ETC: Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas kicks off Nov. 17

Press Staff Writer

        Join the Toledo Zoo for the brightest holiday tradition – Lights Before Christmas presented by Key Bank, which will sparkle Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday Dec. 31.
        The With more than 1 million lights, the award-winning Big Tree and 200+ illuminated animal images spread out across the Zoo, the 2023 edition of the electrical spectacle is sure to be merry and bright. It all kicks off with the lighting of the Big Tree at around 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, with special characters and performances, caroling and an appearance with the man in red himself.
        New this year, visitors can enjoy cozy fire pits, seasonal cocktails, retail shopping and visits with Santa at the revamped Winter Village. Visit with Santa at Winter Village from 4-8 p.m. daily Nov. 17-Dec. 23. Also check out the Ice Slide, Holly Jolly Express, seasonal food offerings, entertainment from local and regional performance groups and more.
        Lights Before Christmas hours are Monday-Thursday 3-8 p.m. (zoo closes at 9 p.m.) and Friday-Sunday from 3-9 p.m. (zoo closes at 10 p.m.). Thanksgiving hours are 3-8 p.m., (zoo closes at 9 p.m.). On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Lights Before Christmas will be open from 3-9 p.m. (park closes at 10 p.m.). New Year’s Eve hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
        Zoo members receive unlimited visits beginning Nov. 17 (reservations required).
        The Toledo Zoo is located at 2 Hippo Way. For more information, visit
        Cast your vote
        The Toledo Zoo has again been nominated in USA Today’s 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest as a contender for Best Zoo Lights.
        The Zoo is asking for the community’s help to again show the nation what this area has known for more than 30 years… Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank display truly is the best in the U.S.
        Vote at
Live! In the House
        Hoodang will bring their unique blend of dark, driving off-kilter country music Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St. The performance is part of the ongoing Live! In the House Concert Series.
        The Ann Arbor-based band – comprised of David Rossiter, Sophia Hanifi and Dave Keeny – has been mesmerizing audiences for nearly two decades. They write songs, often in first person, of people tarnished by bad blood and bad luck who still find ways to make it through to the next town, day, marriage, con or bottle.
        Blending a driving, fingerstyle rhythm guitar sound with a thrumming bass, chiming electric guitar, hammer-down
percussion, and soaring vocal harmonies, onstage Hoodang’s comfort zone has been a spontaneous, careening edge that plays off the moment, the mood and the room.
        Tickets are $12 and are available
at the door or by contacting Carol at 419-287-4848.
        Visit for more information.
Fitzgerald Experience
        The National Museum of the Great Lakes, located at 1701 Front St., Toledo, will honor the 48th anniversary of the loss of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald with special tours on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 11 and 12.
        The Fitzgerald Experience is a guided tour of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, using the lake freighter and its similarities to the Edmund Fitzgerald to discuss the events of Nov. 10, 1975, theories surrounding the sinking and stories about the 29 crew members who were lost.
        “The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald was a momentous moment in Great Lakes history,” said Ellen Kennedy, the museum’s education and visitor experience director. “Guests will come away from these tours with a deeper understanding of the impact of that loss.”
        Tickets for the 75-minute tour are $20 for NMGL members and $25 for non-members, which includes museum admission. Each tour will be limited to eight people. Guests will also receive a museum store discount of 10% (non-members) and 20% (members) off in-store purchases.
        Advance registration is recommended. Due to its historical accuracy, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship is not handicap or wheelchair accessible. Narrow, steep staircases are common throughout the ship and may provide difficulties in accessibility for some.
        The Schoonmaker is also not heated, and much of the tour is on uncovered decks. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. If it is determined that the tours are impossible due to the weather, a refund of the ticket price (minus fees) will be provided. No make-up date is planned. Refunds can be processed (minus fees) and tickets canceled up to seven days before the event.
        About the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald
        When it was launched on June 7, 1958, the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship on the Great Lakes and is still the largest to have ever sunk there. Intending to travel from Superior, Wisconsin to Detroit, Michigan, the ship was caught in a severe storm on Lake Superior with hurricane-like winds and 35-foot waves.
        Lost radar and the storm’s magnitude created a deadly combination, sinking the Edmund Fitzgerald in Canadian waters on Nov. 10, 1975. The disaster remains one of the worst and most widely known in the history of the Great Lakes. The event was recorded in popular culture by Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot in his 1976 hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitgerald.”
“The Old Man and The Old Moon”
        The Clay Limelighters will present the highly acclaimed Off-Broadway production, “The Old Man and The Old Moon,” from the award-winning PigPen Theatre Co., Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. in the Clay High School auditorium.
        In this music-filled theatrical fable, The Old Man tends to The Old Moon, refilling the light that spills out every night. When his wife unexpectedly leaves home, The Old Man abandons his post and plunges the world into darkness. His eventful journey across land, air, and sea to find her reminds them – and the audience – of the unwavering power of love.
        The magical and inventive tale full of music and puppetry will be a delight for the entire family.
        All seating is reserved and may be purchased at Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Concessions will be available at all performances.
        “The Old Man and The Old Moon” is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC.
“The Thanksgiving Play”
        Actors Collaborative Toledo (ACT) will present the local premiere of the satirical comedy, “The Thanksgiving Play” by Native American (Sicangu Lakota) playwright Larissa FastHorse.
        The play, directed by Toledo theatre veteran Joe Capucini, will be performed at The Maumee Indoor Theatre on Nov. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or at the door beginning one hour before curtain.
        Local actors Kate Abu-Absi, Angiovanna Gresko, Tim McMahon and Jim Pinkelman star alongside some puppets (because everybody loves puppets). In the play, good intentions collide with absurd assumptions as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.
        A portion of the proceeds from the production will benefit Equality Toledo’s Community Food Pantry. ACT will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food items, personal hygiene products and pet food during the run of the show to be donated to Equality Toledo’s Community Food Pantry.
OJHS Community Christmas
        The Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society will sponsor the 2nd Annual “OJHS Community Christmas,” on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the First St. Mark's Church Educational Center, located at 1121 Grasser St., Oregon.
        The community event will involve the children of all three Oregon elementary schools, as each child has created an ornament to hang on their school's designated Christmas trees in the “Santa Room.” Santa and Mrs. Claus will be welcoming children and their parents for selfies and pictures, along with free hot chocolate and cookies, while Santa's elves will be assisting the children with their letters to send to the North Pole.
        Also included in the day's activities is the 2nd Annual, “Parade of Trees.” Twelve festively decorated and themed Christmas trees and five themed Christmas baskets will be on display and up for raffle that day. Lucky winners will take home a fully decorated tree or Christmas raffle basket. Raffle tickets are seven for $5.
        The OJHS Christmas Elves will have assorted Christmas cookies and baked goods for sale plus the OJHS Gift Shop will have one-of-a kind Christmas items and decor for sale.
        Additional selfies and pictures can be taken with the OJHS horses, Sundance and Baylee, as they will be out of their barn and hooked up to the newly refurbished 100-year-old Messer family sleigh.
        “This is a free, fun, family holiday event for our community,” said OJHS President Michelle Quilter. “There is plenty of free parking and the building is handicapped accessible.”
“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”
        Genoa Civic Theatre will present “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” by Joe Landry, Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. at the theatre, 509 Main St. Second Floor.
        This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life on one fateful Christmas Eve.
        The production is directed by Lynne Hartley.
        For tickets and more information, visit
Halloween Parade, Costume
Contest winners announced    

