Taylor Mill Shines as All-Star Neighborhood
The torrential rains that crossed the Northern Kentucky area Tuesday afternoon stopped by 5:30 p.m. so that the City of Taylor Mill could go on with its party at Pride Park celebrating Major League Baseball's All-Star Game that was played in Cincinnati.
Taylor Mill was one of ten local communities picked by the Community Organizing Committee to be an All-Star Neighborhood in connection with the game. The other communities were Madisonville, East Price Hill, Clifton, West Chester, Walnut Hills, Pleasant Ridge, Green Township, Cheviot in Ohio, and Bellevue in Kentucky.
"The COC put out the word that they wanted communities to submit proposals about how they would celebrate the all star game if they were chosen to be an All-Star Neighborhood," said Jill Bailey, city administrator of Taylor Mill. "Out of 64 communities, only about 24 or 25 submitted the proposals, and the committee chose ten of those. Two were in Northern Kentucky, our city and Bellevue."
The Community Organizing Committee was formed to support local and community events surrounding the All Star Game. They were so successful in organizing events around the World Choir Games, that Major League Baseball took notice. They are in partnership with the Cincinnati Reds Organization and the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Taylor Mill's proposal included three different events: a baseball-themed movie in the park which also included a Touch-a-Truck event in late June which was rained out, and has been rescheduled for August 7. The second event, on July 1, included a taste of the city, with several restaurants setting up booths and a band, DV8, playing for the people. This was to coincide with the city getting the baseball that was circulated around the Greater Cincinnati area somewhat like the torch at the Olympics. That event went off without a hitch, leaving the city batting 500 going into Tuesday night.
"Being chosen as an All-Star neighborhood meant we got All-Star signage, tickets to Fan Fest to distribute, books for our children's literacy program, and $10,000 to $12,000 to hold the events," explained Bailey. "So we rented a 9 by 12-foot all-weather LED screen to broadcast the All-Star Game, and booked a Nashville band, Dan Varner and the DV8. We were fortunate that the Moose Lodge provided inflatables and Ken's Towing provided fireworks from Vito's."
Five food trucks came to provide food for all the families who came and needed supper. Although the weather was still windy, and the power outage prevented the band from getting started until late, the event had an atmosphere of a giant family.
"We were so happy, ecstatic that we were chosen," said City Commissioner Dan Murray, who was transporting people in a golf cart. "We had our fingers crossed that the rain would stop, and it did."
Several families came for the festivities, knowing that they couldn't stay for the whole game which went late into the night.
"We wanted to come up and get some Marty's Waffles," said Christy Hall, of Independence. "We haven't been able to participate in much of the stuff going on about the All-Star Game, so we thought we would stay close to home and be part of the fun."
Gena Forsyth, from the city's parks and recreation department, related that it was a team effort that went into getting the honor of All-Star Neighborhood. "A lot of work and effort went into filling out the application," she said.
As the weather cleared, the families kept pouring in, and it looked like a successful event, upping the city's batting average. Most of the baseball paraphernalia seen at the event was Reds-related, but there was a Mets jersey and several All-Star hats.
"I am absolutely thrilled that our city was chosen," said City Commissioner Debbie Kreimborg. "I am so excited because this is a wonderful community!"
Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor