Press Staff Writer

        The City of Oregon’s 2nd Annual Winter Wonder Lights Home Decorating Contest is Under Way.
        Oregon residents are invited to show off their exterior decorating flair this holiday season. Register your home or nominate your neighbor by calling 419-698-716 or online at The deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 11. Judging will be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The top two winners will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 17.
        Post photos of your favorites on the Winter Wonder Lights – Oregon Ohio Facebook page.
Santa visits planned
        Santa will still arrive in Oak Harbor at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, and will be escorted by Portage Fire District through the streets of town. Santa & Mrs. Claus will then be available for social distanced visiting on the following days and times:
        • Saturday, Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m. at the Croghan Colonial Bank drive-thru.
        • Fridays, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, 6-8 p.m. at Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union drive-thru.
        Children are encouraged to bring their letters for Santa, as all letters will be answered by Santa and his elves. After sharing their letter and wish list for Christmas, Santa will send the children a special treat through the drive thru tube.
A wild year
        African Safari Wildlife Park will be closing for the 2020 Season on Sunday, Dec. 6. The drive-thru is tentatively scheduled to reopen for the 2021 season on Friday, Feb. 26, while the walk-thru safari will reopen early May.
        “We've had an unprecedented and wild year,” said the park’s director, Kelsey Keller. “Despite these uncertain times, we certainly had a good season. As a safe, outdoor, and family-friendly safari park, we saw hundreds of new, masked, faces come through this season. We were able to accomplish a lot this year, including opening several new exhibits, a reservation system, and our private Giraffe Encounter experience. We hope to see everyone back again in the 2021 season.”
        The Midwest’s only drive-thru safari, African Safari Wildlife Park is located at 267 S. Lightner Rd. in Port Clinton. Visit or follow on social media for more details.
Drive-thru Nativity
        Gibsonburg area churches will present a Drive-thru Nativity on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
        Area families are invited to view the free presentation of the Biblical Christmas Story as it comes to life in nine scenes portrayed by families from the community.
        Drive slowly past each scene as you listen to the narration of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Narration is available in sanitized cassette, CD or flash drive formats to accommodate all vehicles.
Cast your vote
        USA Today 10Best editors and a panel of experts have again chosen the Wildwood Manor House as a nominee in a Readers' Choice contest for Best Holiday Historic Home Tour.
        Last year, the house at Wildwood Preserve came in second to Elvis' Memphis home, Graceland. Cast your vote for the Manor House through Dec. 7 at
        The Toledo Zoo's Lights Before Christmas, presented by KeyBank, is a nominee for USA Today 10Best Zoo Lights. Vote through Dec. 7
Horse-drawn sleigh
& trolly rides at Hayes
        This holiday season, ride through the wooded estate of President Rutherford B. Hayes in a horse-drawn sleigh, as the president did when he lived there.
        South Creek Clydesdales will offer horse-drawn sleigh and horse-drawn trolley rides through Spiegel Grove during some of its “A Presidential Christmas” events before and after Christmas at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.
        Rides will be offered from 4:30- 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, during Hayes Presidential’s  “A Presidential Christmas: Tree Lighting, Sleigh Rides” and “Hayes Train Special.”
        Rides will again be offered from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26; Sunday, Dec. 27; Tuesday, Dec. 29; Thursday, Dec. 31; and Saturday, Jan. 2.
        For all events, the cost for the sleigh is $5.50 per rider ages 3 and older and free for ages 2 and younger. The cost for the trolley is $4.50 per rider ages 3 and older and free for ages 2 and younger.
        New this year, Hayes Presidential is selling pre-sale sleigh and trolley tickets online at
        Tickets will be sold at the front desk the days of the events, pending availability. During events the week after Christmas, in-person sleigh and trolley ticket sales will end at 3:45 p.m. each day.
        The sleigh can hold up to four people. This year, Hayes Presidential plans to limit the sleigh rides to one household group.
        The trolley offers room for physical distancing and can hold up to eight people. Trolley riders can be from different household groups, but household groups are asked to sit apart from other riders
        All riders must wear a face covering, unless they have an accepted exemption to the state of Ohio’s mask mandate.
        Rides will be offered whether or not there is snow. However, if the wind chill is below zero or there are thunderstorms, rides will be canceled. For updates, visit or Hayes Presidential’s social media pages.
