Axios Columbus

Picture of the Columbus skyline.

πŸ₯° Who's got that Friday feeling?

β˜€οΈ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 67. It's fall, y'all!

🎡 Sounds like: "Always Summer" by Yellowcard.

⚠️ Situational Awareness: US-33 is closed between US-42 and State Route 161 this morning after a dump truck crashed into a power pole around 2am. It’s not clear when the highway will reopen yet, so look for detours for your morning commute.

πŸ“š Become an Axios Columbus member and contribute $100 or more between now and Sept. 30 to receive a copy of Axios' Smart Brevity book! Promotion Terms apply.

Today's newsletter is 899 words β€” a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Kate Sommers-Dawes.

1 big thing: 🍁 Our fall foliage forecast

A green map of the U.S. showing fall color predictions at the top in red, orange and yellow
The fall foliage outlook for next week, according to smokymountains.com. Image courtesy of David Angotti

Temperatures are dropping, it's getting darker earlier and the smell of pumpkin spice has been wafting from coffee shops for weeks.

Yes, but: No matter what the calendar says, for us it's not officially fall until the leaves change.

State of play: Central Ohio should start seeing pops of color next week, according to the foliage prediction map from smokymountains.com.

  • Color should peak by Oct. 24 for about a week. By Halloween, it'll start to dull.

The intrigue: That is, if our always unpredictable weather cooperates.

  • Last year's unseasonably warm fall convinced many trees it was still summer well into October. A delayed display of reds, yellows and oranges appeared only briefly before winter struck.

How it works: As the days shorten and temperatures drop, trees sense winter is coming and stop producing chlorophyll, their green pigment that turns light into food.

  • The remaining pigments let leaves show their true colors.

What they're saying: "Sunny days and cool nights, that's the key recipe for the best fall colors," David Parrott, fall color forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, tells Axios.

  • Mostly normal summer rainfall helps too, so this fall's forecast is "looking very good."

What we're watching: ODNR publishes a fall color progress map to help with planning leaf-peeping trips. They'll start posting weekly video updates next week, Parrott says.

πŸ‚ Our favorite fall spots:

2. πŸŽƒ Our guide to the best patches and mazes

A pumpkin patch field.
Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking of fall, we're debuting a new Friday feature highlighting the best activities our region has to offer during our favorite time of year.

  • Now is a good time to head to these outdoor spots while the weather is still pleasant:
Hann Farms Market

Pumpkins, peppers and other produce are just a strawberry's throw away from Route 270.

  • 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday and noon-5pm Sunday. 4600 Lockbourne Road, Columbus.
Freeman's Farm

Families can make scarecrows and enjoy hayrides at this Delaware County farm.

  • 10am-5pm Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday through Oct. 23. 6142 Lewis Center Road, Galena.
The MAiZE at Little Darby Creek

Bring your knowledge of OSU football to complete this corn maze, which opens tomorrow and is designed to honor Ohio Stadium's 100th anniversary.

  • 5-10pm Friday, noon-10pm Saturday and noon-6pm Sundays through Oct. 30. 8657 Axe Handle Road, Milford Center.
Lynd Fruit Farm

Finish the maze or try your hand at apple cannon target practice.

  • 10am-10pm Friday, Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday. Cannon closes at 6pm. 9581 Morse Road, Pataskala.

3. 🏈 Ohioans in the NFL

Data: NFL; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: NFL; Chart: Axios Visuals

If you were to add up all the current NFL players from Ohio, you could field an entire team plus a full practice roster.

State of play: Few other states produce more pros than we do: 74 to kick off this season, Axios Sports' Kendall Baker writes.

  • Nine of them now play for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

πŸ’ͺ Yes, and: Ohio State is also tied with LSU (52) for the second-most collegiate players currently in the NFL, trailing Alabama's 58.

Of note: Six pros have completed the Buckeye State trifecta by playing high school, college and professional football here in Ohio.

  • Punter Kevin Huber, in his 14th year with the Bengals, gets bonus points for playing all three in the same city.

The list includes:

  • James Hudson III: Central Catholic (Toledo), University of Cincinnati, Bengals
  • Denzel Ward: Nordonia (Macedonia), OSU, Browns
  • Kareem Hunt: South (Willoughby), Toledo, Browns
  • Kevin Huber: McNicholas (Cincinnati), University of Cincinnati, Bengals
  • Joe Burrow: Athens (The Plains), OSU (prior to transferring to LSU), Bengals
  • Sam Hubbard: Moeller (Cincinnati), OSU, Bengals

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4. 🍦 Soft serve worth every penny

Photo of a sundae called "The Penny," a Little Ladies latest seasonal sundae featuring fall flavors of pumpkin and chai, topped with cardamom caramel sauce and homemade corn puff brittle
Little Ladies' seasonal sundae, The Penny, tastes like fall with flavors of pumpkin and chai topped with caramel. Photo: Mary Jane Sanese/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Mary Jane here. Looking for a new ice cream spot around town? You're in luck. Whenever a new one opens, I'll be there to investigate.

Driving the news: I have an affinity for ice cream. I used to work for Jeni's and have eaten my share over the years.

  • There's nothing like a locally owned ice cream shop where everything is homemade.

What's happening: Little Ladies has the best soft serve ice cream I've ever had.

  • Sometimes soft serve can be over mixed, making it less flavorful and not very dense. At Little Ladies, every bite is creamy and luscious.

Details: The sundaes have names like Thelma, Luella and Aggie. You can pick which flavor you want with any sundae or you can customize menu items with any flavor to make your own.

  • They offer a special sundae every so often.
  • The store is clean and bright with fun wallpaper designs throughout.

What I ate: The Penny, with pumpkin cake, chai, cardamom caramel sauce and some corn puff brittle ($7.50).

  • No ingredient was overpowering, with the flavors singing together in perfect harmony.
  • I could have eaten two of them.

If you go: Noon-9pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-10pm Friday-Saturday and 1-9pm Sunday. 673 Worthington Road.

Do you see yourself with a new career?

βœ” Check out our Local Job Board.

  1. Sales Development Consultant at OCLC.
  2. Key Account Manager – HOFFMAN (Data Center & Networking Solutions) at Nvent.
  3. Customer Account Manager at Raytheon Technologies.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. What to do this weekend

The canon goes off and fans celebrate around the rink at Nationwide Arena
The cannon erupts and the crowd celebrates after the Blue Jackets scored a goal at Nationwide Arena in April. Photo: Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

β˜• To bean or not to bean? The Columbus Coffee Festival will bring almost 40 coffee roasters to Ohio Village.

  • 9am-2pm Saturday, Sunday. $20.

πŸƒ Add to your collection at the Columbus Trading Card and Collectibles Show. Over 50 vendors will sell PokΓ©mon, Magic, sports cards and more at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

  • 10am-5pm Saturday. Free!

πŸ’ Hockey is back! The Blue Jackets' first home preseason game of the season is against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  • 7pm Sunday, with tickets as cheap as $17.

Two more weekend events

πŸ‘°β€β™€οΈ Congratulations, Alex! An Axios colleague who grew up in Ohio is collecting donations for Mid-Ohio Food Collective to celebrate her recent marriage. Click here to donate.

πŸ‘Ά Tyler is gearing up for a big weekend.

πŸŽƒ Alissa is putting up her Halloween decorations and drinking apple cider.

πŸ€” Mary Jane is still trying to figure out what to be for Halloween this year.