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DORA, concert series highlights for Coshocton in 2022


Controversy over Whitewoman Street was also a hot debate in the spring

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week we will take a look back at some of the biggest stories in our area in 2022.

COSHOCTON − There’s nothing to do in Coshocton is a common refrain that city officials tried to rectify this past year with two initiatives that are looking to grow in 2023.

A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) was approved in March covering the bulk of Downtown Coshocton, Roscoe Village and Clary Gardens. A DORA is a specified area of land, no more than 150 contiguous acres, designated as exempt from certain open container provisions. This means someone can leave an establishment with an open alcoholic beverage container if they stay within that specific area.

City officials touted the DORA as a way to give a boost to various festivals and special events. The first use of the DORA was for a Saint Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl on March 17. Lanny Spaulding, executive director of Our Town Coshocton, estimated about 1,000 people turned out for the event. Official stops in downtown were Main Street Station, Sorrell’s on the Square, Thompson Ninety-Nine and Coshocton Village Inn and Suites. Participating in Roscoe Village were the Warehouse Steak ‘n Stein and Huck’s Tavern. 

The city is currently exploring establishing a community entertainment district that would include the DORA in 2023. Such a district is a combination of entertainment, retail, educational, sporting, social, cultural or arts establishments that are near certain types of other establishments such as theaters, museums, hotels, restaurants, sports facilities and other types of recreation. One element of such a district is adding new available liquor permits. Mayor Mark Mills said it’s being considered by request of the Roscoe Barbecue Company.

The DORA was also central for three concerts held around the Coshocton Court Square, spurred by the success of a similar summer concert series in Zanesville. The first concert in June was the Foreigner tribune act, Double Vision, which drew an estimated 2,000 people. The second in July was the Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Fleetwood Mac Mania, that brought in about 2,500 folks. The closer in August was rising country star ERNEST with around 5,000 people turning out.

Four concerts are being planned for the coming summer. Councilman Chad Johnson plans to announce performing act sometime in January. The concerts are a collaboration of the city and Our Town Coshocton. The series was made possible this year via a $40,000 grant from the Charles E. and Dorothy S. Bechtol Fund of the Coshocton Foundation and other donations. 

Roscoe Village has long been the biggest tourism draw for Coshocton County and running down the center the of the recreation of a traditional canal era town is Whitewoman Street. Council heard from both sides of a hot debate on changing the street name in April. The street is named for Mary Harris, the first white settler in what would become Coshocton County, who was known as White Woman by Native Americans.

Kirby Hasseman, former council president, made a video on the need to change the name. In the video, Hasseman said he recognized it as part of the fabric of the community. However, it’s a marketing problem as people outside the area don’t know where it’s derived from and it’s a major turn off for people of color. 

The spokesman for the other side was Brad Fuller, a former member of city council and current president of the Roscoe Village Business Association. Fuller owns Good Boy Bakery, a dog treat store, on Whitewoman Street. He said the name wasn’t racist, wasn’t hurting tourism and a name change would costs businesses a lot of money to alter advertising, business cards and more.

Council in May decided to keep the name as about everyone they heard from was in favor of it.

Other highlights for the city in the past year includes moving forward with providing water and water services to the Village of Warsaw, merging of the city and county health departments to form the new Coshocton County Health District, raising of water rates to help with projects such as the replacement of water meters, contracting with Strategic Public Partners (SPP) of Columbus, a consultation and lobbying firm, to advocate for city projects at the state level and work in Roscoe Village that included paving, tree removal and replacing sidewalk bricks.

Leonard Hayhurst is a community content coordinator and general news reporter for the Coshocton Tribune with close to 15 years of local journalism experience and multiple awards from the Ohio Associated Press. He can be reached at 740-295-3417 or llhayhur@coshoctontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @llhayhurst.


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