Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Foggy Buffalo

This foggy view from our hotel room featured the new Metro Rail.

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Heartland Travel Showcase to let others know about attractions and events in the Cambridge, Ohio area, and especially tell them about Dickens Victorian Village.  It’s always a pleasure to tell others about your hometown.

Buffalo, New York hosted the 2018 Heartland Travel Showcase. Arriving by coach with several other travel associates, we were greeted by a fog covered Buffalo due to warm temperatures and a still frozen Lake Erie.

Hyatt entrance

The lobby of the luxurious Hyatt Regency Hotel welcomed us.

After getting settled into the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo, it was time to have dinner with fellow travelers. These travel showcases are the perfect place to make new connections for future tours.

Tourism Reception

Barb, January and Carol enjoyed meeting friends at one of the receptions.

Heartland is where booking group travel is a Heart-to-Heart business. Numerous occasions provide a chance to network with others. It’s also the place where you can create a more personal relationship with possible clients during receptions and meetings.

Chocolate

A couple chocolate samples still untouched. The Goo Goo Cluster was created and distributed by the Grand Ole Opry.

Treats were non-stop from the time we stepped on the charter coach, where a box of chocolates were passed around. The Chocolate Tasting continued day after day with many chocolate treats being given in the form of candy or desserts.

Heartland Aisles

Exhibitor booths were placed in nine long aisles for ease of locating.

Contacts, leads, ideas and bookings are what Heartland is all about. With over two hundred exhibitors and sixty tour operators at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, it’s a great chance to learn more about the travel industry as you meet new people and learn about their wants and needs.

Teddy Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt told us about some of his accomplishments. Buffalo served as his Inauguration site after the assassination of Pres. McKinley.

An exciting forum gave newcomers a chance to learn from more experienced faces in the tour industry. Technology has changed the face of the industry as more publicity is being done via social media. They stressed the importance of promoting posts as well as using keywords to help people connect.

Potential Client

Cambridge tourism partners, Bev and Dixie, explain local attractions to a tour company.

Much of the three day session was spent one-on-one with tour directors meeting exhibitors and learning more about their places to visit. What a difficult job they would have in deciding as each place sounded like the perfect place for a group tour.

Dinner guests

Exhibitors Mary, Mary and Chris sparkled during an evening reception at the Lafayette Brewery.

You could schedule up to forty meetings with various group leaders. The rest of the time was spent either visiting other people’s booths or talking to people who stopped by your booth. Communication about travel was the name of the game.

Return Bus

Three days later, the coach was loaded for the return trip home.

The event definitely spread the word about an event or destination. Most attending say it is their favorite travel show of the year. It is one of the friendliest places you can imagine.

Buffalo Skyline

This painting of the skyline of Buffalo hung in the walkway to the Convention Center.

Shuffle off to Buffalo or your favorite travel destination sometime soon. New places await your exploration.

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Ted Lewis Museum

The Ted Lewis Museum was renovated last year for its 40th Anniversary.

For those interested in old entertainers and movies, Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville, Ohio will arouse your curiosity. Ted’s first professional singing job happened in 1906 in between movies at the Circleville Electric Nickelodeon. His salary – $4 a week. But that was just the beginning.

Ted Theater with Joyce

Joyce Keller, president of the museum, stands in front of a replica of the first theater where Ted  performed.

Born Theodore Friedman in Circleville, Ohio, his younger years were spent helping his parents in Friedman’s Bazaar, an emporium which supplied women of Pickaway County with the latest fashions. Ted spent his time sweeping inside and outside the store, as well as making deliveries. It wasn’t something he enjoyed.

His earliest musical instrument experience came at the age of nine when he played piccolo in the Circleville Cadet Band. His fingers weren’t long enough yet to play the clarinet. But Ted mowed lawns during the summer to save money to buy an E-flat clarinet he knew he wanted to play.

However, Ted became fascinated with syncopation and began taking lessons after school with Cricket Smith, a black barber. Jazz ran in Ted’s blood, which had him dismissed from the Cadet Band. The band teacher later apologized when Ted became famous.

Ted Early Days

In 1911, Ted would return home from tours when he ran out of money, which was often.