        Winners have been announced in the 49th Annual Halloween Parade and Contest sponsored by the Elmore American Legion Post 279 and Auxiliary on Oct. 30.
        The Woodmore High School Marching Band led more than 27 participants through the streets of the village. Cider and donuts were served to all participants and their parents.
        The following winners were selected:
        Disney Characters:
        • 0-3-year-olds: First place – LaurieAnn Reynolds.
        • 0-3-year-olds: First place – Lilah Probst; second place – Addison McGough; third place –Alayna McGough.
        • 4-7-year-olds: First place – Kate Dolph; second place – Ava St. John; third place – Nora Schlea.
        • 8-10 year olds: First place – Isaac Butler; second place – Elaine Dolph; third place – Braxton Homer; fourth place – Skylar Young.
        • 0-3-year-olds: First place – Jack Travis; second place, Elijah Travis; third place – Gabe Probst.
        • 4-7-year-olds: First place – Dakota Cunningham; second place – Aaron Butler; third place – Mack Floro.
Toledo selected to host
Ohio Craft Brewers Assn.

        Toledo has been selected to host the 2024 Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s ninth annual Ohio Craft Brewers Conference.
        The annual event, bringing 700 brewers and brewery-adjacent professionals to the Glass City Center Jan. 16-18, 2024, features educational seminars, speakers, industry vendors and networking opportunities focused on the growing craft beer industry in Ohio.
        “We are honored to be hosting OCBA’s largest annual event,” said Lance Woodworth, president and CEO of Destination Toledo. “In 2022, Ohio’s craft brewing industry generated an estimated $1.27 billion of economic activity and supported more than 12,000 jobs in the state. The OCBA conference provides a great opportunity for leaders in the brewing community to enjoy great local beer and venues while also collaborating to create new and exciting ways to continue to grow beer tourism in our state.”
        The Ohio Craft Brewers Association was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 2008 to unify the Ohio brewing community, market Ohio manufactured beers throughout the state and beyond, and monitor and promote a strong beer industry in Ohio.
        The association also organizes statewide events that showcase the rich brewing industry and stellar beers being produced in Ohio.
        “Industry professionals from around the state gather at the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference to learn about various aspects of the business of brewing beer,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “One of our primary criteria for selecting a venue is the number of breweries in proximity to our site for attendees to visit and support. We are delighted that the growth of the Toledo craft beer scene and the renovation of the Glass City Center have coincided to bring our event to Toledo.”


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