Annual and Historical Events with the BDRC
Cookie Walks: the BDRC members baked hundreds of cookies for a Christmas cookie walk. Other local organizations and clubs were invited to participate as well, so thousands of colorful Christmas cookies were sold over a weekend, with the profits being split between all of the organizations that participated.
Fairfield County Heritage Tour: several times starting in 2007, the BDRC helped clean up the historic Victoria Opera House (VOH) at the corner of Main and Market Streets. The Victoria was again featured on the tour in June of 2019.
Trick or Treat at the Victoria: even before taking on the VOH as a project, the BDRC tried to bring people in the door for special occasions. A group of High School students started the tradition in the early 2000s by decorating the abandoned VOH for a spooky tour. The BDRC followed up on their idea in subsequent years by decorating in a more family friendly fashion and handing out donated candy instead of scares. Even so, the early years were a bit scary, as there was no electricity, heat, or plumbing in the VOH at the time. The trick or treat tradition continues to this day thanks to generous donors and volunteers who usher hundreds of costumed kids through each year.
Façade Grant Program: the Village contributed funds each year for several years to a façade grant program administered by the BDRC. The program was successful in encouraging business owners and landlords to beautify aging structures. Commercial property owners all over town took advantage of the grants to improve their siding, windows, doors, and other façade elements.
Craft Beer Tasting: starting in 2013, the BDRC has hosted a craft beer tasting event. In the early years, the April event was hosted in the Baltimore VFW, and local wines were also featured. Once the Victoria Opera House was able to be used for public events the tasting was moved to the VOH starting in 2018. This necessitated some changes, as the VOH has no kitchen. What started as Baltimore Uncorked has now been rebranded An Evening in the Victoria Opera House.
Chairish the Arts: for several years the BDRC collected donated and scavenged chairs and loaned them to the high school art class. The students painted the chairs, which were then sold to raise money to restore the Opera House.
Polar Express Holiday program: one of the BDRC’s more recent programs, this crafts, snack, film, and Santa Claus experience has proven quite popular. In 2018, the LU elementary school choir was also featured for the holiday season. Their performance from the VOH stage drew what was undoubtedly the largest crowd in the VOH in at least 50 years. During the 2020 pandemic, many of our events were canceled. Our Polar Express program was one of those events. We instead held a community Gingerbread House Contest. The entrants and winners of that contest can be found here.
Concerts: now that the VOH is operational, the BDRC has started to host concerts. Big bands, jazz and bluegrass acts have been particularly popular, and their more acoustic sounds are a great fit for the VOH’s auditorium. However, several rock bands have shaken the windows too.
Tea at the Griley: the BDRC cohosts this event for moms & daughters at the Griley House. The next tea is planned for May 15.
Old Basil Firehouse: the old Basil firehouse on the town square was in poor condition in the early 21st century. The historic structure was used by the local food pantry, and for some Village storage. The wrought iron jail cell in the back was NOT in use by the Baltimore Police. The BDRC members spent much of a summer scraping, priming, caulking, and then painting the old firehouse to help preserve it for another century.
Additionally: The BDRC has sold community calendars, helped with the Baltimore Festival and Parade, had booths at the Fairfield County Fair and Millersport Sweet Corn Festival, sold glassware and other items, hosted the annual State of the Village presentation, promotes the village yard sale (click here for a helpful pricing guide), and more. They also publish a newsletter the Twin City Update (the name of which is a tribute to the town’s history as two towns – New Market and Basil, which were separated for much of their history by the Ohio-Erie Canal).
2020’s Mommy and Me event was canceled due to the Coronavirus health mandates, but our events coordinator came up with this great take-home version. Thank you to Kendra Landis for sharing pictures of she and Kaelyn enjoying their Mommy and Me at home.
Some pictures of our past events
Click a picture to find out more about these special ways to help the community.
BALTIMORE DOWNTOWN RESTORATION
The BDRC is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in the
Village of Baltimore, Ohio.