Tues., Dec. 1, 2015
It’s almost that time of the year again to grab your loved ones and spread some holiday cheer at The Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting. Save the date and join in on the fun at this year’s celebration Tues., Dec. 1, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This free family-friendly event is open to the public!

The festival marks the beginning of the holiday season on Capitol Square and throughout all of central Ohio. The indoor ceremony will consist of a short program, welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by the lighting of the historically-decorated State of Ohio holiday tree.

The festivities will then continue with some of Starbucks’ delicious refreshments, arts and crafts activities, games and special performances from local choirs. Come meet Lou Seal and Crash from the Clippers, and congratulate the team on winning the 2015 Governor’s Cup. Santa won’t be the only magical man here; “magician” Rory Rennick will be performing in the museum gallery. The Columbus Metropolitan Library will also be joining us this year for a holiday story read along, and of course there will be a free photo station available to capture your family’s special moment with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Come and join us for this magical night at the Ohio Statehouse to start off your holiday season! Convenient and affordable parking is available during the event in the Ohio Statehouse underground parking garage. Parking rates are available at

Holiday press images are available at: or upon request.

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The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and Capitol Square Foundation (CSF) will provide 75 school transportation grants to visit the Ohio Statehouse and its museum during the 2015-2016 academic year. The online application process will open Mon., Nov. 9, 2015 at 9 a.m. The grants will be made available to help schools defray bus transportation costs to the Ohio Statehouse. Each awarded grant will be based on one-way mileage from the visiting school to Columbus. The program was created in 2009 by the Capitol Square Foundation. Since the program’s inception, more than 75,000 students from all 88 Ohio counties have visited the Ohio Statehouse with the help of this grant program. “We are grateful for the continued support from Honda of America," said Charles Moses, Capitol Square Foundation Chairman, “civics education comes alive at the Ohio Statehouse!"

A total of 75 grants will be awarded: 25 grants in three mileage categories. The mileage categories are for a one-way trip from the visiting school to the Ohio Statehouse. "The transportation grant program provides thousands of Ohio school children with a learning experience here at the Ohio Statehouse," said William E. Carleton, CSRAB executive director, “we are teaching the future leaders of Ohio.”

The three mileage categories include:

  • 1 to 50 miles, $ 200.00

  • 51 to 100 miles, $ 300.00

  • 101+ miles, $ 400.00

Each category will be closed once the 25 available grants have been awarded. All grants will be awarded on a first come-first served basis.

The school transportation grants will be available to any Ohio school that receives state funding. The grants are limited to Ohio students in the fourth through 12th grades during the 2015-2016 academic year. Only one transportation grant will be awarded to each school regardless of the number of buses or students visiting the Ohio Statehouse. A field trip to the Ohio Statehouse can be combined with visits to other educational attractions in downtown Columbus, including the Ohio Art Council’s Riffe Gallery, Columbus Museum of Art, COSI and the Ohio Judicial Center.

Once the application process opens Mon., Nov. 9—only online applications will be accepted. All applications must be submitted by an authorized teacher or school administrator. Applications will be accepted until every grant is awarded.

Detailed information about the program is available at:

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Members of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) Finance Committee will meet Thu., Oct.15, 2015 at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The committee will meet in the U.S. Grant Hearing Room (room 110) at 9:30 a.m.
The meeting is open to the public.

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Members of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will meet Thu., Oct. 15, 2015 at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The business meeting will be held in the State Room (room 108) and will begin at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting agenda is available upon request.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and Capitol Square Foundation are seeking nominations for the 2016 class of “Great Ohioans.” The award celebrates Ohioans who have played a significant role in an event, or series of events, of lasting significance in world, American or Ohio history. Additional criteria include being born in Ohio or lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years. At least 25 years must have passed since the commemorated event, in which the nominee participated.

This award is an opportunity to recognize Ohioans who have made an impact in a number of important areas. A complete explanation of the nomination process and nomination forms can be found online at and

All Ohioans, including teachers and students, are encouraged to participate in the nomination process.

Great Ohioan nomination categories include:

  • inventions/medicine/science

  • literature/journalism/history

  • academics

  • communications/education

  • entertainment/sports

  • government/military/public service/religion

Deadline for nominations is Tue., Dec. 1, 2015. The Capitol Square Foundation may select up to three nominees to submit for selection to the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, the administrative agency of the Ohio Statehouse. The Great Ohioan Award recipients will be announced and recognized in early 2016.

