks to all the merchants for making the downtown so festive. One person was drawn from all the ballots cast for the windows to win $100 in Downtown Dollars.  That winner is Joseph Hein. Big dollars were available for any shopper to win in our annual Downtown Dollars Give Away.  By simply dropping an entry into a bag, you were entered.  Three lucky shoppers are going to be excited to shop, dine or enjoy one of the many services available with Downtown Dollars.  Winners are Deb Harrington $200, Jamie Alt $100 and Cindy Hollinger $50.   A visit to Santa Claus was profitable for Cooper King.  He won $50 in Downtown Dollars in the drawing for the children that visited Santa at the Four Corners Center.   Winners will be contacted by the Downtown BG office on how they can collect their prizes.    

Rocker Corky Laing taps into fountain of youth at Howard’s show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rock drummer Corky Laing says he’s a “22 year old with 50 years of experience.” Celebrating his 70th birthday at Howard’s Club H Saturday night, he demonstrated the truth in the quip. Appearing with the new edition of Corky Laing Plays Mountain, the veteran drummer performed with the energy of the musician who joined Mountain 50 years ago. And his drumming had the verve, precision and a way of shaping the music that’s honed over decades behind a drum set. Yes, the music is 50 years old, but Saturday night it had the freshness and power of newly minted hits. For the older fans in the mixed aged group, they could have stepped back to the time when that record one fan carried to get autographed were brand new. Laing was joined on stage by two stalwarts of the Toledo rock scene, Mark Mikel, on bass, and Chris Shutters, on guitar and flute. All three took turns singing. They provided an additional jolt of energy earning the applause of the audience and the praise of the leader. More than praise really. He said he wants this to be his last band. Working with him reminds him of those days when he first joined Mountain. Toledo is going to become his second home, he promised. The trio commanded the stage like a working unit, with tightly executed riffs, and driving groove. Shutters’ solos were blistering, and exploratory. The band delivered the promised Mountain hits – “Mississippi Queen,” “For Yasgur’s Farm.” Traveling in the Dark,” “Sitting on a Rainbow” and more. After pounding out the opening numbers, Laing announced he’d be telling some stories. It was his birthday so he could do what he wanted. Not that anyone minded. He’s a skilled raconteur whether talking about the teenage lust that inspired the hit ”Mississippi Queen” or the story behind “Nantucket Sleighride,” not a seasonal song. Both are rooted in his time on Nantucket. He remembered being inspired during a power outage at a club to keep a young girl in a see-through skirt dancing. At the end of the night she went home with his friend, and he went home with the song. And “Sleighride,” inspired by how in the 19th century whalers would get hauled over the waves by harpooned whales, is a metaphor for the rock life, he said. “A lot of our brothers and sisters in music went after the big one and never came back.” Then they delivered the epic, opening with some scene-setting keyboard work by Steve Feehan, the club’s co-owner. Shutters also contributed some flute. Laing told about once stealing Who drummer Keith Moon’s sequined jacket. Laing’s band was opening for the Who at the Forum in Montreal on their first American tour. When Laing went to retrieve his drums, he found Moon’s jacket left behind. So he took it. Later in the dressing room, he heard a ruckus. Moon was trying to get back to the stage to find his jacket. He was distraught, and in his underwear. Laing stepped out. Showed him the jacket. Moon kissed him square on the lips. Then Laing admitted he’d intended to steal it. Moon looked at him intently then kissed him again. He loved him more for admitting it, the said. Laing…

