By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager

Our Chautauqua Pillar leaders have done an outstanding job planning meaningful events for the Sesquicentennial Celebration. The Lakesider newspaper gave them the difficult task of picking events they’re anticipating this summer. Each of them gave it a lot of thought but they wanted to make sure that if an event isn’t on the list, they’re still looking forward to it.

In no particular order, here’s a list of what Jeannie Fleming-Gifford (Vice President of Programming), Shirley Stary (Director of Arts Programming), Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost (Senior Director of Religious Life & Pastoral Care), John Mann (Director of Education) and Katalin Domotorffy (Director of Recreation & Wellness) are excited about.

All programming (comments by Fleming-Gifford)

Community Celebrations — These events allow us to pause and reflect on Lakeside’s history and celebrate the future and the theme of building community. The first of two Founders Day Celebrations will be May 28 at 3 p.m. We’ll have some wonderful proclamations and there will be experiences that celebrate the history of Lakeside, including carriage rides, a barbershop quartet and square dancing. The Founders Day Celebration on July 2 will bring back some historical games like Checkers. It will be a fun time to integrate some of that history and make it present in the season.

College & University Partnerships — Bowling Green State University has a phenomenal art exhibition with pictures of Lake Erie displayed in the Train Station. It’s a collaboration with the science department discussing the science of what’s happening on the lake. BGSU is also showcasing a multitude of music performances, including a samba band on July 29. Heidelberg University is bringing its music and theater departments, and we’ll have themed character breakfasts and a Broadway Bootcamp for musical theater kids ages 10- 17.

Croswell Opera House Youth Theater Program — This is a unique opportunity for kids to experience a week-long theater camp in Lakeside, but most importantly it gives kids a chance to learn and grow with people they may not yet be connected with and produce some wonderful live theater. With the interest from our young Lakesiders, it didn’t take long for this program to fill up.

Religious Life Youth Programs — I’m excited about God Squad and the renovations taking place in Bradley Temple for the new “Once Upon a Porch” set. Shows starring Chip Richter will be taped and edited for episodes to be released next winter. Middle Grade Madness with John and Bonnie Wilkie celebrates its 20th Anniversary. They’re adding what they call MGM Extend, which will be some family fun field trips. A Teen Leadership Group, led by Bret Johnson, is being launched at the Teen Center. We have 12 teens signed up to be part of our leaders and will help provide vision for some special Wednesday night programs and other religious life events this summer.

Lectures — I’m excited about the growth of the Education Pillar this summer, not only with the dynamite series that John Mann has put together with the Chautauqua Lecture Series, but also with the new weekly Keynote Speaker Series starting June 6. I’m a little biased toward Kathy Sullivan’s keynote on July 5 — we don’t have astronauts coming into Lakeside every day.

Lakeside Online — We launched this program in December and saw nearly 2,000 registrations for winter and spring programs. We’re going to livestream at least five Keynote Speakers plus a talkback with one of the senior producers of the WGTE documentary “Lakeside Chautauqua — An American Treasure.” I’m just excited that we’re able to continue to provide accessibility to Lakesiders when they’re not able to be here in person, but to also then extend the mission of Lakeside to enrich lives through this kind of programming.

Historic Camp Meeting — The idea of bringing back a reenactment on July 23 and having people gather as they did 150 years ago will be a really special moment. Also, that evening there will be a candlelight walk for teens and young people. I think it’s going to be a beautiful evening that will really celebrate the history of Lakeside.

Arts Experiences — The Rhein Center is working with nearly 100 different artists, creating about 1,500 different programs for all ages. We’ll have some public artwork, like the old-fashioned cutouts, where you put your head in and look like you’re in Victorian dress. We also have a new mural that will be painted between The Fine Print and Miss Mercedes that celebrates the magic of the mayflies allowing people to take fun pictures.

