Cheers to the Bishops! Bishop Backers Winter Community Day will be held Feb. 17 at Ohio Wesleyan. The free event will feature an OWU basketball doubleheader and a Delaware Expo including a visit from Columbus Zoo animals. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

An OWU Invitation

Bishop Backers to Host Free Event Feb. 17 with OWU Basketball Games, Zoo Animals, YMCA Play Area, More

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – You're invited to join the Bishop Backers on Feb. 17 for Winter Community Day 2024, a free Delaware celebration held in Ohio Wesleyan University's Branch Rickey Arena and Gordon Field House, 105 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

The family-friendly event will include free on-campus parking and free admission to both a Delaware Expo showcasing local nonprofits and businesses and an Ohio Wesleyan women's and men's varsity basketball doubleheader. (Admission is free with a canned food donation – unexpired, please – or a monetary donation to benefit the Delaware County Hunger Alliance, a United Way of Delaware County initiative.)

During the community celebration, the OWU women's basketball team will take on the Tigers of Wittenberg University, and the men's team will battle the Yeomen of Oberlin College. It will be senior day for both teams, and the games will mark the last home competitions for the 2023-2024 Battling Bishops. The women's game will tip off at 1 p.m., and the men's game will follow at 3 p.m.

The Delaware Expo will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 17 and is scheduled to feature:

  • A children's play area with a gaga pit and fitness challenge courtesy of the Delaware Community Center YMCA.
  • A visit from Columbus Zoo and Aquarium animal ambassadors between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • A chance to explore the Delaware Fire Department's inflatable fire safety house with giveaway helmets and stickers for children.
  • A chance to meet Battling Bishop varsity athletes.
  • A free raffle for a big-screen television courtesy of First Commonwealth Bank and 50/50 raffles to benefit the Hunger Alliance.

Those interested in having a table at the Delaware Expo are asked to register online now at Tables are $25 for for-profit businesses if paid at the time of registration or $30 (cash only) if paid on the day of the event. Tables are free for nonprofit organizations. The registration deadline for both groups is Jan. 31.

Community Day is intended to bring people together for a free afternoon of entertainment and education, building on the strong sense of cooperation and collaboration that makes Delaware such a great community. The expo also will help businesses and nonprofit organizations to connect with potential customers and volunteers, including Ohio Wesleyan students and alumni.

The Bishop Backers is an organization of community advocates interested in sharing information about athletics and other events at Ohio Wesleyan and in connecting potential student-volunteers, interns, and employees with local organizations. Learn more at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation's premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book "Colleges That Change Lives" and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review "Best Colleges" lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at