I’m so thankful that I grew up where I did. The city of Delaware, Ohio has a little bit of everything. It’s far enough from the city that it has a small town feel, but it’s close enough that you’re not in the middle of nowhere. It’s a college town (shout out to Ohio Wesleyan!) with great restaurants, bars, shops and beautiful downtown buildings. This little city has anything you could ever want and more. Here are 15 telltale signs you grew up in Delaware!
1. You have a favorite downtown house
My absolute favorite thing about Delaware is the old historic houses. Driving through town is like going back in time to when houses didn’t all look the same. If you’re from around here, you definitely have your top picks for which house is the prettiest – I know I do! This is another one of the signs you grew up in Delaware!
2. Going for walks downtown is the best first date
Because everyone loves checking out the cool houses so much, it’s the most common first date in town. Getting an ice cream cone, walking up and down the neighborhood streets and hopefully holding hands with your new beau is the best way to spend a Friday evening in Delaware.
3. You still call the pool “Mingo”
A few years back they renamed the community pool. If you’re a true Delawarian, you would never dare utter the new name! It will forever and always be Mingo pool as far as I’m concerned.
4. You’ve eaten at least a million Hamburger Inn cinnamon rolls in your lifetime
One of my favorite memories from my childhood was going to church early on Sunday mornings and then walking over to the Hamburger Inn after mass for breakfast. It’s basically tradition and the tiny diner is always stuffed full of hungry customers. So much so that their famous cinnamon rolls that are the size of your head often run out before noon on Sundays! So, if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to wake up early.
5. You’ve played horse pie bingo
Now, this is definitely something that only happens in Delaware. Once a year, right before the fair, we have an all-horse parade. You read that right, hundreds of horses marching through the streets of our town. One year we even had the Budweiser Clydesdales! With all those horses there’s bound to be some (a lot of) poop. So, when people gather along the streets to watch the horses go by, it’s become a game to draw bingo boards on the ground in chalk. If a horse drops a load and you get bingo, then you win!
6. You live for the Hayes/Buckeye Valley rivalry
This is your classes cross-town high school football feud. Even though Hayes typically comes out on top (sorry BV, you suck!) it’s always one of the best games of the season.
7. You can’t function without a long weekend in September
Another great thing that comes with the county fair is the long weekend off school. When I left for college, this was the thing I missed most about high school. How the heck are you supposed to go to school for the entire week when the fair is happening???
8. You’ve eaten a Smurf
One thing that Delaware has no shortage of is ice cream shops. We have five right in our downtown! One fan favorite sells the famous Papa Smurf cone, blue raspberry soft serve, dipped in raspberry complete with candy eyes and a whipped cream beard!
9. You’re an expert antiquer
Another thing Delaware has an abundance of is antique stores. Because of the city’s rich history, there are three shops on one street! If you’re ever looking for some old jewelry or pop culture goodies, come check out Delaware’s antiques.
10. You say you’re from Columbus because “Delaware” can be confusing
Some of my close friends still think I’m from the state of Delaware. It’s just such a hassle to have to correct people that you’re actually from the city that it’s easier just to say Columbus. I mean it’s only 30 minutes away – close enough!
11. You’ll always miss Buehler’s
Buehler’s was our local family owned grocery store that was around for years that just recently went out of business. The building still stands empty and every time I drive by I get sad and miss their delicious muffins, the welcoming pineapple mascot and the salad bar. This is another one of the definite signs you grew up in Delaware.
12. You know that Rutherford B. Hayes was born at a BP gas station
Perhaps the funniest thing in Delaware is that the building where our former president Rutherford B. Hayes was born was torn down and replaced with a BP. But at least we put a placard up making it look like he was born inside the convenience store!
13. You probably have a connection to Ohio Wesleyan
Since Delaware is a college town, a lot of the residents have some connection to the university. Whether your parent is a professor or a campus security officer, you probably have some sort of tie to it. This is yet another one of the signs you grew up in Delaware!
14. Having a castle in the middle of town is normal
And it’s not just any castle, it’s an arts castle. This is definitely the boujee-ist thing in Delaware. We have a legit castle that is solely devoted to the arts. You can take all sorts of classes there, but on the outside, it’s just a huge castle.
15. First Friday’s are like a holiday
People come from far and wide and they shut down streets for the first Friday of every month in Delaware. That’s because the city always has some sort of fun event going on downtown for the community. Whether it’s a car show or tour of the historic houses First Friday’s are everyone’s favorite day of the month.