Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting
It’s that time of the year again! Bring your family, friends, and some holiday cheer to celebrate the Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting. This year’s celebration will take place Thursday, December 5, 2019 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 Central Ohio. The indoor ceremony will take place in the Statehouse Atrium and consist of a short program. Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine will welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus, and will light the historically decorated Ohio Statehouse holiday tree. The festivities will continue with refreshments, arts and crafts activities, games and special performances by local choirs and dancers. There will also be a free photo station available to capture your family’s moment with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Refreshments are courtesy of the Berwick, Bosc + Brie, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, Freedom a la Cart, L.A. Catering, Made From Scratch, Metro Cuisine Catering & Special Events, Milo's Catering and Banquet Services, and Together & Company.

Come and join us for this magical night at the Ohio Statehouse to start 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:

Promotional video is available at:¿

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Calendar Listing:
The Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 5, 2019
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse; 1 Capitol Square; downtown Columbus

Join us at the Ohio Statehouse for our family-friendly Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting. This indoor event is free and open to the public with affordable parking available. Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine will light our holiday tree, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy some refreshments, participate in festive arts and crafts activities, watch local dancers perform, and listen to the sweet sounds of local choirs.

2019 Museum Store Sunday, Dec. 1
On Sunday, December 1, 2019, for the third consecutive year, more than 1,200 museum stores representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 15 countries, and four continents will offer inspired shopping inside museums and cultural institutions during Museum Store Sunday. The Museum Stores in Columbus, Ohio are thrilled to participate in this signature annual initiative and join museum stores worldwide by offering quality gifts filled with inspiration and educational value to consumers, with all purchases supporting their parent institutions.

In Columbus, patrons have many ways to experience Museum Store Sunday. Central-Ohio stores with special offers and opportunities include Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store; Botanica Gift Shop & Greenhouse, Franklin Park Conservatory; Friends of the Library Store, Columbus Metropolitan Library; Kelton House Museum and Garden Museum Shop; Ohio History Store, Ohio History Connection; Statehouse Museum Shop, Ohio Statehouse; Topiary Park Museum Shop and Wexner Center for the Arts Museum Store.

“We are delighted to participate in Museum Store Sunday and offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience on the first of December,” said Becky Wildman, manager of the Statehouse Museum Shop. “Our Columbus museum stores have unique gifts and creations by local artists. Museum Store Sunday is a day of discounts, samples and special offers. We invite everyone to “Be A Patron,” with every purchase from our museum stores directly supporting the museums of central Ohio.”

The day is coordinated by the Museum Store Association (MSA.) Susan Tudor, President of the MSA Board of Directors and Manager of Visitor Services and Store Buyer for the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida, continued, “Consumers around the world can shop and give gifts with purpose from their local museum stores on Museum Store Sunday. Proceeds from these purchases help sustain the museums’ service to the public at the same time. Museum Store Sunday highlights the opportunity for the public to support their local businesses, give back to their community through patronage of their local non-profit museums, find unique holiday gifts, and enjoy an entertaining and educational shopping experience at their favorite museums with family and friends, all at the same time.”

Museum Store Sunday has quickly become the global annual day to Be a Patron – and shop conscientiously and support museum stores and their missions worldwide. While there is only one Museum Store Sunday each year, everyone is encouraged to Be a Patron of museums and museum stores all year round.

Each store features unique offers and discounts during Museum Store Sunday. For more information on events and promotions in Columbus, please visit our websites.

Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store,, Pam Edwards, 614-221-6801,

Botanica Gift Shop & Greenhouse, Franklin Park Conservatory,, Kathy Steedman, 614-715-8000,

Friends of the Library Store, Columbus Metropolitan Library,, Diane Colony, 614-849-1008,

Kelton House Museum and Garden Museum Shop,, Georgeanne Reuter, 614-464-2022,

Ohio History Store, Ohio History Connection,, Jim Riley, 614-297-2621,

Statehouse Museum Shop, Ohio Statehouse,, Becky Wildman, 614-728-9234,

Topiary Park,, Marcie Matthews, 614-404-3523,

Wexner Center for the Arts Museum Store,, Marlin Hauff, 614-629-3109,

For up-to-date information on Museum Store Sunday and a list of global museum store participants, visit and:

Follow Museum Store Sunday on Instagram at @museumstoresunday and Twitter @museumsunday

