Ho ho holiday happenings

Press Staff Writer

“Christmas Tree Ship” to arrive with Santa and holiday trees
        On Saturday, Dec. 7, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will welcome the arrival of Santa Claus and a tugboat full of Christmas trees.
        Spectators can watch Santa and his boatload of trees dock behind the museum, located at 1701 Front St., Toledo, at around noon, pick-up pre-ordered trees and enjoy holiday snacks with Santa.
        The festive holiday experience helps honor and tell the story of the Rouse Simmons—a Great Lakes schooner built in 1868 serving the Chicago area and remembered most notably as the “Christmas Tree Ship.”
        “Every year, the original ‘Christmas Tree Ship,’ along with her captain, Herman E. Schuenemann, would arrive carrying a cargo of holiday trees. He was known for giving trees to Chicago families who couldn’t afford to buy them,” said Ellen Kennedy, Director of Education and Visitor Experience for the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
        Like the original ship, Toledo’s own “Christmas Tree Ship” will come bearing Christmas trees that can be purchased by families or for donation to families in need. Additionally, the museum will open its doors to the community between 10 a.m.  and 1 p.m. for guests to enjoy the museum, watch the tug’s arrival, pick up their trees and meet Santa.
        “This year we are working with East Toledo Family Center to provide Christmas trees for local families,” said Kate Fineske, the museum’s Director of Communications and Development. “The trees are approximately 5-7 feet tall and cost $45 —plus, include the unforgettable and unique delivery by Santa via a Geo. Gradel Co. tugboat.”
        Trees must be pre-ordered by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. There will be no walk-up sales. To purchase a tree for yourself or one to be donated to a family in need, visit nmgl.org or call 419-214-5000.
Christmas in the Village
        Pemberville’s Christmas in the Village will be held Saturday, Nov. 30 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 1 from noon-6 p.m.
        The celebration will include horse and carriage rides, Santa Claus meet-and-greets, a Holiday Scholastic Book Fair, a Bake Shoppe, festive music, a Holiday Café, tours of the Pember-Furry House and more. The annual Festival of Trees will also be going on at the historic Pemberville Opera House. A Lighted Parade will step off Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
        For more details, visit beekersgeneralstore.com or call 419-287-3274.
Holly Jolly events
        Downtown Fremont Inc. will kick off the holiday season with Holly Jolly Events, including a Tree Lighting Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. and Small Business Saturday Shop Hop Saturday, Nov. 30. The events are free and open to the public.
        The Tree Lighting will take place at the corner of Front and State Streets by the Santa House Downtown. Santa will be in his house prior to the Tree Lighting, from 5-7 p.m., to welcome children and hear their Christmas wishes. Santa will also have hours from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.
        To kick off the Tree Lighting, there will be carolers and a hot cocoa wagon with cookies to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season.
        Small Business Saturday Shop Hop is an effort to support local shops that make our communities strong. The event encourages people to Shop Small and brings more holiday shopping to small businesses.
        From Nov. 29 through Dec.16, for every $10 shoppers spend at a participating downtown retail business, they will receive an entry into two drawings being held Monday, Dec. 16. Prizes include 250 or 100 Downtown Fremont Dollars, redeemable at many participating downtown stores.
Schedel Arts & Crafts Festival
        Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, 19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore, will host an Arts & Crafts Festival Sunday, Dec. 1 from 1-4 p.m. in the Brown Welcome Center.
        The family-friendly event will feature unique gift items from several art and craft vendors, an ornament-making station for kids and food vendors. Mimosas and wine will also be available for purchase.
        Santa and his elf will be available for self and professional photo opportunities from 2-4 p.m. For more details, call 419-862-3182 or www.schedel-gardens.org.
Genoa Holiday Parade, Festival of Lights set
        The holiday season will kick off in Genoa Sunday, Dec. 1 with a parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.
        The parade will line up at 5 p.m. at the park and step off at 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best floats. To sign up to participate, visit www.genoaohio.com.
        A tree-lighting in front of the Genoa Town Hall will follow the parade. Afterward, Santa will go to the Genoa Fire Hall, where he will visit with children. There will also be cookies and hot chocolate.
        Best-Dressed Home & Business Contest
        A Holiday Decorating Contest for village residents and businesses be conducted during the holiday season. All residences within the village limits will be judged. Judging will take place Sunday, Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. To participate, residents should turn lights on at dusk and keep them on until 9 p.m. Registration is not required. Winners will be notified the following day. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive a ribbon – and bragging rights for the next year.
Santa to visit Walbridge
        Santa is coming to Walbridge Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the VFW Post 9963, 109 N. Main St.
        The celebration will begin with the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Veterans Park, where there will also be Christmas carols and a lighted holiday parade.
        After the parade, there will be hot chocolate, cookies and a meet-and-greet with Santa at the VFW.
        The event is sponsored by Walbridge-Fest, Inc., VFW Post 9963 and the Village of Walbridge.
