Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Westgate-area shops celebrate travel on the open road again

<easy halloween cupcakesp>SECOR STREET PARTY SET FOR SATURDAY

Kathy Nagypaul in her shop, Creative Cupcakes is among the business owners promoting the Secor Open Road Party in the Westgate area to celebrate the end of the thoroughfare's reconstruction.

Kathy Nagypaul picked a challenging time to open a bake shop on Secor Road this summer.

Her business, Creative Cupcakes, began operation while the thoroughfare was halfway through its major reconstruction.

"I just opened up four months ago. I need all the help I can get," Ms. Nagypaul said.

"I moved in right in the middle of everything."

Her business is among those planning to participate in Saturday's "Secor Open Road Party," a festival to entice customers who may have been discouraged from patronizing them because of the orange barrels - and occasionally, detour signs - that beset Secor between Central Avenue and Monroe Street from mid-March through late July.

Creative Cupcakes, 3344 Secor, will provide gift certificates as prizes for a Halloween costume contest and parade that starts at 2 p.m., three hours into an event scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Other highlights include a bean-bag toss tournament and music from country-and-western singer-songwriter Josh Thompson.

"I hope it's very helpful for me," said Ms. Nagypaul, who said business "is getting better every day."

Next door at Scrambler Marie, the restaurant's manager, Dan Hohenbrink, estimated a construction-related loss at $3,000 to $4,000 per week.

"Anything to get people to come back to Secor would be great," he said.

Free, wheelchair-accessible shuttle buses will operate along Secor between Dorr Street and Alexis Road.

The festival's lead co-sponsors include The Blade, Sears, and the city of Toledo.

Secor Road in the Westgate area is open again after months of construction work that finished early but still hampered trade at the stores and restaurants along the stretch.

"We are celebrating the area being open to traffic, and the patience of the businesses who waited through the construction period,"said Mike Mori, an event organizer and advertising director at The Blade.

Home Depot, Sears, and Westgate Village Shopping Center will provide prizes.

During a $5.4 million project that started in March, a 12-inch water main nearly a century old was replaced, followed by Secor's complete reconstruction between Central Avenue and Monroe Street.

The construction reduced the busy street, normally five to six lanes, to one lane each way plus a left-turn lane.

One phase required closing Secor's I-475 interchange ramps for nearly two weeks; another forced all traffic at Secor and Central to turn right while the middle of the intersection was rebuilt.

Geddis Paving & Excavating, the project contractor, got major work completed more than three months ahead of the city's Nov. 1 deadline.

Finishing touches put the work's official conclusion in early September.

Geddis is to receive a 10 percent bonus for finishing early.

Mr. Hohenbrink said the street work was "definitely worth it."

Having a smooth street "will be better for us in the long run," he said.

Secor had been rebuilt between Monroe and Laskey Road in 2009.

At the festival, Geddis Paving will display some of its heavy equipment and offer a photo booth.

The Toledo Fire Department will exhibit a ladder truck and its safety house, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library will send its Cybermobile, and the children's area will include a pumpkin patch, rides, and a replica of Baru, the Toledo Zoo's Australian crocodile.

Children ages 2 to 12 will be eligible to participate in the Halloween parade and enter the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded for the cutest, scariest, and most inventive costumes.

Registration for the bean-bag toss tournament, to be next to the music tent, will start at 11 a.m. The tournament is limited to 32 teams in two divisions. A collegiate division will be open to players with valid college identification, while an open division will accept anyone age 18 or older.

Collegiate-division winning teams will receive flat-screen televisions, and $500 Home Depot gift cards will be awarded to the open-division winning players.

Live music will start at 4 p.m. with Bruce Sims and The Jam Band, with Mr. Thompson to take the stage at 8 p.m.

Three songs from his 2010 debut album, Way Out Here, were Top 40 country hits, and Mr. Thompson also is expected to perform his new single, "Cold Beer With Your Name On It," during the show.

Contact David Patch at:

or 419-724-6094.

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Source: Toledoblade

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