As a teenager, he played his clarinet to help draw a crowd for Dr. Cooper’s Medicine Man Show and sold balloons and cotton candy. He’d carry circus banners in parades and even followed them out of town. This caused his parents much embarrassment and they tried to send him to business college in Columbus, but to no avail.

Ted Apartment 2

The books, bookcase and photos of life long friends, Ted and Sophie Tucker, are from his New York City apartment. Even the gold wallpaper has been replicated.

Ted kept busy following his dream of becoming an entertainer. He paired up with Jack Lewis under the billing Lewis and Friedman. One day in South Carolina, he saw the billing said Lewis & Lewis. The manager said that fit on the marquee better. After that he was always known as Ted Lewis, even though he never legally changed his name.

Ted Top Hat 2

His battered top hat, cane, and clarinet are on prominent display.

In 1916, at the age of 26, Ted formed his first band – Ted Lewis Nut Band. They were very popular in the New York City area and performed at Rector’s Restaurant, a high class venue. While there, he won an old top hat in a dice game from a cab driver called Mississippi. That top hat, his clarinet, cane and the question: “Is everybody happy?” were always part of his act.

Ted Lewis 001

Ted Lewis always wore his old battered hat at every performance.

Ted Phonograph

This old hand-crank Victrola played “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me”.

His theme song, “When My Baby Smiles at Me” and hits such as “Tiger Rag” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” earned him the title, “King of Jazz”. In 1926, his Columbia recording of “Tiger Rag” sold more than five million copies. He was their highest paid artist in the 1920s. This popular performer presented his act to nine United States Presidents and even did a command performance for King George V of England.

Ted Me and My Shadow

A video in a peanut cart plays “Me and My Shadow”.

During one performance, Ted noticed the doorman, Eddie Chester, mimicking him from the wings and asked him to join him on stage. Thus was born his signature routine, “Me and My Shadow”.

Ted Is Everybody Happy

Ted starred in a movie about his life. Beautiful women played a large part in his acts.

Ted Lewis Museum opened in 1977 across the street from where Ted was born. Here you’ll be able to see classic memorabilia and watch videos of Ted Lewis performing. He told his wife that when he died he wanted everything to come back to Circleville, “The Capital of the World”.

Ted 80th 2

Pictured at Ted’s 80th birthday party are Circleville Mayor Gordon, brother Milton Friedman, Ted, and Columbus Mayor Sensenbrenner.

This showman never forgot his hometown. Ted and his wife, Adah, devoted themselves to making Circleville a better place to live. They supported Berger Hospital, the local schools, and even made possible a 13-acre Ted Lewis Park complete with playground equipment, ball fields, and a swimming pool at that time. Ted entertained the troops during WWII and was a leader in selling war bonds.

Ted and friends

Ted’s friends included Benny Goodman, Sophie Tucker, George Jessel, and Eddie Cantor.

The museum on Main Street only opens on Friday and Saturday from 1-5. After your visit you’ll be ready to put on some tap shoes while grabbing a top hat and cane.

Ted Lewis Museum is located at 133 W Main Street in Circleville, Ohio. Follow US 22 for a scenic ride.

 

 

 

 

 

Stee and Lisa Ball

Steve and Lisa Ball  perform Civil War songs at Crossroads Library.

Music plays an important role in the ranks of the military. They have used music to signal their troops for hundreds of years. Often music served as a boost to morale of the soldiers after a hard day of battle.

Be entertained by tales of the Civil War put to music as Steve and Lisa Ball present an entertaining and informative program “Civil War Songs and Stories They Tell”. This musical way of teaching history of the Civil War from 1861-65 is shared around the country about a hundred times each year. The songs come alive with their wonderful vocal and instrumental skills.

Steve Ball guitar

An 1855 Martin is one of Steve’s favorite guitars.

Martin guitars of the Civil War era, from Steve’s private collection, are used in their presentation. All the Martins are in their original coffin cases. Steve’s only the caretaker for these guitars as they will hopefully be passed on from generation to generation. He frequently calls Lisa ‘his band’ as she joins with her upright bass and voice.