Toledo rockers helping Corky Laing move the Mountain

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Corky Laing will celebrate his birthday at Howard’s Club H Saturday night. The rock drummer known for his decades with Mountain, is turning turn 70.  That’s not how he looks at it though. “I’m 22 with 50 years of experience,” Laing said a few days before the gig. The show starts Saturday at 9 p.m. at the club at 210 N. Main St. That youthful feeling has much to do with his current bandmates, guitarist and vocalist Chris Shutters and multi-instrumentalist and producer Mark Mikel, on bass. They’ve convened at the un-rock hour of 10 a.m. at Mikel’s Maumee studio to put some work in on the Mountain songs as well as a couple originals they’re writing together. This is more than a one-off pick up band. The trio plans to head out on the road in 2018. The Howard’s show will be recorded for a CD and DVD release. Though booked as Corky Laing Plays Mountain, the veteran drummer sees this as a new beginning, maybe even with a new band name. “This is the genesis,” he said. This new venture is rooted in Toledo, where Mikel and Shutters cut their teeth and are still based. Laing likened his time in Mikel’s studio with how he felt when he first joined Mountain back in 1969. “I’m getting a lot of flashbacks.” Shutters is his link to Toledo. Laing heard the guitarist playing in New York with fellow drummer Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience band. “I was blown away by Chris’ playing and his voice,” Laing said. He offered him a job on his tour of Canada and the United States early last year. It was 25 shows in 30 days. Shutters proved his mettle on the grueling run. The repertoire is very guitar-centered, Laing said, and Shutters excelled. “I thought maybe we should take it somewhere else,” Laing said. “Let’s move it along.” Shutters recommended Mikel to fill out the group. Later this year, Laing decided he wanted to visit the guitarist’s neighborhood. They ended up jamming at the Durty Bird in Toledo and then at Howard’s Club H. “I was fuckin’ blown away,” Laing said about his introduction to the local scene. “I didn’t expect it. I was semi shocked. This was a big fuckin’ wow. Who knew Toledo would be the rock mecca of the world?” With Cleveland to the east and Detroit to the north, “this is the rock belt,” he said. The ages in the group span a couple generations, Mikel is 56, and Shutters is 31. Mikel said Mountain was big when he was a kid, a jovial dig at the drummer’s age. Shutters knew the band from his father’s record collection. Both started playing at early ages. Shutters said his parents have a video of him at 2 singing “I Heard It through the Grapevine” using a hair brush as a microphone. Mikel said at 13 he played a drum solo at St. Pat’s in Toledo. “I got a standing ovation, and I was hooked for life.” Both have stayed in Toledo, but they’ve ventured out of the city to perform. Besides working with Baker, Shutters hit road eight years ago with Nathan Osmond, a country-singing younger member of the Osmond clan. Mikel played with the local band…

Classic Rock Christmas continues at Howard’s

From HOWARD’S CLUB H Howard’s Club H at 210 N. Main St. in Bowling Green is bringing some of classic rock’s greatest touring bands to NW Ohio in the coming year, and they are kicking off their renewed commitment to the “best in live music” with a new Classic Rock Christmas Series, December 8-23. December 8 and 9 saw Detroit native and international blues guitarist Michael Katon on stage for two shows, with Toledo’s own Shakin’ Shivers as the opening act. December 16, Local guitar virtuoso Chris Shutters headlines with the Chris Shutters Band. The group recorded their own special “Live at Howard’s” disc in the last month and will be playing a mix of original and popular rock and blues staples. And December 23, NW Ohio music fans can be part of music history when Corky Laing Plays Mountain, with Shutters and local music icon Mark Mikel, take the stage for a very special performance. Laing, the writer of the iconic 70’s hit Mississippi Queen, is the subject of a new documentary film, and the film crew will be at Howard’s to shoot footage. Plus, Gonzo Records will be recording a live album with Laing, Shutters, and Mikel at the December 23 performance, which is the “warm up” event for their 2018 World Tour. Corky Laing will also be celebrating his, “70 th year of having a pulse,” that night as well. “There is a great deal to promote, including a limited vinyl record release [on Rouge Records, a subsidiary of Jack White’s Third Man Records] in April, the LIVE CD and DVD, and my book release in March,” said Laing of his very busy upcoming year. Mikel and Shutters are included in the 2018 touring lineup. Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly bought Howard’s Club H, a landmark in the college town 30 minutes south of Toledo, two years ago, and have perfectly transitioned the Bowling Green staple into a live music mecca. Feehan and Zmarzly are both musicians and have updated everything from the sound production, with state of the art sound board and computerized stage lighting and scrim, to the stage itself. Where, to the relief of many long-time Howard’s fans, they removed the “pillars” that blocked the front of the stage. Previous big shows have included NRBQ, tributes to The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and David Bowie, and local favorites like Tree No Leaves and Corduroy Road. WBGU-TV also began producing a new program, Live at Howard’s, in 2017, and plans to continue the series next year. For more information on the Classic Rock Christmas line-up visit

