The 14th Annual Spring Drive-it-Yourself Tour was not deterred by a few rain drops and cool temperatures, if anything, it brought even more eager adventurers out to Geauga County on a quest for new locations and great deals. With 25 Tour Stops, participants needed to visit at least ten to qualify for Grand Prizes at the Finale. Locations offered everything from sales to samples to lure travelers in; and in they came!
This year the event saw just over 800 guests that signed in somewhere along the Tour. “The Tour is done annually as a way to showcase businesses in Geauga County, and get people out to explore locations they may not be familiar with.” said Lynda Nemeth, Destination Geauga Executive Director. Approximately half of the attendees were from Geauga County, exploring the treasures in their own backyard. The rest came from 8 surrounding counties, Pennsylvania and even two visiting from Arizona!
“It was a HUGE day for our Stops on the Tour” said Nemeth, “We know the ‘easy’ Stops on the main roads will get traffic, but when I stopped at our small businesses on the back roads and cars are parked all along the driveway and up & down the road… well, then I knew it was going to be a great day.”
While many stops offered retail some offered an interesting opportunity, like a backstage tour of Geauga Lyric Theater, or chatting with the founders of the new Amish Historical Library.
Brenda Hastings of Hastings Dairy & Rowdy Cow Creamery shared her thoughts after treating guests to samples of their farm fresh milk all day, “It was a great experience for us, my best guess is we had 250-300 people. It exceeded our expectations!”
Others also knew the way to woo participants was through their stomachs! First time stops Vinny’s Italian Eatery and Warren’s Spirited Kitchen met many new friends on Tour day by giving out some tasty samples.
The anticipation grew steadily at the Finale at Middlefield Market. As the crowd grew “The Real Deal String Band” kept things lively. A Silent Auction and Basket Raffle gave participants more goodies to peruse. Once auction items were awarded, it was time for Grand Prize Baskets. Those that had visited at least 10 stops through the day were in the running. All Grand Prize Baskets consisted of goods and gift certificates donated by Destination Geauga Members. 1st Prize a $800+ value was won by Connie Rigotti of Chesterland, 2nd Prize a $600+ value was won by Sue Rondinella of Mayfield Heights, and 3rd Prize a $400 value was won by Steve Hyrb of Chagrin Falls.
Destination Geauga would like to thank sponsors Fontanelle Group, and Middlefield Market for the use of the facility, and all of their members for their participation and donation of gifts. You can see photos of the day by going to the Destination Geauga Facebook page. For more Geauga County fun go to www.DestinationGeauga.com or request a free Geauga County Guide by calling 440-632-1538. Be sure to download the FREE DestinationGeauga APP!