As June approaches, so too does Delaware’s monthly celebration of its historic downtown scene. The June 1 First Friday festivities will feature a “Hidden Spaces” walking tour that will allow citizens to get a look at downtown spaces that aren’t typically open to the public.
The self-guided tours, sponsored by Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Delaware and TRIAD architects, will begin at 6 p.m. and will run through 9 p.m. Tickets will be $10 per person, and children 10 and under will be admitted for free. Patrons can purchase tickets online at Main St. Delaware’s website or at The Greater Gouda, located at 12 N. Sandusky St.
Online or credit card sales will include a $1 fee. Tickets can also be purchased after 5 p.m. the day of the event at the Main Street Delaware tent, which will be located in front of the PNC Bank building at 40 N. Sandusky St. Maps of the featured buildings will also be handed out.
According to a Main Street Delaware press release, “All proceeds from the evening will support Main Street Delaware’s efforts to preserve and promote the city’s historic downtown.”
Balloons will mark the different tour sites, and volunteers will be available at each location to offer some background and historical information on the building. Some of the buildings that will be included in the tour are the old Gazette building, the old county jail, and the second floors of the Chelly Belly, Oak & Brazen and Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan buildings. In total, there will be at least a dozen buildings featured.
“A lot of times you wonder what’s up there … it’s an opportunity for people to appreciate the historic buildings, and it helps people to remember things from the past,” Main Street Delaware Executive Director Susie Bibler said. “If they used to hang out on the second floor of what is now Oak & Brazen (which used to be a bar), they can flash back in history a little bit.”
Main Street Delaware is still looking for volunteers who are interested in providing that information at the different locations. All volunteers will be briefed on key facts and information for the building beforehand. Anyone who would like to volunteer can call Bibler at 740-362-6050 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delaware County Historical Society will join in on the festivities with a free, self-guided tour of the “ghost signs” —hand-painted advertising signs — that are still visible on downtown buildings.
Per usual, shops and restaurants will have extended hours, and there will be free activities available for children.
“June’s First Friday is special because it focuses on the beauty and character of the historic downtown,” states Bibler in the press release. “I hope everyone joins us June 1 for this memorable evening.”
She added, “Because Delaware County is growing so much, and people are moving here from outside Delaware, this gives people more of an appreciation of a historic downtown district. For people to really appreciate the community where they live, it’s an eye-opening experience.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.