Like Museum Store Sunday on Facebook at


About the Museum Store Association (MSA)
The Museum Store Association is a 501(c)3 international organization with the mission of advancing the non-profit retail industry, its museum stores, and the success of the professionals engaged in it. MSA offers educational information and programs throughout the year culminating in an annual conference and trade show highlighting the best in the industry. By advocating for and encouraging high standards of curated products, knowledge, and professionalism, MSA helps museum stores and their non-profit retail professionals better serve their institutions and the public. For more information visit
Museum Store Association, Inc.
2025 M Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 USA
Tel: 202-367-1106, FAX: 202-367-2104


For More Information in Columbus Please Contact:
Becky Wildman,, 614-728-9234

For More Information on the international shopping day, Museum Store Sunday, Contact:
Hello PR Group
Marisa Jones Issa,, Tel. 323-452-3310, Mobile 323-989-2925
Erinn Cortez,, Tel. 323-452-3310, Mobile 323-813-5211

School Tours of the Ohio Statehouse
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation (CSF) are pleased to announce that 75 school transportation grants will be awarded for the 2019/2020 academic year. The online application process will be open 9 a.m., Wednesday, October 23, through 9 a.m., Monday, October 28, 2019. This year, CSRAB and CSF expanded the application timeframe to allow more schools the opportunity to participate.

The grants will be made available to help schools defray bus transportation costs for field trips to the Ohio Statehouse and its museum. Each 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 inception, more than 75,000 students from all 88 Ohio counties have visited the Ohio Statehouse with the assistance of these grants. “The Foundation is grateful for generous financial support from Honda of America and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing," said Charles Moses, Capitol Square Foundation Chairman. “We are thrilled that so many students can visit the Ohio Statehouse through this program!"

Twenty-five grants will be awarded in each of three mileage categories. The mileage categories are for a one-way trip from the visiting school to the Ohio Statehouse.

The three mileage categories include:

  • 1 to 50 miles, $200.00

  • 51 to 100 miles, $300.00

  • 101+ miles, $400.00

This year, teachers have five days to submit applications. CSRAB will use a random number generator to choose 25 schools from each mileage category.

"The transportation grant program provides thousands of Ohio school children with a positive experience of their Ohio Statehouse," said Laura P. Battocletti, CSRAB executive director. “The Statehouse is the ideal place to learn about Ohio civics and Ohio history.”

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 2019/2020 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. In addition, the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum opened for tours in 2018.

Only online applications will be accepted. All applications must be submitted by an authorized teacher or school administrator. Applications will be accepted for five days, October 23-28, 2019.

Detailed information about the program is available at:

To view this press release and others, visit

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Members of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will meet Thursday, October 17, 2019 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.

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Phase 2 Closures
(Columbus, OH)— The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will begin Phase 2 of the Ohio Statehouse parking garage repair project Friday, November 4, 2019. [updated] The garage renovations have an estimated completion date of late summer 2020.

The Ohio Statehouse Garage is a three level parking structure that was built in 1964. The last restoration project was completed in 1993 during the Statehouse renovations. The parking garage is U-shaped with nine stair towers and four elevators located throughout.

The garage services both daily and monthly parking customers, accommodating approximately 1,200 vehicles daily.

During Phase 2 of the repairs, the garage will remain in service, however at a reduced capacity. Approximately 25% or 300 spaces will be under construction throughout the entire project. The reserved spaces will be moved in this phase.

During construction, traffic flow will be maintained, and access to each level will be provided. All driving entrances will be open into the garage, but the Broad and Third Street exits will be closed. Vehicles MUST use the State Street exit at the southeast corner of the garage.

All stairs and elevators will be open except the North revolving entrance to the Statehouse and the adjoining stairway. The walking entrance to the Rhodes Tower will be open to the public.

Please, no pedestrian traffic on the ramps. This is especially dangerous during construction. Please use caution when driving or walking in the garage.

Many variables can affect the timing of a construction project. A map is attached, and updates about the Ohio Statehouse parking garage repair project can be found at

Please, contact Mike Rupert at or 614-728-4185 for project specific questions.

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(COLUMBUS, OH) – The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center received an historic collection of items related to Ohio president William McKinley. Mary DeGenaro, a former Ohio Supreme Court Justice, donated the photographs and political ephemera, which were part of her family’s collection.

“I am thrilled to be donating these items to the Statehouse, where McKinley served as governor, for all Ohioans to enjoy. And, I have a personal connection to the Statehouse and its history. In the room where Abraham Lincoln learned he had been elected president in 1861, I was told by Governor John Kasich that he was appointing me to the Ohio Supreme Court,” said DeGenaro.

