By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester is turning back the hands of time the first weekend of December as it prepares to celebrate the holiday season throughout downtown and on the grounds of the historical society.
The 15th annual Christmas in the Village kicks off the holidays Dec. 3-4 from 6-9 p.m., rain or snow. The free public event features Santa visits, a holiday craft bazaar, model train displays, ice sculpting, kids’ activities, a gingerbread house contest and holiday music.
Santa Claus arrives downtown to start the event each night by officially lighting the Christmas tree at Stradley Park and on Saturday, the Brockstrong Light up the Night holiday lights parade winds its way through town.
New this year is “A Storybook Christmas” with a Dickens’ theme on the grounds of the historical Society complex, 10 W. Oak St. Activities include “A Christmas Carol” interactive play with student actors from Canal Winchester High School, live tree farm, holiday market, waltz dance lessons and musical performances by the high school marching band.
Children make their own crafts, the Winchester Bells will perform, Quilters on the Canal created a quilt for a historical society raffle and cookies are available for sale.
Planning for the event started in March of this year when a group of 20 volunteers came together to create a plan.
Canal Winchester Area Historical Society President Bruna Brundige said, “Actually, we have a trustee who is Christmas crazy. She is the one who brought the vision of Christmas at the complex to us. Farmers Market is such a hit at the complex that a maker’s market seemed a natural for the event. The Canal Winchester community is excited to join in Christmas in the Village this year. It was so very missed in 2020. It is such a gift from the city to our town.”
Organizer and historical society member Jill Amos added the society’s plan is to rotate themes so that each year is a new adventure. She revealed the society plans a “Polar Express” theme in 2022.
In the past, the historical society participated in Christmas in the Village, albeit on a much smaller scale with a decorated tree, holiday garland making and hot cider.
“The pivot was two fold in my opinion,” said Amos. “The first being that after the holidays last year, we all needed the magic of the season brought back to life. The second is that the CWAHS wants to actively engage our community and community partnerships in celebrating our past, present and future and to create memories for their families.”
Canal Winchester Area Historical Society’s Barber Museum will be open during the evening, with bus service available from Canal Winchester Human Services.
“This city holds something special in the hearts of so many of our residents,” said Amos. “This event helps everyone—for a few hours of their lives—stop and put the magic of the holidays in perspective. To enjoy the innocent smiles of children, to say hello to the friends and neighbors that surround you and maybe, just maybe to feel like a kid again. Charles Dickens wrote, ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year.’ I hope that, through the events planned by the city, businesses, organizations and CWAHS this Dec. 3-4, we can find a joy that last all year long.”
A complete listing of Christmas in the Village attractions can be found at www.destinationcw.org or www.canalwinchesterohio.gov. For information about activities at the historical society complex, visit www.cwhistory.org or the society’s Facebook page. For information about the Holiday Lights Parade, visit www.cwholidaylightsparade.com.
Christmas in the Village is a partnership between the city of Canal Winchester and Destination: Canal Winchester.