Summer in Oberlin
There is always a lot going on in Oberlin. But even some local residents may not realize the level of civic, social, cultural, and economic activity that goes on in this city of some 8,200 residents.
There are, of course, many special events. During the academic year, the sheer number of concerts, recitals, master classes, lectures, films, exhibitions, panel discussions, symposia, and athletic events is almost overwhelming.
While the pace slows somewhat during the summer, there are still many events. For example, Oberlin’s annual Juneteenth Festival is happening this week. The theme this year is Proclaiming Freedom—Celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation!, and a full schedule of events is available on the Juneteenth Oberlin website.
On June 22, the Oberlin Chalk Walk will take place. This is a wonderful family event that highlights the artistic and creative abilities of local residents and visitors. I love seeing the artists of all ages create drawings on Oberlin’s downtown sidewalks. Chalk Walk is a collaborative event organized by the Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin Main Street-Chamber, and the Oberlin Public Library.
And the fabulous Oberlin Summer Theater Festival kicks off on June 28 and runs until August 3, offering first-rate, family-friendly performances in Hall Auditorium free of charge.
But there are other things going on in Oberlin every day. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic control center located on the east side of Oberlin operates around the clock making sure our skies our safe. It is one of the largest and busiest control centers in the world.
The east side of Oberlin is also home to the Oberlin Industrial Park, where a number of businesses, including some innovative technology start-ups are located. Just east of the industrial park is the national headquarters of the National Association of College Stores (NACS). Every year more than 4 million books are shipped from these buildings in Oberlin to college bookstores all over this country.
The FAA facility, NACS, and the tenants of the Oberlin Industrial Park, provide about 1,000 jobs. Other key employers are Mercy Allen Hospital, which has been providing health care to this city and region since 1907, and Kendal at Oberlin, the outstanding continuing care retirement facility that was founded by a group of Oberlin faculty members and local residents.
Unlike many small towns in Ohio and elsewhere in our country, Oberlin still has a vibrant downtown with a solid core of locally owned shops, businesses, and restaurants.
All of the above contribute to our quality of life here and to Smithsonian magazine recently naming Oberlin as one of the 20 best small towns in America.
This summer is a great time to explore Oberlin and the surrounding areas.