Blending history and holidays

Just like the old song says, "There’s no place like home for the holidays," and Groveport is embracing that idea.

The village of Groveport and the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society will host the first "Groveport Hometown Holiday," an old fashioned holiday celebration in and around Groveport’s historic downtown, on Dec. 9 from 1-5 p.m.

The event is rooted in the village’s history said Carla Cramer of the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society.

"The Heritage Society had discussed reviving the old home tour from the 1970s," said Cramer. "I was just thinking about the village one day and thought about trying to do something around the holiday period. I called (Groveport Community Affairs Director) Linda Haley to pitch the idea and she said she had been thinking about a similar program. She and I talked, brainstormed, and researched ideas for the event."

Cramer said an event like this is important because it provides the opportunity for community spirit during the holiday season.

"People can visit several buildings to learn about the historical perspective of our village," said Cramer. "They will also be able to take the time to interact with each other as they pass along the village streets, much as they did years ago."

The event features:

• "Everything Santa," an art exhibit at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St.

•Groveport Heritage Museum, located on the first floor of Groveport Town Hall.

•A tour of the home of Bill and Doris Cox at 628 Main St., which was built in 1840 and was originally the home of one of the town founders, William Rarey.

•A tour of the Brian and Joanne Casserly home at Main and West streets, an example of early 20th century architecture.

•A tour of the United Methodist Church on Main Street. The church, built in 1907 is the third Methodist church constructed on the site dating to 1836. The church is noted for its architecture including multiple gabels, arches, doors, stained glass windows, and distinctive cranberry red brick. The choir will perform from 1-2:30 p.m. Beth Stevenson will offer a historical presentation of the church throughout the afternoon.

•A tour of the Presbyterian Church on College Street. Built in 1853, it is the oldest church in continuous use in the village. At 2:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., harpist Sarah DeLucia will perform and from 3-3:30 p.m. Christmas carols will be sung.

•Horse drawn carriage rides through the historic downtown streets starting at Town Hall and clip clopping their way down Oak Street, Elm Street, and Front Street back to Town Hall.

• "Dickens Village," hundreds of Department 56 collectibles on display at the home of Tallman Street

residents Jerry and Mary Miles.

•Dulcimer and wooden flute music along with hot cider at the log house in Heritage Park.

•Shopping at LangWeil Studios, Hanson House, Go Groveport’s Bierberg Mercantile and other downtown shops.

"Tour sites were selected on a historical basis," said Cramer. "We wanted homes that represented different periods of construction in the village. We chose the two oldest church buildings for the first year of the tour and we wanted to include some of the businesses as well. We learned that coincidentally our tour date was the same as Lang Weil’s Open House. Our intent was to start small this year with the possibility of having more stops in the future. We also didn’t want to get so many that people couldn’t get around in the four hour period without rushing. If the event is successful, we would like to have entirely different homes and churches next year. We would also like to incorporate others in the village by offering caroling groups, and so on."

"I think the highlight of the event for me will be seeing lots of people walking down Main Street, visiting with each other and stopping into the shops," added Cramer.

Tickets for the Groveport Hometown Holiday are $5 per person pre-sale and $7 the day of the event (children age five and under free) and may be purchased at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., and Bierberg Mercantile, 607 Main St. Self-guided tour maps will be provided.

For information call Carla Cramer at 836-9113 or Groveport Town Hall at 836-3333.

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