Summer provides fun for students

Summer is the time when BG and the surrounding areas are really bustling with activities. From programs in the parks to fairs and festivals galore, Northwest Ohio manages to pack it all into the three short months of summer.

For those who can’t or would rather not venture out of BG’s city limits, there is plenty to do around town. One of the best places to find fun in town this summer is the City Park. It features plenty of grassy areas to stretch out and relax, as well as a pool and basketball courts.

Friday, June 2 starts the park’s annual Lunch in the Park series. Each Friday from June through July features food from restaurants like Panera Bread and Easystreet Cafe and musical performances by people like Jeff Tucker, Ragtime Rick and Banjo Betsy. Sunday evenings, beginning June 11, the City Park also hosts the Concerts in the Park series. These concerts are free and open to everyone. This year’s entertainment includes “Pride of Toledo” Sweet Adelines, Johnny Knorr Orchestra and Swingmania.

Staying active in Bowling Green shouldn’t be a problem this summer.

According to Rob Wells, sports specialist with the Department of Parks and Recreation, there are at least three summer athletic programs students may be interested in – a drop-in tennis program starts June 14 with a men’s league starting August 7 and the sand volleyball league starts June 5 at Carter Park. However, there is a $125 fee per volleyball team. Also of interest to students, according to Wells, is the adult drop-in soccer league on Dunbridge Road. It’s free to play and starts June 1.

The end of the summer marks another Bowling Green tradition worth checking out.

From August 1 through August 7, the yummy smell of fried foods mix with the not so yummy smell animal barns and the distinctive din of children screaming as they venture down an extremely tall and inflatable slide. What causes all this commotion? It’s the Wood County Fair, running from August 1 through August 7. Each year, one of the highlights is a major concert. This year’s concert features country artists Phil Vassar and Miranda Lambert. The fair also has 4-H projects on display, baby animals like chickens and pigs as well as their full grown counterparts, handmade quilts and vegetables.

For those looking to venture outside Bowling Green, there’s even more to see and do during the summer. The Toledo Zoo will be buzzing with activity as the Live Nation Summer Concert Series gets started. Though the exact schedule is still under wraps for non-zoo members, Cyndy Condit, marketing and public relations coordinator, was able to drop a few names.

“We’ll have Paul Simon, a Pink Floyd laser tribute and Ashlee Simpson,” Condit said.

Tickets for these concerts will be available through Ticketmaster May 20.

According to Condit, students at the University may also be interested in feeding and training demonstrations, which occur from May 27 through September 4. According to the Toledo Zoo web site, “Zoo staff will offer demonstrations of how they provide enrichment for orangutans and elephants.” Visitors can also watch “sharks prowl” and “snakes ingest their lunch.”

Those venturing out of Bowling Green on any given weekend can also find many festivals. Northwest Ohio is full of small towns, most of which have some sort of festival or fair during the summer. Usually these festivals include the same types of food from the county fairs as well as crafts and flea market type vendors. They also tend to feature something that makes the town unique.

Grand Rapids, a small town about 20 minutes west of Bowling Green, has Rapids Rally Days the second weekend in July. This event features “a chicken barbecue, community play, sidewalk sales, horse-drawn wagon rides and activities for the entire family,” according to the Grand Rapids web site.

Many other small towns like Weston and Pemberville have their own festivals.

The few things listed here are a small part of the numerous activities and programs going on over the summer in Bowling Green and the surrounding areas–there’s always something to do around the area.