Since 2003, 37 Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history. The Great Ohioans include;

2003 Class: Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors; John Glenn, first American to orbit the earth; and Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon;

2008 Class: Jesse Owens, Olympic track and field star; Thomas Edison, inventor; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author; James Thurber, journalist and author; Colonel Charles Young, military leader; and Dr. George Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic;

2009 Class: Catherine Nelson Black, health care humanitarian; Salmon P. Chase, Ohio Governor, Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice; Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet and author; Charles F. Kettering, inventor; Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I fighter ace; and Denton T. “Cy” Young, baseball legend.

2010 Class: James M. Cox, journalist, member of the United States House of Representatives, Ohio Governor; Florence Ellinwood Allen, first woman Ohio Supreme Court Justice; Bob Feller, baseball legend; and Bill Willis, National Football League hall of famer.

2011 Class: Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War General and U.S. President; William Moore McCulloch, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman and civil rights advocate; William Howard Taft, U.S. President and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice; and Harriet Taylor Upton, women’s rights advocate and author.

2012 Class: Gordon Battelle, philanthropist and researcher; Dominic Salavtore “Don” Gentile, World War II fighter pilot; Washington Gladden, clergyman and social reformer; Albert Belmont Graham, founder of the 4-H program; Albert Sabin, medical researcher best known for the oral polio vaccine; and William T. Sherman, Civil War general.

2013 Class: James Abram Garfield, scholar, Civil War General and U.S. President; Granville T. Wood, entrepreneur and inventor; Paul Brown, professional football innovator, coach and executive.

2014 Class: Annie Oakley, superstar sharpshooter and educator, and Jerri Mock, first woman to fly around the world.

2015 Class: Agnes Meyer Driscoll, groundbreaking cryptographer and leader in the field of intelligence and national security; Rufus Putnam, American Revolutionary War General, surveyor and co-founder of the Ohio Company.

A special exhibit in the Ohio Statehouse Museum pays tribute to all Great Ohioan Award recipients. On a large touch screen, a host of options are available for visitors to explore the life and accomplishments of each recipient. While countless Ohioans have performed great actions for their community and beyond, only a select few have been named a “Great Ohioan.” The exhibit allows visitors to have a greater understanding of the recipients of the Great Ohioan award and discover how they affected local, national and world history. The exhibit uses video, photos and web based technology to explore the life and legacy of each Great Ohioan.

About the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board is responsible for maintaining the historic character of the Statehouse and Capitol Square while providing for the health, safety and convenience of those who work in and visit the complex. The Ohio Statehouse Museum shines a light on the history of this great edifice, its symbolic meaning and highlights the important role the Ohio Capitol plays in the daily lives of all Ohioans.

About the Capitol Square Foundation
The Capitol Square Foundation was established in 1987 to increase public awareness of and to involve citizens in the history of the Ohio Statehouse. Its purpose is to raise funds to obtain, restore and maintain artifacts and other items related to the history and enhancement of the grand monument and its adjoining grounds, so that the seat of Ohio's government may reflect the dignity of the state and its citizens.


Haunted Statehouse Tour tickets are still available—2015 marks 21 years of haunted tours on Capitol Square. The special Halloween tours will take place on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17; and Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24. Tickets for the Haunted Statehouse Tours are $12 per adult and $6 per child under the age of 12. This is a ticketed event. Tickets must be pre-ordered.

Tours will depart every half-hour between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tour times are: 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are limited to 40 individuals per tour time each night. This is a hot ticket on Capitol Square.

Tickets can be purchased three ways:
-Online at (click "Holiday");
-Visit the Statehouse Museum Shop on the ground floor of the Ohio
-Purchase over the phone by calling 614/728-9234.
Ohio Statehouse staff members and volunteers will combine history and legend in this special family-friendly haunted Statehouse tour. Conductors will lead visitors through the dimly-lit limestone corridors of the Ohio Statehouse by lantern. This historical tour is spooky but appropriate for all members of the family. The tour is most suitable for individuals over the age of eight. The 2015 edition of the Haunted Statehouse Tours will feature newly found evidence of paranormal activity at the Ohio Statehouse.

Special activities will be available to participate in before each tour. The Statehouse Museum shop will be open throughout the evening and will offer candy apples, candy and caramel corn, cookies and soda for purchase. In addition, special Halloween merchandise will be offered for purchase. More information is available at

Visitors to the Ohio Statehouse are invited to park in the facility's underground parking garage. This convenient and affordable parking offers direct sheltered access to the Ohio Statehouse for this event. Parking fee is not included in ticket price. Parking rates are available at

For more information about the Haunted Statehouse Tours, visit or contact 614/728-2130.