Steve’s interest in the Civil War began as a teen, when he learned his Great-Great-Grandfather, William Tyler Butts, was a Union private from Athens, Ohio. He was part of the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment out of Chillicothe. Steve is a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and wears his SUV medal on his uniform.

He’s spent the last twenty years studying the music of the Civil War era and the development of the first American folk songs. A long list of accomplishments could follow his name. They also have a Stephen Foster program telling the history of many of those popular folk songs.

During their program, the variety is astounding. There are not only patriotic pieces, but also silly marches and songs of lost love. You’ll be drawn to their music and stories even if you aren’t a Civil War buff.

Lisa's cello

Lisa plays bass and vocalizes with Steve.

Their performances happen at reenactments, indoor presentations, Civil War roundtables, and even the Ohio Statehouse. Being a Civil War buff , he researches everything so it’s authentic. Steve is living his dream.

Learn more about the history of the Civil War and come away with a better understanding of life during that time as Steve and Lisa Ball tell the story through song.

Many of the songs have a unique history, such as “Darling Nellie Gray”, a song written by Benjamin Hanby, who operated an Underground Railroad in Rush, Ohio. It told about his girlfriend, Nellie Gray, who wanted to escape to Canada. You can learn more about this song by visiting the Hanby House in Westerville, Ohio.

Steve and Lisa

Steve and Lisa add much background information on songs to their performances.

Another song “Aura Lea”, was written by Willie Fosdick (lyrics) and George Poulton (music) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Willie’s wife was Aura Lee, the woman with the golden hair. In 1955, Elvis Presley used the tune of “Aura Lee” and added new lyrics to become his theme song, “Love Me Tender”.

A popular Southern song was “Goober Peas”. Burle Ives liked the folk song. The Balls  had everyone singing along.

Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating Goober peas

Goodness how delicious, eating Goober peas..

Steve Ball CD

Listen to Civil War songs anytime with their popular CDs.

Next time you hear that Steve and Lisa Ball are performing in your area, be certain to drop by and hear their story of the Civil War in song, or perhaps you’ll hear his story of the music and life of Stephen Foster. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy their stories and music.

 

HOFWith pro football season leading up to Super Bowl LII on February 4, what better time than now to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Find your favorite gridiron heroes inside the football shaped rotunda, and learn interesting facts about their careers.

HOF Class of 2017

When arriving at the Hall of Fame, you are greeted by this wall-size picture of the Class of 2017.

The Hall of Fame is a tribute to those men who have made football America’s favorite sport. Many wonder why this Hall of Fame was located in Canton. Back in 1920 the American Professional Football Association, renamed National Football League, was founded in Canton.

HOF Pre NFL

Professional football hit Canton before the NFL was formed when the Canton Bulldogs and Massillon Tigers played at Myers Lake Park Grounds.

The Canton Bulldogs were one of the early pro football powers, even before the days of the NFL and had as their rivals the Massillon Tigers. Today, local high school teams are still called Canton Bulldogs and Massillon Tigers. And they remain rivals.

The Bulldogs won the championship of the NFL in 1922 and 1923. Jim Thrope played his first pro football with the Bulldogs, starting in 1915.

HOF Ernie Nevers

Ernie Nevers has the NFL’s longest standing record. Nevers was the ‘whole show’ in 1929, when he scored all 40 points for the Chicago Cardinals.

Sounds like there were plenty of reasons to build the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. It’s mission is to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere. Some call it the Sistine Chapel of Football.

HOF Jim Thorpe

A statue of the legendary Jim Thorpe stands at the center of the rotunda’s football history.

The circular football shaped rotunda shows progress of football from its beginning in the 1920s to 2010s. A statue of Jim Thorpe, “The Legend”, stands in the center. The walls are filled throughout with interesting football statistics.

HOF Busts 2

310 bronze busts fill the Hall of Fame Gallery beginning with the Classes of 1963 and 1964.

One special spot is the Hall of Fame Gallery, which features a bronze bust of each of the members of the Hall of Fame starting with that first class in 1963. As of 2017, there are 310 members in this prestigious display. Only 1% of the people who play professional football make it to the Hall of Fame Gallery.

Hall of Fame Stadium 001

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium hosts the annual Hall of Fame game as well as various high school and college football events.