Glostik Willy to headline triple bill at Clazel, Nov. 30

Submitted by GLOSTIK WILLY Glostik Willy, a three-piece power trio from Indiana, will perform Thursday, Nov. 30, for a party at Clazel Entertainment, Bowling Green. Listeners are told to: “Expect heavy-hitting drums that will make you move and groove, with progressive thundering bass lines and guitar that sizzles and crackles all the way through your brain and explodes out into the galaxy. This is ‘Hippy Metal’ for those who like their jambands with a dose of head-banging and horn-checks!” Also on the bill will be  PeanutButter Williams and Get Right Band. The band was formed in early 2008 by Jameson “Jay Moe” Bradford (guitar), his brother Ralf Mowf (drums) and childhood best friend Buddha Aguilar (bass). At the time, they were already five year veterans of the Midwest music scene, having started their first band together at age 12.  Since then, Glostik Willy has grown to be a driving force in the National Jamband scene, bridging the gap between rock and jam and forming their own genre of music that can only be described as “Hippy Metal.. To date, Glostik Willy has logged more than 600 performances in more than 25 states and two countries. The band has hosted eight Midwest music and arts festivals, including their signature Willy Fest (headlined this past year by Molly Hatchet), and performed sets at over 70 festivals around the country. In Spring of 2017, the band completed their first National Tour playing 23 shows from Florida to Califiornia. “This band is a good old, down and dirty rock and roll machine. These guys blew me away…!” exclaims Buckeye Music Magazine. “An insanely manic band!” writes MusicFestNews. Glostik Willy’s mission is to create an experience that will change the world by entertaining all walks of life, bringing fans, friends, and family together to enjoy and value art, love and music. To that end, they have pioneered a fan-centric method of touring in which they regularly ride along with van-loads of followers, have dedicated time and effort to supporting notable social causes in their hometown of Marion, Indiana, and seek to include a variety of creative expression at their shows (including visual arts, performance art, poetry, fire-spinning and flow arts). “These guys know how to lay it down! Bring some ear plugs and prepare to rock out!”, raves The Dayton Music Insider.

Downtown BG invites community to Shop the Block, Dec. 1

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Shopping is what everyone is doing these days as the holiday is sneaking up on us in less than one month.  Downtown Bowling Green is decorated for the holidays; beautiful lit poles and snowflakes, winter floral and beautifully decorated windows.  Shopping takes on a whole new dimension as you stroll down the blocks of Main Street.  As deemed by the Downtown Merchants “We are Lively, Diverse and Neighborly” and by Ohio Magazine “Best Hometown” This experience will be enhanced even more December 1st as beautiful luminaries line Main Street in the Downtown for evening shopping.  Participating merchants will extend their hours until 9 pm.  Special offers and a remarkable shopping experience should make it a reason for you to shop local and support those that keep our local economy strong. You can find a list of the participating merchants on our website at:  as well as some of the other activities we have going on like our Downtown Dollar Give Away, Merchant Window Decorating Contest and our next visit from Santa.

Bowling Green celebrates national Shop Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN In recognition of the national event of Shop Small Business Saturday, Bowling Green’s, Mayor Richard Edwards has proclaimed November 25, 2017 Small Business Saturday in the city. The proclamation was presented by Mayor Edwards at the City Council Meeting on November 6, to Mary Hinkelman, Managing Director for Downtown Bowling Green. This proclamation reminds our community of their need to support our local small businesses. “The investment each of these small businesses makes to our city when they set up shop here is huge. On Saturday, invite your friends to Shop Small and show support for all your favorite places and visit one new business you’ve been meaning to check out. When small businesses succeed, the entire community is impacted.” said Hinkelman when asked about this national event. Of every dollar spent locally, 68 cents stays local through jobs that are created, tax revenue that is generated and reinvestment. When that same dollar spent online, the impact diminishes for our local economy. In the United States there are over 28.8 million small businesses that employ over 48 percent of the working population and create more than 66 percent of the new jobs. Downtown Bowling Green works with the merchants to promote shopping local year round, but especially on this dedicated day of support. Special offers and hours are great reason to make a stop downtown and this year’s Downtown Dollars Give Away makes even more exciting with $500 in prizes. Enter where you shop and when you vote on a decorated merchant’s window downtown. We also will have a drawing for kids 12 and under when they stop in to see Santa. The Four Corners Center at 130 S. Main St. will be open 11 – 1 pm Saturday for the Santa visits, Julie’s Dance Studio’s sneak peak at the Nutcracker Production and a few seasonal crafts for the children. Additional information about these events and participating merchants can be found on our website at

Art 4 Animals show on exhibit at Four Corners

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center is hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, from November 10 through November 28th. Thirty-two artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, are exhibiting their animal-themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public during regular Four Corners hours of 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. Several of the artworks depict dogs and cats currently at the Wood County Humane Society, as depicted by Eastwood High School students. First place award winners are: Best Domestic Animal, Anna Gerken, “Begging for Treats” Best Wild Animal, Jean Gidich-Holbrook, “Iguana” Adults, Isabel Zeng “Bunny Ears K-4th Grade, Aya Aldailami, “Two Animals” 5th-8th Grade, Robbie Witte, “Racing Steeds” 9th-12th Grade, Hope Harvey, “Baybee” The winning images are reproduced on note cards that are available for purchase at the Four Corners Center.  Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.  This event is sponsored in part by The Copy Shop and Kabob it BG.  

