By Thomas Palmer, Publisher

Finding a parking space was not a straightforward matter Saturday morning in downtown Mansfield. Not at all.

The closer one got to West Fourth Street, the more difficult that task became. When I did locate a spot, it was not difficult to see what the commotion was about.

On one hand, families with children were heading en masse toward the Richland Carrousel, although it clearly wasn’t just the horses they were eager to see. Up and down the street were colorful vehicles participating in a “Touch a Truck” event, each surrounded by legions of curious kids.

At the same time, groups of individuals, often two or three at a time, were walking up and down the sidewalks carrying red, white, and blue brochures and craning their necks to look at the upper floors of buildings along West Fourth. These were among the large number of participants in the successful Fall Secret City Tour presented by Downtown Mansfield, Inc. (DMI).

During the Tour, I ran into the Executive Director of Heritage Ohio, the organization that runs the state’s Main Street program. He shared with me his wish that he could purchase the Eagles Building on North Main for adaptive reuse. “That would be my third career,” he told me. I wished him well.

In Central Park, ManAfest was taking place in full force. I stopped by the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library’s distinctive blue tents, where I met first-time novelist Jamilah Ewing. Her book, The Prototype, is an internet-era story of finding love, she shared. Ewing’s father was a musician who was well known locally, Ewing added. More information on her book is available here.

Among the many tables was that of the brand-new Mansfield Shakespeare Company, which was distributing “Shakespearean Insults” and performing excerpts from the Bard’s works in the nearby Kobacker Room. My insult turned out to be “I scorn you, scurvy companion,” an excerpt from Henry IV Part II. Yes, I was truly insulted.

During the day, I also spoke to several good long-time and new friends.

Among the buildings I visited for the first time were the second floor of the Shiscka House of Pianos Building (above Tara’s Floral Expressions) and the Creamer Hotel Building (which is pronounced “Kramer,” not “creamer” (as in coffee)). I also stopped in to see recent changes at “Prohibition at the Caverns” next to Hudson & Essex.

Speaking of which, if anyone would like to take me to one of the eight course dinners on offer there, I would be pleased to accept.

A few photos of my Saturday walk are featured below.

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