Heralding the Holidays
        Heralding the Holidays, a decades-long tradition showcasing the artist and garden clubs of the Artist Village at Toledo Botanical Garden, will be held Dec. 6-8. TBG is located at 5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo.
        Hours are 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
         Throughout the weekend, visitors will find art, jewelry, stained glass and pottery for sale, along with dried herbs and herbal products, food trucks and roving carolers.
        Visitors can also blow a glass ornament, and get a glimpse of Father Christmas wandering through the village (Friday evening).
        Village studios will be decorated for the celebration. For more details visit the Artist Village website at artvillage419.org
E. Toledo Christmas Parade
        The 47th East Toledo Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 11 a.m.
        This year’s theme will be “Up on the House Top” – the same theme that was intended for last year’s parade, which was canceled due to predictions of heavy rain.
        Parade organizers are honoring its longtime Mrs. Claus, Joy Perry, who passed away earlier this year.  Her immediate family has been invited to the parade as part of the festivities.
        As always, the parade will feature units representing, from local, businesses, scout troops, classic cars, grade school coloring contest winners, the VFW, local dignitaries and a color guard. Of course, Santa Claus will also be there.
Oregon Tree Lighting
        The City of Oregon’s 2019 Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at 5330 Seaman Rd.
        Santa will be on hand at the celebration will include free cookies, hot chocolate and more.
Olde’ Fashioned Christmas Celebration
        On Saturday Dec. 7 at 4:15 p.m., Santa’s friends from the Portage District Fire Department will be guiding him through the streets of the Oak Harbor as he heralds the 2019 holiday season in the village.
        At 5 p.m., Santa will arrive at the Log Cabin to light the Village Christmas Tree and to visit with the children. Each child will have the opportunity to share their Christmas wish list with him. After their visit, kids will receive Santa Bucks, which will enable them to shop for two free gift items for their loved ones from several businesses in downtown. Parents will also be given an entry card for a drawing. Those who visit each of the participating stores and have their card stamped will have a chance to win $100 in gift certificates.
        After the children have purchased their gifts, they may proceed to Portage Fire Station for cookies and cocoa and parents can turn in their entries for the drawing. These activities will be available from 5-7 p.m.
        Santa will also be at the Log Cabin from 6-8 p.m. Dec 13 and 20.
        For more information, call the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce office at 419-898-0479.
  Holidays at the Manor House
        Holidays at the Manor House, a 44-year Toledo tradition, opens Sunday, Dec 7 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 5100 W. Central Ave., Toledo. Admission is free.
        Thirty-two areas of the 30,000-square-foot mansion will be decorated in seasonal themes during the nine-day event. Other features, indoors and outdoors, will include:
        • A lighted boardwalk along the Ottawa River;
        • Decorations in the historic Shipman Garden;
        • An expanded model train display in nearby Metroparks Hall, courtesy of the Swanton Area Railroad and Model Club.
        • A S’mores Shack, open daily from noon-8 p.m., where visitors can make their own sweet treats.
        Children are invited to bring their letters to Santa to place in a mailbox in the   Manor   House   lower level.
        Up to 40,000 people are expected to tour the mansion that volunteers have decorated top to bottom each year since 1975.
        The process of decorating the stately Georgian Colonial style mansion begins almost a year in advance when decorators submit proposals for displays to a committee, which makes the final selection. Decorators are asked to incorporate a Metroparks theme into each display.
        Volunteers are welcome to serve as guides and other tasks. Call 419-407-9703 to volunteer.
        Carriage Rides through scenic Wildwood return this year on the two- weekends of Holidays at the   Manor House. Reservation are now open at MetroparksToledo.com. The wagon rides are powered by Molly and Sally, the mules from The Canal Experience at Providence Metropark.
        Guests are invited to bring donations of new hats, scarves and gloves to place on the Mitten Tree. Items collected will be donated to local children in need.
        Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Ward Pavilion (east entrance) for pictures with kids on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7-8 and 14-15 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free holiday movies will be shown starting at 1 p.m. on those days, also in the Ward Pavilion.
        The movie schedule includes:
        • Dec. 7: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
        • Dec. 8: “The Santa Clause”
        • Dec. 14; “Prancer”
        • Dec. 15: “Arthur Christmas.”

Santa (and the Grinch) to visit Ottawa NWR
        Get into the holiday spirit with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
        From 12-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Black Swamp Bird Observatory will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the annual Holiday Open House.
        The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center will host crafts, refreshments, and local vendors selling conservation-minded holiday gifts. The Rookery Nature Store will have a 10% off sale, and Friends of Ottawa NWR members will receive 20% off purchases.
        Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and Puddles the Blue Goose, the refuge system mascot, have cleared their schedules to attend and take photos with kids of all ages. The refuge will be collecting mittens for the Salvation Army as well. Bring in a pair of mittens or gloves for a special treat. There is also a chance to win a gift basket.
        The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit friendsofottawanwr.org or call 419-898-0014.