        If Hayes Presidential cancels the sleigh rides, refunds for the tickets will be issued. Otherwise, there are no refunds.
        President Rutherford B. Hayes often rode in a horse-drawn sleigh and noted his excursions and how much he enjoyed them in his diaries, which are kept in the Hayes Presidential Library.
        For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit
Wood Co. Museum
virtual fundraiser
        Support Ohio’s local small businesses along with the Wood County Museum this holiday season during the museum’s Virtual Auction Fundraiser.
        The museum, with support from a variety of locally-owned businesses across the state, is hosting the auction fundraiser at through Dec. 10.
        All proceeds from the virtual auction will support the efforts of the Wood County Historical Society to bring the community education through no or low-cost programs, exhibits, and experiences.
        Featured themed gift baskets include local items and experiences from artists, merchants and restaurants across Ohio including the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Zoo, New Riff Bourbon Distillery, Yankee Air Museum, Black Swamp Arts Festival, Cincinnati Museum Center and Zoo, Rhinegeist Brewery, Miller Ferries Put-In-Bay & Middle Bass Island, Findlay Brewing Company, Fort Meigs, and more.
        Prize packages encompass collectibles, art, children’s toys, and get-away experiences. Those wanting to support the Historical Society fundraising goal of $15,000 can also purchase a “non-event” ticket for $55 person or make a donation directly from the auction site or the museum website at
        This virtual experience replaces the traditional museum gala fundraiser, which like many of the museum’s programs, were canceled due to COVID-19.
‘You Play – Pets Win’
        Help support the programs of Planned Pethood and get the chance to win cash – all from the comfort of your home or phone.
        The “You Play – Pets Win” 50-50 raffle is running through Friday, Dec. 18. Purchase tickets online at for a chance to win 50 percent of the jackpot.
        The remainder of the funds raised will help provide the critical programs and services necessary for Planned Pethood to rescue and care for the many abandoned, injured and unwanted dogs and cats in our community. These funds also contribute to proactively addressing overpopulation.
        Planned Pethood, Inc., is a foster-based animal rescue program serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. For more than 40 years, the program’s mission has been to reduce the overpopulation and suffering of dogs and cats through education and low-cost spay-neuter programs, and to rescue, care for and place adoptable dogs and cats into good, permanent, loving homes.
        Visit for more info.
Museum store
holiday shopping
        This holiday season, help support Great Lakes history while also taking care of your loved ones' wish lists by shopping at the National Museum of the Great Lakes' Museum Store.
        Every purchase supports the museum and its mission—to preserve and make known the history of the Great Lakes.
        GLHS/NMGL members receive a 10% discount online or in-store. Shop online and save on shipping with in-store pick-up.
        Visit to shop or for more info. Call 419-214-5000 with any questions.
TMA offering digital
member card option
        As of Dec. 2, Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) members have the option to use a digital membership card to redeem their member benefits when visiting the Museum.
        “The Toledo Museum of Art is excited to offer this feature to its members,” said Interim Director of Development Kris Crystal. “While physical cards can be lost or stolen, digital cards ensure that TMA members can access their membership benefits quickly.”
        The digital membership card is unique to each member and once downloaded, will be stored in the member’s digital wallet app. The member’s name, membership level, expiration date and a barcode that can be scanned are displayed on the front of the card. The card will automatically update every year upon renewal. Instructions on how to download the digital membership card will be emailed to all TMA members Dec. 2.
        “The Museum staff is extremely grateful to TMA’s members for their ongoing support during this unprecedented time,” Crystal added. “Providing members a more convenient way to access their Museum benefits is one way we can show our gratitude.”
        A comprehensive FAQ about the digital membership card program is available on the Museum’s website at
Vineyard grants awarded
        Quinstock Farm, Port Clinton, is among 14 grape growers in Ohio that will receive up to $3,000 per acre in grant money to create new or expand existing vineyards, allowing for more wineries to use Ohio-grown grapes.
        The Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).
        Ohio is the sixth largest wine producer in the country, with just over 1,500 acres of vineyards producing and selling 1.2 million gallons, or 500,000 cases, of wine annually. There are currently 340 licensed wine manufacturers across the state, creating more than 8,000 full-time jobs for Ohioans. VEAP is managed by OGIC, which was established in 1981 and operates in-part through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Learn more about Ohio wines at


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