Light & delight Hayes Center to celebrate “A Presidential Christmas Event”

Press Staff Writer

        When Hayes Presidential Library & Museums staff decided to light one of Spiegel Grove’s towering pine trees this holiday season in a nod to the White House Christmas tree, they had their pick of beautiful trees.
        Many of the pines near the museum and historic Hayes Home would look beautiful wrapped in sparkling lights and lighted for the first time during a new holiday event.
        There was just one problem.
        The trees were all about 60 feet tall. How would staff reach high enough to hang the lights? It seemed maybe the idea wouldn’t work after all.
        Then American Electric Power stepped in. AEP staff donated their time and used a bucket truck to hang the lights on a towering pine in front of the museum’s main entrance. They braved rain and snow while hanging the lights.
        Event title sponsor Mosser Construction and additional funding provided by Valley Electric helped Hayes Presidential purchase thousands of lights to decorate the stately tree.
        The tree will be lighted during “A Presidential Christmas: Tree Lighting, Sleigh Rides” and “Hayes Train Special” on Thursday, Dec. 10. Kris Kringle, a 19th century name for Santa Claus, will light the tree at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
        "We are so grateful to our sponsors for partnering with us to bring a bit more light and delight to the community this year,” Hayes Presidential Executive Director Christie Weininger said. “Whether it be our neighbors, visitors to the museums or folks who walk the grounds, I think everyone will enjoy such a beautiful and festive tree.”
        The event, which will run from 4-8 p.m., will include a gingerbread contest, a raffle for items from local businesses and Hayes Presidential passes and gear, refreshments and the “Hayes Train Special” model train display.
        For information on the gingerbread contest, visit
        The schedule includes:
        • 4-8 p.m. – Hot chocolate and popcorn will be available. Donations are accepted for the refreshments. Gingerbread houses entered in the contest will be on display. The raffle will be open. Tickets are $2 or six for $10 and can be purchased during the event.
        • 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Horse-drawn sleigh rides by South Creek Clydesdales (sold out)
        • 6 p.m. – Tree lighting. Free.
        • 7:45 p.m. – Drawing for the raffle. The winner does not need to be present to win. Announcement of gingerbread house contest winner.
        • Through 8 p.m. – The museum and “Hayes Train Special” model train display will be open to visitors. Admission to the train display during this event is free, but visitors must reserve timed-tickets at for admission. Walk-ins will be accepted, pending availability. Due to the pandemic, the number of people allowed in the display area at one time is limited. The Museum Store also will be open for Christmas shopping.
        Participants in these events must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of distance between their household group and other visitors.
        The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont.
        For information, call 419-332-2081, visit or follow HPLM on social media.


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