Just 6 miles east of downtown Toledo, the suburb of Oregon offers a mix of small-town charm and convenience to big-city amenities. For GOBA riders, that means a quiet, roomy place to camp at Clay High School on the eastern edge of town that puts them a short bus ride from dining and attractions in one direction and a short bike ride from the natural beauty of the beaches and marshes along the Lake Erie coastline in the other direction.
The offerings for GOBA riders in Oregon reflect the all-American character of the city of 21,000 people that evolved out of a township. Highlights include a baseball game package to see the Toledo Mud Hens on Thursday night, and a concert by a pop, rock and country band in a high school football stadium on Friday night. During the day, there are ample opportunities to swim in a pool or at the beach, play games in a park and, of course, ride bikes — including an optional 50-mile route Friday that features lunch at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center.
You’ll work up a hunger for Thursday’s barbecue dinner and Saturday’s pancake breakfast, as well as the fare from the food trucks and concession stands in camp.
Two GOBA traditions will be highlighted with the Golden GOBA Dinner, planned for Thursday, and the GOBA Song Contest, which will kick off the stadium concert on Friday.
In addition to the Mud Hens’ game and “Hensville,” you’ll want to experience the National Museum of the Great Lakes, the original Tony Packo’s hot dog restaurant, the Imagination Station science museum for kids and other downtown museums. So much to do and so little time as GOBA week hurtles toward the finish.
(All events, times and prices are subject to change. Check back for new activities and other updates!)
Toledo Mud Hens game and “Hensville”
• When: 7:05 p.m. game time; free shuttle buses begin at 4:30 p.m.
• Where: Fifth Third Field and surrounding entertainment district
• About: Take the free roundtrip buses between camp and downtown Toledo. Visit the Hensville entertainment district outside the stadium for free. Or buy a Toledo Mud Hens game package in advance on the GOBA registration and add-ons page at a special rate: $15 for just a ticket, or $30 for a ticket, Mud Hens hat and in-stadium meal voucher for a hot dog, chips and soft drink. The Mud Hens, the top minor-league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, will host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies’ top farm club. The Hensville district includes a Tony Packo’s restaurant across the street from Fifth Third Field and other popular dining, live music, nightlife and shopping.
Golden GOBA Dinner
• When: 7-9 p.m.
• Where: Hope Community Church, about a 12-minute walk from Clay at 5650 Starr Ave.
• About: All riders who are marking their 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th and 31st years on GOBA can eat a free meal at the church, enjoy each other’s company and be part of the group photos at this annual gathering. GOBA staff also are invited.
Optional cycling route
• When: Support begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
• Where: A 50-mile loop that begins and ends at Clay High School (no cutoffs).
• About: Riders will explore the Lake Erie coast, including the beach at Maumee Bay State Park. Lunch will be at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge visitors center, where free tram tours of the refuge will be offered. We’ll then head inland as we complete the clockwise loop.
Stadium concert and GOBA Song Contest — plus a little drama
• When: 5-9:30 p.m.
• Where: Football stadium at Clay High School
• About: Music and drama will fill the air at the school’s spacious, modern stadium. First, actors from the Oregon Community Theatre and Clay High School Limelighters will perform snippets from 5-5:45 p.m. Then at 6 p.m., competitors in the GOBA Song Contest will vie for a free registration in GOBA 32, performing their original ditties about life on GOBA. Then the pop, rock and country band Mess With Emily will hit the stage around 7:30 to rev up the crowd with classic/party music. You’ll be screaming for more! Free admission for GOBA riders; $5 for the community.
Chris Cakes breakfast
• When: 6-9 a.m.
• Where: Clay High School
• About: Fill your belly for the ride back to Bowling Green and enjoy the one-man show as Chris Cakes cranks out pancakes on his huge griddle and flips them to hungry diners. The all-you-can eat $6 meal also includes sausage links, coffee and orange drink or juice.