Entertainment Programming — There will be over 100 live music and performance experiences for our Sesquicentennial Celebration. We’ve always diversified what we offer, but this season I think especially we’re extending things further. We have all genres from Irish dance to classic rock.

Recreation Wellness Programs — I’m super excited to see the growth of some programs, including the new basketball clinics, extended logrolling, adventure camps on the water, exciting tournaments and our weekly series of health and wellness seminars.

Vision that the Sesquicentennial Committee Set Out — It’s about building community and celebrating how all programs come together for a Chautauqua season that will be educational, inspirational and engaging. We get to celebrate our mission of who we were, who we are and who we are yet to be here at Lakeside Chautauqua.

Arts and Entertainment (comments by Stary)

Comedy Shows — On June 3, Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie of “Whose Line is It Anyway?” return for an exceptional improv show. Familiar with the Lakeside vibe, these comedians know how far they can push and then pull back. Paul Reiser, star of “Mad About You” and Dr. Sam Owens on “Stranger Things,” makes his Lakeside debut on Aug. 5. I love his wit and humor. He’s certainly one of those guys I think is an everyman that should appeal to many audiences. This fall, comedian Brad Upton takes the Hoover stage Oct. 7. He’s goofy and silly with great reflections on everyday life, and I think Lakesiders will find his humor refreshing.

Postmodern Jukebox — This talented group is a collection of 16 band members who will perform in Lakeside on June 24. They take new hits of today and make them sound old-timey. I think Lakesiders of all ages will appreciate the blending of old and new music.

Family Shows — Lakeside welcomes magician Mike Super for an exciting show of magic and illusion on June 29. Collision of Rhythm returns on July 13. When you look at the talent of Bronkar Lee partnered with Aaron Williams’ unique music abilities, they do some innovative things.

Classic Rock — Blood, Sweat & Tears is by far one of my favorite bands of that era. The iconic rockers perform July 8 with a solid catalog of music and a new lead singer. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Grammy Award-winning band Los Lobos entertains Lakesiders on July 13. I think people who don’t know their music and the music of Richie Valens they became famous for will see Los Lobos is a great addition to the season.

Tribute Shows — This season there will be three tribute shows. DSB, which is an abbreviation for Don’t Stop Believin,’ is the first on May 27 with the music of Journey. On July 14, Evil Woman is a dedication to the Electric Light Orchestra. On Sept. 2, Lakeside welcomes Michael Cavanaugh’s tribute to Billy Joel.

Neil Berg’s “101 Years of Broadway” — I love to toss in shows that celebrate the arts, and this show does that well. It’s a nonstop, high-energy show with recognizable hits from the musicals of Broadway. Berg will perform the same style of show as he did in Lakeside last year, but with different music on July 21.

Sons of Serendip — For this show on Aug. 12, four very talented, classically trained musicians perform covers of great songs on vocals, harp, cello and keyboard. The way Sons of Serendip sing covers of a wide variety of music is stunning.

Lakeside Symphony Orchestra — It’s a privilege for me to be able to work with our Music Director Daniel Meyer. He has an artistic vision, skill and expertise that blends well with our talented orchestra musicians. This summer, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra will perform a series of six concerts within three weeks. New to Lakeside is the residency of the Beo String Quartet out of Pittsburgh. They play two violins, a viola and a cello, and will perform a concert Aug. 4. They’ll also play concerts throughout the grounds of their other music.

Religion (comments by Yoost)

Rev. Dr. Brian McLaren — McLaren kicks off the season of guest preachers from across the nation and around the world. The pastor, author and leader in the emerging church movement will preach in Hoover at 10:30 a.m. May 28.

MGM (Middle Grade Madness) — This summer, we’ll celebrate the 20th Anniversary season of MGM, led by John and Bonnie Wilkie with the theme “JOY: Jesus, Others and Yourself.” This amazing program for youth ages 10-14 meets Mondays-Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. in Cherry Park.