A holographic theater presents A Game for Life. This presentation puts you in a Locker Room, which uses a hologram of Joe Namath to teach life lessons instead of the game of football. This high tech presentation teaches the importance of character, confidence and respect through advice given by football legends. As you leave through the game tunnel, a sign says, “YOUR Game of Life begins now”.

 

HOF Game for Life

After the Game for Life presentation, this encouraging sign hangs in the game tunnel.

The Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery is thus named because Hunt came up with the name “Super Bowl”. He also suggesting using Roman numerals to designate the years – a practice that has been maintained for 51 years. 2017 being Super Bowl LI.

 

From that first Super Bowl ring until last years, the diamonds have increased from 1 to 283, to signify the 28-3 deficit the Patriots overcame to win the Super Bowl.

In Super Bowl Theater, seating revolves to show you a progression of scenes from regular season to Super Bowl. The video shown was the 2017 game highlights between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, often called the greatest comeback in the history of the Super Bowl. It was also the first overtime in Super Bowl history, which gave the Patriots an exciting victory.

HOF Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village plans to open for the 100th NFL season in 2019.

Expansion at the Hall of Fame location promises increased traffic in the Canton area. The new complex being developed at a cost of $700,000,000 is called Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, where everything is tied together in a network called a “smart city”. It includes a four star hotel, an inside water park and amusement center, training facilities, and a retirement center just to name a few highlights.

HOF - Exit

Perhaps you’d enjoy visiting “The Most Inspiring Place on Earth”.

Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the globe trek to Canton annually to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was heartwarming to see many fathers sharing stories of football heroes with their sons. If you’re a football fan, this Hall of Fame is a place you would certainly enjoy visiting.

Then, get ready for the action of Super Bowl LII.

Michael Warren

This carving of a Native American from South Dakota came to Michael in a dream.

See the visions! Live your dreams!

Those words are an inspiration to artist, Michael Warren, who is talented in several different areas of art. Most of all, he is known for his outstanding woodcarvings, which feature the nature he enjoys so much. That’s why he calls his business, “Lost in the Woods Art Gallery”, which is located in Cambridge.

Michael Warren deerhunter

Deer hunting lets him be out in nature and perhaps be lucky enough to get meat for dinner.

Michael has been an avid hunter and fisherman since his youth. Right now he’s anxious for deer season so he can use his favorite bow and get some deer steaks and jerky. Wildlife seems to work its way into most of his life and art work.

Michael Warren sketches

Michael’s sketches also center around the wildlife he enjoys so much.

His first grade teacher at Lincoln School noticed his advanced creativity at the age of six, since he could look at something and recreate it even at that young age. Having a great art teacher in high school like Mr. Al Joseph continued his development. That led to studies at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Michael’s thankful for all those who inspired him throughout the years.

Michael Warren SF Festival

His booth at the Salt Fork Festival attracted much attention from the sound of the chain saw.

For the past two years, his work has been featured at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, where he has won honors in People’s Choice both years. The first year he had a large carving of a turkey, while this year, a fish won honors.

Michael Warren Fish

A carved fish, when completed, won the People’s Choice honors at the festival.

His carvings tell a story. The fish, for example, has his mouth open as he leaps from the water to catch a dragonfly going by. Unfortunately, the fish didn’t catch the dragonfly, but did catch a ribbon at the festival. The artist actually saw this bass in action at a farm pond in New Concord.

Michael sees something in every log, then puts a little part of himself into the carving. Staying focused with each cut becomes important. Then the sanding and detail work are a must. Much thought and prayer go into his detailed designs.

Michael Warren Caricature

He draws people, as he sees them, in his caricatures.

Carving is only one of his talents. A special attraction to children and the young at heart are his caricatures. Children enjoy watching him while he creates a picture of them…as he sees them. This gypsy is even going to have a caricature done.

At the Soak ‘Em Festival in Caldwell, Michael noticed a three year old boy dressed in cowboy hat and boots watching him draw. When Michael asked him if he would like a picture drawn, the little cowboy said he had no money. That didn’t stop Michael as he made that young lad smile with a cute caricature. Later in the day, the little cowboy ran up to Michael and put a quarter on his knee. They both smiled.

