CIRCLEVILLE — For the Pickaway County Visitors Bureau, partnering with local events has been a focus for 2022 and seems to be the way forward.

Executive Director of the Visitors Bureau Nathan Wilson announced the Ashville Viking Festival, the Uptown Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and the Commercial Point Karting Classic, as the three events for the Coughlin Summer Event Series taking place this year.

“For the 2022 Coughlin Event Series, we continue to work with different groups with the goal of attracting visitors to Pickaway County,” he said. “In planning the current series, we focused on partnering with events that are very unique but offer broad appeal, while attracting visitors to different parts of the county. In doing this, we were able to start the series earlier in the year, rather than strictly adhering to our traditional June through August schedule. The success of this year’s series is yet to be seen; however, it promises to be the best attended series to date and will likely determine future series line-ups.”

Wilson said local partnerships that have been made as part of the series not only provide needed marketing and resources to enhance these events, but they offer a chance to highlight attractions that are unique to Pickaway County and Central Ohio.

“What we’ve known about our community partners is that they put on high quality, family friendly events that visitors love,” he said. “What we’ve found in working with them during the series, is one of the biggest needs, to grow or retain their attendance is usually marketing assistance, which is what we do best. Although the support we provide to these groups varies with each event, marketing is always our primary focus.”

Looking ahead, Wilson said they’re trying some new things to bring more people to Pickaway County.

“As we move forward, the Visitors Bureau has some exciting initiatives planned to help attract visitors and provide resources to visitors and locals alike,” he said. “One in particular is a mobile app that we are in the process of developing. It will provide an interactive experience and help users plan trips and outings, incorporating events, amenities and attractions throughout the county. We feel this will greatly enhance our efforts and we hope to make it available early this summer.”

Wilson said they chose these three events because they stand out from a lot of the others in the community for one reason or another.

“This year’s series was chosen for many reasons, however, of all the events taking place this year, there are some things that make these particular events stand out,” he said. “We chose to partner with well-established groups to ensure a quality experience for our guests and we wanted to make sure we featured areas throughout the county. We also felt that incorporating a broad range of interests was important to highlight the wide array of things Pickaway County has to offer.”

Wilson said they want to focus on larger events with the summer series, but they’ll still offer other, smaller and one-off events.

“The intention is to keep the Coughlin Event Series at three events each year, with a focus on larger-scale events that take place in late spring and summer,” he said. “Although, that is not to say we will not be involved with other events, as we have in the past with things like the Gatsby Gala and Columbus Symphony Orchestra performances.”

Wilson said they’re working on other new projects and separate initiatives, including a music series in the local parks.

“This year, we are rolling out a new Second Sunday Music Series that takes place in parks throughout the county, June through August,” he said.

Each event starts at 5 p.m. with Steven Riggs at Mary Virginia Crites Hannan Park in June, Hollyview at the Williamsport Community Square in July and The Pickin’ Pair at Marvin Webster Memorial Park in August.

“These will be smaller, family-friendly events where visitors can purchase food or bring a picnic dinner to enjoy while listening to music and enjoying our local parks,” Wilson said.

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