God Squad — This popular youth program takes place at the newly remodeled Bradley Temple. Children ages 4-9 meet Chip Richter and his whimsical friends on the set of “Once Upon a Porch.”

The “Underground”/Teen Center — Programs for teens will be expanded this season. Bret Johnson and staff lead each evening, with special events every Wednesday from June 14-Aug. 9.

Dr. Jemar Tisby — Historian, author and speaker Tisby is the keynote speaker in Hoover Auditorium at 8 p.m. July 11. He’s the author of the New York Times bestseller The Color of Comprise and Christian Book Award winner How to Fight Racism.

Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey — This pastor and author felt a call to the ministry while attending Lakeside Institute. Pershey is Preacher of the Week from June 25–29 and will share insights from her book on marriage and family life.

Father Greg Boyle — The founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang recovery program in the world, Boyle makes a return visit to Lakeside. Two “homies,” or graduates of this program, will accompany him and experience a week of Lakeside hospitality.

Rev. Mike Slaughter — The Preacher of the Week hosts a Camp Meeting in a tent on the lawn of Hotel Lakeside at 7:30 p.m. July 23 with testimonies and special music. The meeting is followed by a candle walk with teens to the Lakeside Dock.

Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel — This pastor and popular author returns to Lakeside to preach July 30-Aug. 3. She currently serves as the Michigan Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in East Lansing.

Bishop David M. Wilson — The Preacher of the Week is the first Native American elected Bishop in The United Methodist Church (Nov. 2022) and will be with us Aug. 6-10.

Education (comments by Mann)

Keynote Speaker Series — On Tuesdays and other select evenings throughout the summer, engaging speakers such as Kathy Sullivan, Dr. Jemar Tisby, Dr. Adam Met, Jim Tressel and many others will give a lecture in Hoover Auditorium. If you do a quick Google search on any speaker you’re not familiar with, you’ll quickly find out that the lineup is very fascinating.

Authors & Writers Series — This year, we wanted to make this a series and spread it out over the entire season rather than limiting it to just one week. It’s a hodgepodge of talented authors who will be leading workshops or discussing their work. At the end of each Monday session, published works or books will be available for purchase and signing.

Historic Portrayal Series — This series highlights individuals who once spoke at Lakeside, such as Marian Anderson, Amelia Earhart and Billy Sunday. The Heritage Society was a huge help in planning this series because they gave us access to their Excel spreadsheet of every person who has presented in Lakeside. Talented actors will perform historic portrayals at 1:30 p.m. on select Wednesdays.

Offsite Field Trips —This year, we’ll be traveling to Johnson’s Island Confederate Prison Camp during Archeology Week, the Toledo Museum of Art during Celebrate Ohio Week, and Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island for the Ohio Sea Grant/Environmental Series. The Liberty Aviation Museum is during Great Lakes Week. They’re in the process of restoring a World War II PT boat and will be giving rides on the lake when it’s finally complete. What they’re doing to restore the boat is a must-see for Lakesiders.

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival — The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival returns for one week with a collection of new and interesting documentaries. Most of the films are shorts and all are very good quality. Last season, there were a few Lakesiders who shared that the Film Festival Week was their favorite of the whole summer.

Civil War Week — This week of lectures is a favorite among Lakesiders with engaging speakers, such as Brian Jordan, Bobby Horton and Jay Case. The Chautauqua Movement was a byproduct of the Civil War because the war pulled apart a large portion of the nation. One of the goals of Chautauqua was to help mend.

Chautauqua Jazz Week — Back by popular demand, this week’s lectures and live music have been coordinated by the talented Michael Shirtz. Jazz is a very American genre and people enjoyed it last year. There will be entertainment Sunday-Wednesday across Lakeside.

Sandusky Maritime Museum — For the past 20 years, the Wooden Boat Show has been a huge draw, as well as the plein air artists that weekend. Since it’s such a big part of the season, it makes sense to highlight educational programming around boats. This year, Lakeside is hosting a mini Sandusky Maritime Museum exhibit that will feature kids’ activities.

