METAMORA – After years of work and planning, the Whitewater Valley Visitors Pavilion has become a reality.
A dedication ceremony and open house were held Sept. 12 at the visitors’ center located at 19067 U.S. 52, Metamora, at the Whitewater Valley Gateway Park.
Tom Horninger, Whitewater Canal Byway Association treasurer, said, “This group’s vision was to have a starting point .... (so visitors) could see what this valley has to offer.”
The pavilion, representing Franklin, Ripley, Dearborn, Wayne, Union and Fayette counties in Indiana and western Hamilton and Butler counties in Ohio, is located at the midpoint of the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway. It will promote the many assets along that route as well as the Presidential Pathways Scenic Byway in southwestern Ohio, .
The building will house information on the history of the Whitewater Valley, its scenic beauty and recreational sites, shopping opportunities, artisans and products and lodging and eateries. It will have the WCSB and PPSB’s 147-page driving guide and individual communities’ historic walking tours to help visitors plan their trips. There will also be educational activities for children.
Regional arts and other products will be displayed. Items will be rotated on a monthly basis, with all artisan information kept in a database, available upon request.
WCBA President Candy Yurcak pointed out, “It took everyone and their thoughts and ideas to do this .... and this center represents the collaboration of eight counties.”
Mark Newman, Indiana Office of Tourism Development executive director, announced, “There are very few assets that match the natural beauty of this valley. This really is one of my favorite places to visit.
“This pavilion will help foster connectivity to people, communities and regions ... (and) will aid the IOTD to create a robust future of tourism for Hoosiers to explore their state.”
District 68 state Rep. Jud McMillin noted, “Tourism is what is going to make southeastern Indiana a great place to work in and visit.”
Hours for the pavilion will be announced soon. For more information, persons can call 765-647-2541.
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.