High resolution press images are available at:

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The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) in partnership with Keep Ohio Beautiful will celebrate the power of pollinators to support nature and our food supply as part of the fourth annual National Planting Day Wed., Sept. 23, 2015. A variety of activities are planned at the Ohio Statehouse, including planting an Ohio Native Pollinator Garden, designed by scientists at The Davey Tree Expert Co. In addition to attracting a variety of pollinators, this garden will provide nectar sources for the beehive installed earlier this year on the Statehouse grounds.

National Planting Day celebrates the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. To commemorate this day, Keep Ohio Beautiful will host a public educational event at the North Plaza of the Ohio Statehouse, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will be kicked off by an interactive pollinator educational program with students from Annehurst Elementary presented by senior entomologists from Scotts Miracle-Gro. Following the presentation, Senator Gayle Manning and Representative Ryan Smith will read to the first and second grade students. A program with remarks from representatives of the participating organizations is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.

“This is another example of great companies and organizations coming together here at the Ohio Statehouse to help educate the people of Ohio on the importance of a healthy ecosystem and the pollinators that make that ecosystem bloom,” said William Carleton, executive director, CSRAB.

Michael Mennett,executive director, Keep Ohio Beautiful will be joined by Keep Ohio Beautiful state affiliates; Ohio legislators; Senator Gayle Manning; Representative Ryan Smith; William Carleton, executive director, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board; Su Lok, director of corporate and community partnerships, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Karen Wise, vice-president, Keep Ohio Beautiful; Terry Lieberman Smith, vice president, Ohio State Beekeepers Association; Ken Christensen, senior scientist, Davey Resource Group, a division of The Davey Tree Expert Co.; and Nina Bagley, Nina’s Village Apiary.

The species included in the native pollinator garden were carefully selected by scientists at Davey with assistance from Tamra Ansel, grounds manager with the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board. The design plan and herbaceous plants were donated by Davey, while shrubs and trees were purchased using a grant from Subaru of Ohio. A special cell phone tour has been established, too— Capitol Square visitors who dial (614)/466-4304 from a mobile device will be able to learn about this wonderful native pollinator garden.

High school students from the Knox County Career Center Landscape Design and Management Program, and organizations from throughout the state will be on hand to educate attendees about native plants, pollinators and related subjects. In the case of inclement weather, the location will be moved to the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

About Pollinators
- In the U.S., pollination by honey bees, native bees and other insects produces $40 billion worth of products annually.
- Pollinators are responsible for one of every three bites of food we take.
- Many pollinators are listed on the federal endangered species list due to evidence of their disappearance in natural areas.
- Homeowners can support pollinators by growing attractive, easy-care native plants such as white fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum), sweet pepper shrub (Clethra alnifolia), maple leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and blazing star (Liatris spicata).

About National Planting Day
National Planting Day is a Keep America Beautiful program now in its fourth year. The program encourages Americans to hold events supporting local ecosystems by planting native trees, shrubs and plants throughout the fall. For more information on National Planting Day or Keep Ohio Beautiful, contact Michael Mennett at (330)/338-8328 or


A Day of Remembrance on Capitol Square
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 with a memorial flag display on the west lawn of the Ohio Statehouse. As part of the this day of remembrance, members of the Ohio Chapter of Bugles Across America and The Mt. Vernon Pipes (bagpipe band) will participate in a ceremony to honor the victims of the four attacks on that fateful Tuesday morning in 2001. Col. Tim Gorrell, U.S. Army Retired, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services will participate and give closing remarks.

“The Sept. 11 attacks changed the lives of Americans forever and the lives of those around the world instantaneously. This memorial gives us the opportunity to mourn the lives lost that horrific day, and it gives us remembrance of the sacrifices of all Americans who have sought peace around the world ever since,” said CSRAB Chairman Chris Widener.

The musicians will perform to remember the 9/11 victims as the attacks unfolded:

  • 8:46 a.m. - American Airlines flight 11 strikes the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC)

  • 9:03 a.m. - United Airlines flight 175 strikes the south tower of the WTC

  • 9:37 a.m. - American Airlines flight 77 strikes the Pentagon

  • 10:03 a.m. - United Airlines flight 93 crashes in Somerset County, PA

Since 2002 CSRAB has partnered with Hands on Central Ohio and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to display the 2,999 U.S. Flags that comprise the memorial. The U.S. flags represent the 2,977 victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93. When seen from above, the design represents the World Trade Center towers, with a space in the shape of the Pentagon and an open strip representing the field in Pennsylvania. The memorial will be display on Capitol Square from Fri., Sept. 11 until Mon., Sept. 14.

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