In addition to photographs and paper ephemera, the collection includes platters and dishes related to McKinley. One of the standout objects is a photograph of William McKinley in an open carriage in Niagara Falls, NY, taken just over an hour before his untimely assassination. Other excellent pieces include historic postcards of the Statehouse featuring the McKinley Monument.

“The McKinley collection is a wonderful addition to the Ohio Statehouse Museum,” said Dayna Jalkanen, Deputy Director of Museum and Education for the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB). “The Ohio Statehouse is an appropriate place for the collection since McKinley spent so many years there serving in the Governor’s Office, and we recognize Red Carnation Day every year on January 29, the day McKinley was born.”

The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center will preserve and maintain these historic artifacts for the people of Ohio. In the near future, items from the collection will be displayed for the public in Map Room exhibit cases or in the McKinley hearing room on the first floor of the Ohio Statehouse.

About William McKinley

William McKinley was one of eight U.S. presidents from Ohio. He was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and was noted for serving the troops under heavy enemy fire. McKinley was governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896. McKinley became president of the United States in 1897. He was killed by an anarchist assassin in 1901. McKinley is included in the Great Ohioans display at the Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center and memorialized with the McKinley Monument that stands in front of the Ohio Statehouse.

About Mary DeGenaro

Mary DeGenaro, is a native of Northeast Ohio and has been involved in public service on Village Council in Poland Ohio, as a Judge in the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals, and as an Ohio Supreme Court Justice. She is currently serving as Chief Legal Counsel to Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.

Her collecting interests include historical items relating to Abraham Lincoln, Ohio Political History, Suffrage, and Judge Florence Allen, who was the first woman to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court. DeGenaro has always had a great personal interest in Ohio presidential politics and became particularly interested in McKinley items after moving to Poland, Ohio and learning about the president’s connection to the small Western Reserve town. “I thought it was amazing that part of the building where McKinley attended school was now a part of the library we took our sons to countless times, and the tavern where he enlisted to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War was still standing -- walking distance from our family home."

The DeGenaros live in Columbus, Ohio, and have another home in Poland, Ohio where McKinley was a schoolteacher.

About the Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center

Opened in 2009, the Ohio Statehouse Museum features high-tech, interactive exhibits that make learning about all three branches of state government immersive. The museum is packed with historical artifacts and images that detail how government works and who has come to serve their fellow citizens.

The Museum includes 5,000 square feet of exhibit space on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse that enriches the experience of schoolchildren and visitors. The Museum offers exhibits that encourage visitors to participate in the government process by making choices, expressing their opinions, comparing viewpoints and even becoming a part of an exhibit by giving a State of the State address. The museum’s “deep dive” approach to education enables visitors to better relate to the governing process.
To view this press release and others, visit
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File Photo
In honor of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, the flags shall be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout the state of Ohio from sunrise to sunset on September 11, 2019. Governor DeWine asks that all Ohioans observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent Americans and people from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

A memorial display of 2,977 flags on the west lawn of the Ohio Statehouse commemorating 9/11 will be open to the public from 7 p.m. Monday, September 9 until 12 p.m. Friday, September 13, 2019.

Haunted Statehouse Tours
UPDATE: Haunted Statehouse Tour tickets are SOLD OUT for 2019.

(COLUMBUS, OH) – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board has kicked off ticket sales for the 2019 edition of the Haunted Statehouse Tours. The special Halloween tours will take place Fri., Oct. 18; Sat., Oct. 19; Fri., Oct. 25 and Sat., Oct. 26. Tickets for the Haunted Statehouse Tours are $12 for adults and $6 for children under the age of 12. This is a ticketed event. Tickets must be pre-ordered.

Tours will depart every half hour between 7 and 9 p.m. Tour times are: 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are limited to 40 individuals per tour start. The 2019 edition of the Haunted Statehouse Tours will feature testimony of paranormal activity at the Ohio Capitol and will incorporate a new story or two with an updated tour route.

Tickets can be purchased three ways:

  • Online at

  • Visit the Statehouse Museum Shop on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

  • 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 Ohio Statehouse tour. Conductors will lead visitors through the dimly lit limestone corridors of the Ohio Statehouse by lantern. This historical tour is spooky and most appropriate for individuals nine and older.

Arrive early and write a “Ghost Post” to one of the Statehouse’s resident spirits, or enjoy art activities prior to your tour. The Statehouse Museum Shop will be open throughout the evening and will offer special Halloween merchandise available 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 614-728-4185. High resolution press images are available at

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