Comic Strip & Animation Week — Ohio native Tom Batiuk’s comic strips are a piece of Americana. He’s the creator of the popular strips “Funky Winkerbean” and “Crankshaft.” This week will be a fun week for all ages. Ron Hill will be drawing caricatures and Jenny Campbell returns after her workshop was well attended last year.

Recreation (comments by Domotorffy)

UltraMissions Paddleboard & Waterfront Programming — These activities give kids opportunities to be out on the lake. While laughing and playing, learn new skills, enjoy the lake and appreciate why we want to take care of it. Lakeside works with Linda Nagy, who is a long-time paddleboarder and youth educator, to provide these unique water activities.

JoAnne Russell & Steve Vaughan Tennis Clinics — Russell and Vaughan create a sense of community the minute they arrive. It’s amazing when you show up for a clinic, and the first time you’re around the net they already know your name. This year, they’re adding the Science of Doubles and giving the opportunity for private lessons.

Simone Jardim Pickleball Camps & Lessons — Jardim is back with other teaching pros for two full weeks because Lakesiders can never get enough of pickleball. This team of professionals brings such a high level of pickleball play, community engagement and fun. They genuinely love being in Lakeside and feel at home. It’s special to have them for even more programs this year.

Wooden Boat Rides — These rides provide the opportunity for peaceful connection on the water and experiencing it through the eyes of a captain who’s an amazing tour guide. It takes you back in time, showcases beautiful views of Lakeside, and allows families to connect and have those nice moments, especially when the sun is setting.

Shuffleboard — Shuffleboard is a unique activity at Lakeside because most other places don’t allow all ages to play throughout the day. In Lakeside, kids can play with their friends, parents, grandparents or anybody. There are several tournaments throughout the summer for youth and adults. New this year, karaoke will be added to Monday’s Moonlight Madness.

Checkers — This year, we’ll celebrate a recreation program at Lakeside that was part of its history for close to 30 years, starting in the mid-1950s – Checkers. The world of Checkers lived in Lakeside at one time with an incredibly high level of play. Lakeside will offerCheckers programming this summer, including lessons for beginners and tips on how to win. We’ll also host an All-Lakeside Amateur Tournament for the first time.

Wellness Classes — Lakeside offers around 20 different wellness classes weekly for all levels and needs. There will be sessions in yoga, strength building, functional strength, reflexology and Tai Chi meditation, to name a few. It’s a well-rounded program and some classes allow for ages 12+ to participate, so it does create a space for youth to join in the fun.

Wellness Lectures — These lectures, held on Friday afternoons, are unique. This year, we’re doing 3 Reiki shares, which is a form of healing or energy work that allows the healing experience. There are several Lakesiders who are Reiki practitioners and will be volunteering their time to bring this experience to Lakeside.

Family-friendly 16’ Paddleboard Rental — This paddleboard holds 4-6 individuals at one time and comes with a lot of bonding, laughter, teamwork and lessons. Lakesiders will learn how to work together, how to problem-solve and how to navigate, all while connecting with our lake and nature.

Youth Basketball Programming — These programs encourage kids to meet new Lakeside friends. Participants will get to learn and hone their skills in a fun and non-competitive way. Former Ashland University player Phil Frentsos, current Ursuline College player Becky Styers and College of Wooster football player Sebastain Balassy are all licensed basketball coaches who will be teaching the fundamentals of the game.

Logrolling — A huge hit last season is back! It’s a random skill that you have to work on and something that you typically will not see anywhere else. Logrolling teaches kids and adults perseverance and teamwork and comes with a ton of laughter.

5K Raccoon Run — This popular race is an activity that involves the youngest being pushed in a stroller to runners over 80 years old. Whether participants are walking at the slowest pace, running at the fastest pace, pushing someone in a wheelchair or walking their dog, this is an event that all of Lakeside can experience together.