Bowling Green turns on the lights of a new tree

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green celebrated the lighting of a new Christmas tree Friday night and got help from some friends from afar to do it. Gone is the 50-foot Colorado blue spruce, and in its place is a less towering 12-foot specimen. Still Wood County Library Director Michael Penrod, who had to make the recommendation to cut down the old tree, said he was pleased with the new tree. “Our new baby is alive and well and is awesome,” he said. “It’s exciting to be here on the beginning of a new tradition.” He hopes the tree will last 30 years like the previous tree. This is the third community tree on the library lawn, though the first one only lasted a year. For such a momentous change, it’s taken a long time for some people to notice. A patron came in a couple weeks ago, Penrod said, and asked what happened to the tree. “Wasn’t it bigger?” In honor of International Week on the Bowling Green State University campus, foreign students were invited to participate in the tradition. Foreign students on campus made decorations representing their countries, and the tree was topped with flags representing some of the 80 countries from which students come to BGSU. Edwards invited three BGSU students to join him in flipping the switch to light the tree. Hannah Lechner, from Austria, Crystal Lau, Hong Kong, and Caroline Flaesgarten, an American student who studied in Strasbourg, France, last year. “It made me feel like a little girl,” Lau said, after the tree was lit. Flaesgarten agreed, especially having the chance to drive to the event in the fire engine with the mayor. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity because all the people who are here,” Lechner said. This made the students feel more connected to the community. Erin Klessner came with her children as they have for the last five or so years. “It’s just a fun family event to kick off the holidays.” She said it was “a bummer” that the old tree was gone. But she’s looking forward to seeing this tree grow over the years. “It’s exciting to be here on the beginning of a new tradition,” Penrod said.        

Drag takes the stage as local LBGTQ claims a club night for their own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the band’s sound check completed, Howard’s co-owner Tony Zmarzly was on the stage at the club making sure the gear was pushed to the edges of the stage. He taped down a section of the carpet and checked for errant microphone cords. The crowd cleared the dance floor in front of the stage, and waited. Then Rosie D. Riveter appeared, all glitter and bitchy attitude. Drag was on stage at Howard’s Club, and it found a willing audience. The Rosie and Viv Show last Sunday was the first of three Queer Night drag and variety performances scheduled for the club. Organizer Gary Strain, a.k.a. Rosie, hopes this will continue and maybe even expand in 2018. The other shows are set for Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. she and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire also will be part of the line up Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Leelah Alcorn Memorial Scholarship Benefit Show to raise scholarship money for transgender students at Bowling Green State University. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. and runs until closing time. The show Sunday marked a promising launch as Rosie and her co-hostess Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire commanded the stage with raucous, off-color humor and word play. They pulled the audience in. They even had a couple women come up to guess their bras sizes, to no avail. Then Nikki Cordy, the club’s barkeep, left her station, to nail it. Strain said when he’d approached Cordy about staging the drag show at the club, her response was “hell yeah.” So Rosie and Ms. Sinclaire and their special guests Rikki Sins and Deja D. Dellataro walked the walk to the sounds of Beyonce, Spice Girls, Lizzo, Stevie Nicks, Alanis Morisette, The Pointer Sisters, and Kelly Clarkson. The dance floor became a runway and as they strutted by on their way to the packed picnic tables in the rear, customers proffered dollar bills. One customer apologized to Rosie saying she’d forgotten to bring bills. “Oh, just give me your credit card.” Strain said that the idea for the queer night at Howard’s sprang from discussions among those in the LBGTQ+ community on campus. There’s already drag at Ziggy’s on Tuesday nights, but people were looking for something different. “Something edgy, something a little underground, something a little punk,” Strain said. That includes having a local band – American Spirits filled the bill for the inaugural night – and in the future comedians and other variety acts. “It’s about providing a community space,” Strain said. “A place they feel safe in, where they want to come out and enjoy themselves and feel part of it.” That’s how Bowling Green residents Dot Johnson and Danielle Summers felt. They’ve been to Ziggy’s, but that’s late night on a Tuesday, making it hard on those who have to get up to go to work the next day. The Howard’s show starts at 8. They’re already Howard’s regulars. “It’s a really comfortable place,” Johnson said. “I’m happy they were having a queer night on a night I could attend. I love the bar. I love drag. This is the best.” Summers said she liked the way Rosie spent time setting up the acts at the beginning, and injected the so much comedy in the proceedings. Queer nights…