Photos with Santa
        Santa Claus is coming to Oregon and Waterville where he will pose for pictures with people and pets on Dec. 8.
        Photos with Santa has expanded to two locations as a result of the popularity of the annual event sponsored by Andy’s Army Canine Cancer Project.
        “Our Santa photo sessions are favorite fundraisers for Andy’s Army. We have a lot of returning pets and families, and it’s a fun day for everyone on both sides of the camera,” said Sue Bechtel, of Whitehouse, founder and president of the Toledo-area based nonprofit.
        Photos with Santa will be offered Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Gladieux Home Center, 5120 Navarre Ave., Oregon, and at Pet Valu, 1067 Pray Blvd., Waterville, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Photos will be printed and framed on site. Framed 4” x 6” photos are $10 each.
        Also at both locations, Andy’s Army will sponsor Hark! It’s Bark, the nonprofit’s annual holiday bake sale featuring candies and cookies.
        Event proceeds will support Andy’s Army and its three-fold mission: promote pet wellness, raise awareness of canine cancer and generate funds for research.
Northwood tree lighting
        The City of Northwood’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at the city Municipal Building, 6000 Wales Rd.
        Come see Santa and enjoy a performance by the Northwood Local Schools choir. Call 419-690-1621 for details.
Harbor View Historical Society Open House
       Harbor View Historical Society is Having an Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1-5 p.m. The Museum is located in the Historic Neighborhood of the Village of Harbor View, off Bayshore Road at 2083 Autokee St.
       The event will feature crafts and surprises for kids, along with snacks and food.A special visit from Santa is also planned.
        For Info, call Harbor Historical Society, 419-691-1517
Stony Ridge decorating contest
        The Stony Ridge Civic Association is sponsoring an Outdoor Decorating Contest, with prizes to be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners.
        The contest is open to residents within the boundaries of Tracy Road, Dowling Road, Lemoyne Road and Genoa Road (SR 163).
        Those interested in participating may email their name and address to greulich18@gmail.com by Dec. 10. The winners will be announced Dec. 18.
Christmas Double Feature
        From the Heart Theater Group will present “A Christmas Double Feature Spectacular” Dec. 13-15 at Eisenhower School, 331 N. Curtice Rd., Oregon.
        Both shows are family-friendly. Act 1 is the beloved 1965   animated   television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” with the whole Peanuts gang – but live on stage with an all-student cast.
        Act 2 is the Broadway style musical, “One Bethlehem Night,” with a cast of adults and children who beautifully, and sometimes humorously, retell the story of that first Christmas night.
        Performances will be held Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec 15 at 6 p.m. Total performance time for both acts with intermission is two hours.
        General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. Purchase tickets online www.fromthehearttheatergroup.org or with cash or check at Bartz Viviano Flowers, 2963 Navarre Ave. in Oregon.
Christmas at the Farm
        A Christmas Open House will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1-3 p.m. at Serenity Farm, 21870 Lemoyne Rd., Luckey.
        The celebration will include photos with Santa, family activities and light refreshments.
        For more information, call 419-833-1308 or email serenityfarmoffice@gmail.com.
“Win the Window”
        Pemberville merchants are presenting “Shop Pemberville, Win the Window” contest through Dec. 15.
        For every $25 spent with a participating merchant, patrons will receive an entry into the contest. The entry must be physically placed in the hopper located in the window at 222 E. Front St. or into one of the containers located at Frobose Meat Locker, Beeker’s General Store, the Union Bank or the Otterbein Portage Valley Gift Shop.
        The window, with an estimated value of just over $4,000, includes an assortment of gifts from 42 participating merchants, including a 55-inch TV, a KitchenAid Mixer, a Chromebook, Apple AirPods, an air fryer, coffeemakers, a massage, a Christmas tree, coolers brimming with goodies, wireless routers, gift cards, gift certificates and lots more.                A list of participating merchants and their gifts, along with complete contest rules are available online at www.shoppembervilleinfo.com.
        The contest is open to ages 18 and older. The winning ticket will be drawn Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.
Winter Wonder Lights
        Oregon residents are invited to show off their exterior holiday decorating flair for a chance to win the City of Oregon’s “Winter Wonder Lights” Home Decorating Contest.
        Register your home or nominate a neighbor by calling 419-698-7169 or visit winterwonderlightsoregonohio@gmail.com. The grand prize is a $500 VISA gift card.
        The contest ends Dec. 17. Post photos of favorite decorations on Winter Wonder Lights – Oregon Ohio’s Facebook page.
Gift wrapping services
        The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce will be offering gift wrapping services for the holiday season.
        Prices range from $1-5, depending on the size of the gift. All proceeds will benefit the Olde Fashioned Christmas Celebration in downtown Oak Harbor.
        Customers can drop off gifts at the Chamber office, 161 W. Water St., Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Nov. 25 through Dec. 19. For more details, call 419-898-0479.


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