June, the perfect time to explore

June … finally! Was this like one of the longest winters ever? Well, thankfully, it’s finally June and the weather is fabulous! Our fair city is brimming with beauty this time of year. The roses are blooming downtown, and the green, green trees majestically line the streets, providing coolness and shade.

Since we were just designated by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best small towns to visit in America, I decided to enjoy this beauty, and become a “tourist” in my own hometown. Sundays are a slower, laid back day, making it a perfect time to experience the magic over in Harmar Village. Yes, you can drive over, but one of my favorite delights is that bridge. The Historic Harmar Bridge is truly one of our gems, and June is a perfect time to take a walk on it. This bridge has been around since 1892 and continues to function because of the outpouring of community support. There are delightful details that I usually overlook when distracted or in a hurry. Like the huge hanging flower baskets, or the working gears underneath that still open the bridge, just as it did to bring our beloved WP Snyder back recently. And the Sycamores? Oh that beautiful specimen of a tree! Even George Washington noted this tree on one of his trips to the Ohio Valley. You can complain all day about how “messy” they are, but I love to look at that gorgeous bark. I forgot to look, but my cousin Bob told me there’s a duck nest on one of the piers. That’s always a happy spring sight!

Of course, the main show is the river view. It’s a keeper for my mind’s eye, just like William Wordsworth described it in his poem about daffodils, “When oft upon my couch I lie, in vacant or in pensive mood, they flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude.” There are views all over downtown Marietta that are worth cherishing this way.

As much as I love the Harmar Bridge, those with mobility issues, fear of heights, or other challenges may like this new addition to the Merchants and Artist Walk on Friday, June 13. Cheeseman’s Bait Shop has sponsored the Trolley to bring you over to enjoy what Harmar Village has to offer. You can catch the Trolley, starting at 6 p.m. over at Gateway Park on the corner of Front and Butler, right by the Harmar Bridge sign. Another fun way to experience this popular downtown event! This month, thanks to the help of WesBanco as the coordinators, there will be an ad in the paper, letting you know which merchants are participating, and who their artists are. We are working on getting a map together as well, but they may not be until next month. We’ll even have a list of restaurants who partner with us, so please support those who support the downtown.

Here’s another opportunity if you’d like to experience being a “tourist” as well. When’s the last time you took the time to wander down the Ohio River on a boat? Heritage Ohio and Marietta Main Street invite you to celebrate Smithsonian Magazine’s recognition of Marietta as one of the top destinations in the United States. On Thursday, June 12, join other people who care about downtown revitalization on a sunset cruise aboard the Valley Gem. For $20, you can enjoy lively conversation, appetizers, cash bar and a live band. It’s like a “stay-cation” on a Thursday night! Check out our website and register at mariettamainstreet.org. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope to see you there.

As always, I’d like to remind you that our beautiful downtown is a result of many, many volunteers who selflessly give of their time and resources to make Marietta what it is today – wonderful! Thank you, volunteers. If you’re interested in helping, you’re invited as well! Give me a call at (740) 885-8194, and we’ll figure out how to use your God-given gifts as well!

We also want to thank our Platinum Sponsors for all they do to make Marietta Main Street possible: Marietta/Washington County CVB, JD Byrider, Peoples Bank, Stonebridge Operating Co., LLC, The City of Marietta, The Original Pizza Place, The Workingman’s Store, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marietta, WMOA Radio 1490, American Flags and Poles, Lafayette Hotel, Marietta Company and Antero Resources.

Jean G. Farmer is executive director of Marietta Main Street.