Top Shelf Mixologist dispatches licensed and certified bartenders to serve guests at private parties, weddings, and other events. These bartenders draw upon decades of experience as they mix together a variety of cocktails and beverages from customer-provided liquor, creating classic drinks or working around a theme.
For more than 30 years, Cool Cat Sites Entertainment has enhanced birthdays, carnivals, festivals, and parties with a plethora of rental equipment, including inflatables and carnival games. The festivity experts boast more than 39 character-themed bounce houses, a 22' inflatable water slide, and sumo-wrestler outfits for duking it out on a cushioned mat. Along with professional DJs and face-painting artists, fortunetellers enhances soirees by illuminating the future long enough for youngsters to peek their destined cholesterol score. Cool Cat also endows backyard parties with putt-putt courses and interactive petting zoos, complete with an animal handler and gentle members of the wildlife community.
The headquarters of the nonprofit Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Center abounds with exhibits and activities that showcase the state's diverse social, natural, and archeological history. Built in 1970, the museum's towering Brutalist edifice is a piece of history itself, lauded as "bold" and "imaginative” by the American Institute of Architects. Inside, a 15,000-square-foot gallery explores pivotal moments in the Buckeye State’s past, examining everything from Ohio’s role in the Civil War to Boomer Esiason’s stint as Secretary of State. A natural-history exhibit regales guests with interactive displays of animals, plants, and geography. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the center hosts an ever-changing selection of featured exhibits and special events.
Outside the museum sits Ohio Village, a re-creation of a Civil War–era town. Costumed villagers bustle about the square, performing chores and activities of the era, such as churning butter and checking wooden PalmPilots. The town's 15 buildings showcase the height of 19th-century architecture and include a Gothic-revival church, a large town hall, and an open market. The village is also the home of the renowned Ohio Village Muffins, who regularly compete in games of baseball played by 19th-century rules.
An old-school charm and a modern quirkiness pervade the work of photographer Jessica Nash, owner of Elegant Events Design & Photography. Her black-and-white, color, and paled-and-retro-tinted images capture babies, toddlers, and couples against idyllic natural backdrops. Working primarily with natural light, Jessica commemorates milestones and events at local parks or beaches. She puts her skills in the editing room to good use by carefully editing images to be used for prints, CDs, and cave paintings, and she also works in the abstract to design custom invitations, logos, and T-shirts. Elegant Events has recently teamed up with a Megapixel Party to liven up special events with photo-booth rentals.
The Ohio State Fair beckons visitors to its gargantuan grounds that house livestock shows, educational exhibits, adventurous rides, a smorgasbord of tasty comfort cuisine, and unforgettable summer revelry for all ages. Each day of the fair boasts an enthralling hodgepodge of events, from the bacon-cooking contest on July 30 to August 5's tractor square-dancing show that features coquettish farm gear performing a passionate do-si-do. Rise above the festivities during a half-mile ride on the SkyGlider, or head to the pig races, petting zoo, and pony rides in Kiddieland. The giant slide hurls thrill seekers in burlap sacks down 144 feet of delight, and daily NASA exhibits greet visitors with hands-on activities, a gravity simulator, a real moon rock, and nutritional advice from the chimpanzee who invented Tang.
Referencing the tasty time-honored recipes of his grandmother, J. Gumbo's founder, Billy Fox Jr., designed a comforting menu of home-style sustenance. All dishes are prepared using only the freshest ingredients and zestiest spices available, as well as enough love to turn a wooden puppet into a real boy and a sock puppet into a foot. Dive fork first into a hearty bowl of jambalaya, bursting with tender chicken, sausage, and the ubiquitous "trinity" of Cajun cuisine: bell pepper, onion, and celery ($6.50). To deliciously deny the impending mitten season, wrap your hands around a voodoo-chicken po' boy sandwich, a belly-warming feast of spicy chicken and green onions atop french bread ($7.25). The menu is friendly to mild-mannered and thrill-seeking diners alike, with each entree item labeled according to heat––one hot-sauce bottle denotes mild, whereas three signifies a concentration of capsaicin powerful enough to send tongues rocketing to the sub-zero climes of Pluto in search of relief.