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Sunday, November 23, 2014
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Published: Monday, 4/7/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

Families drawn to downtown activities

Electronics expo one of the events on busy Sunday

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bob Bush of Dayton, center, inspects a scale-model airplane crafted by Dave Asman of Sterling Heights, Mich., right, during the 60th annual Weak Signals Radio Control Model Exposition at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo. Mr. Asman said it took him six years to build the SBD 5. Bob Bush of Dayton, center, inspects a scale-model airplane crafted by Dave Asman of Sterling Heights, Mich., right, during the 60th annual Weak Signals Radio Control Model Exposition at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo. Mr. Asman said it took him six years to build the SBD 5.
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Toledo’s downtown was hopping Sunday with people flocking to see the 60th annual Weak Signals Radio Control Model Exposition, a Toledo Mud Hens game, and the Toledo Symphony: Ode to Joy.

Sidewalks were packed with families looking for an afternoon of fun, whether outdoors in the sun or indoors under the lights.

PHOTO  GALLERY: Weak Signals R/C Model Expo

The expo, which ran from Friday to Sunday and was projected to attract about 8,000 people to the SeaGate Convention Centre, drew people from all over the country, said Rick Lederman, co-director of the event. An attendance number wasn’t available as of press time.

People were especially taken by the dronelike aircraft on display at the event, Mr. Lederman said. The drones, which were shaped like small planes or helicopters, allow people to take aerial images.

Damian Przystal, who traveled from Palatine, Ill., located near Chicago, to Toledo for the expo said he’s been interested in remote-control electronics since he was 13 years old. He said he’s really taken an interest in the drone-like aircraft in the last few years — it’s a hobby he and his best friend thoroughly enjoy.

“It’s different than any other hobby than you’d expect,” the 20-year-old said, adding that it has enabled him to travel across the Midwest, where he has met other remote-control enthusiasts.

Patrick Rife brought his 9-year-old son, Carson, to the expo and said the hobby is a great way to teach his son about mechanics and responsibility. Mr. Rife said he and his son own a model nitro boat, two electric boats, and a four-wheel drive vehicle.

“It’s just like taking care of a car,” said Mr. Rife, a Clyde, Ohio, resident. “You learn while you work on it.”

Samuel Wise, 4, of Whitehouse takes a closer look at model-crafting tools as he and his father, Brian, walk through the vendors’ stalls during Sunday’s expo. Samuel Wise, 4, of Whitehouse takes a closer look at model-crafting tools as he and his father, Brian, walk through the vendors’ stalls during Sunday’s expo.
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Strolling down Washington Street with his wife and two daughters, Joe Braman said the sunny weather was perfect for a family outing.

“I’ve lived in Toledo my whole life and I figured I'd take my kids to their first baseball game,” he said.

Mr. Braman said the downtown’s transformation to a family friendly area in the past few years is a boon for the city, which didn’t offer many family oriented activities a decade ago.

“It’s great for families to be able to come out in Toledo and have stuff like this to do,” he said, adding that he used to take his family to Cedar Point when they were looking for weekend fun.

Sunday also marked a first for Bridgit Dodrill of Toledo. Ms. Dodrill said she’s been eager to attend an event thrown by the symphony but has never had the chance.

The Ode to Joy presentation at the Huntington Center was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I have always wanted to go and have never been able to go on the days they have been shown,” she said.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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