The Ohio National Guard Association has finalized plans for the social events and activities set for the 144th General Conference & Exhibition, Aug. 26–29 in Columbus, Ohio.
The action begins with a motorcycle ride Aug. 25. It will take riders from Columbus to the Rocky Boots factory in Nelsonville, Ohio, and back through Hocking Hills and the Wayne National Forest. Cost is $25 per rider.
Bent Tree Golf Club in Sunbury, Ohio, about 25 minutes from Columbus, will host the NGAUS golf tournament Aug. 26. The course stretches across 167 acres of naturally wooded, rolling terrain. Cost is $100 per player.
The “Chasing the Sun” fun run is later that day on a 2½-mile route along the scenic Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.
Social events begin that evening. The separate Company Grade/Warrant Officer, Senior Warrant Officer and Field Grade Officer mixers are at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A farm team of baseball’s Cleveland Guardians.
The stadium is three blocks from the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Attendees will have the whole place to themselves; no game is scheduled. Cost is included in the $180 registration fee.
Meanwhile, adjutants general and invited guests will gather at the National Veterans Memorial
and Museum in Columbus. The museum focuses on the stories of veterans and individuals rather than military accomplishments, with the mission to “honor, inspire, connect and educate.”
Always the largest social event of the conference, the Governor’s Reception is set for Aug. 27 at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus.
COSI is a 321,000-square-foot learning center featuring 300-plus hands-on exhibits, the state’s largest planetarium and a unique partnership with the renowned American Museum of Natural History that includes a permanent dinosaur gallery. There will also be plenty of food and drink. Cost is included in the registration fee.
The Spouses Luncheon is in the GCCC on Aug. 28. Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder and CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, headquartered in Columbus, will be the guest speaker. “Eat Dessert First” is the theme. Cost is included in the registration fee.
Hospitality Night is that evening. ONGA officials anticipate some states will book space in bars and restaurants in the Short North and Arena districts. The Short North is located just north of the GCCC and is known as the “art and soul” of the city.
The concluding event is the States Dinner on Aug. 29. It will be held in the GCCC’s Battelle Ballroom, which features signature LED lighting fins in the ceiling capable of 65,000 color combinations.
“Bring Your Sports Teams to CBUS” is the theme. Sports jerseys are the recommended attire — college, pro or Olympic. Expect the locals to wear scarlet and grey. After all, the Ohio State football team opens its season in Columbus versus Notre Dame later that week. Cost of the States Dinner is included in the registration fee.
For more conference information, visit ngaus.org/events/144th-general-conference-exhibition.