Michael Warren etching

His glass etchings also carry the wildlife theme.

Pencil drawings and glass etchings are also something that Michael does well. Again his love of nature shines forth in them.

Michael Warren mural

This mural by Michael covers a 127 foot wall at Deerassic Park with animal mounts in front.

A large mural measuring 127′ X 54′ can be found at Deerassic Park.When Michael painted this mural he hid scripture throughout. Look carefully the next time you’re out that way and see what you can find. Hint: There’s something in the pond.

Michael Warren Turkey

He has carved several turkeys, a popular item.

Michael is a very quiet soul and like many strong men, doesn’t like to be thought of as having any weakness. However, Michael was born with a heart disease and now has frequent bouts with congestive heart problems. But, he keeps going just a bit slower perhaps than he did a few years ago. No one would ever realize this because of his amazing smile and kind soul.

Often when he is creating, he likes to listen to gospel music. The song “Enough” is one of his favorites.”All I have in You is more than enough.”

Michael Warren feather

Hand-painted turkey feathers take time and patience.

His work is amazing and very detailed. Michael feels that’s because he usually gets a vision of something he should create. It’s a special gift that God has given him and he wants to use it to give people a little joy in their lives. A goal in his mind for the future is to carve a life size replica of Jesus on the cross.

The people the artist has met along the way have been a special blessing to him. Michael feels these three things are the best way to start your day, “Pray. Never give up. Let no one take your joy or love away from the journey God has instilled in your heart.”

Michael Warren at work

This artist stays busy creating new carvings of wildlife and various other objects.

If you would like to learn more about his work, contact Michael at michaelartest1000@gmail.com . Michael thanks God for being with him through all the good and rough times and proudly accepts the title of one of ‘His Artists’.

 


Nutcrackers Line the Avenue

Nutcrackers, under an archway of lights, line the walk at Fort Steuben.

Time slows down as everyone strolls slowly through Historic Fort Steuben Nutcracker Village while they view the Nutcrackers and visit with friends.You can feel the Christmas spirit in the air.

A truly magical event happens at Fort Steuben Park from November 21 through January 7. Nutcrackers stand guard throughout the park twenty-four hours a day to bring joy and excitement to the Steubenville community along the Ohio River.

German tradition tells us that nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck and protect your home. Their power and strength is much like a watchdog keeping evil spirits and danger away.

john-glenn.jpg

Each Nutcracker designates a popular area figure such as astronaut, John Glenn.

The first nutcrackers carved by the Steinbachs of Germany featured kings, military officers and prominent members of the upper class. Steubenville Nutcracker Village has continued that tradition by having Nutcrackers designed in the image of prominent local, historical and literary people.

Nutcracker Ohio State

All area schools are represented by a Nutcracker, including Ohio State.

The Steubenville Nutcracker Village became a reality due to the partnership of Nelson’s of Steubenville and Old Fort Steuben Project with Jerry Barilla, president. The project is sponsored by Trinity Health System. It’s their gift to the people of the Ohio Valley. They lay claim to having the world’s largest collection of life-size nutcrackers at 150 and growing each year.

Nutcracker First Junior

That first Nutcracker, Junior, stands inside the Visitors Center.

The idea came to Jerry Barilla as he was packing away his nutcrackers after the holiday season. A spark went off that said, “This could be a community project.” Enter Mark Nelson of Nelson’s Art and Design who fanned that spark and with help from his family created the first Nutcracker.

Nutcracker Terese and Mark 2

Terese, Uncle Drosselmeyer, and  co-founder, Mark Nelson. enjoy visiting at the market.

Each 6′ Nutcracker is uniquely designed and hand painted in Steubenville by Nelson’s, home of inspirational gifts. Mark’s daughter, Terese, designs and oversees painting of the nutcrackers while Brian Stutzman, woodworker at Nelson’s, does the actual carving.  Much thought, planning and time go into each Nutcracker as their details are outstanding.

Nutcracker Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa has been honored due to her great inspiration to the world.

Constructed of a dense foam with fiber glass covering, they are both light enough to move easily and sturdy enough to withstand the harsh winter elements of November and December.

Nutcracker Grandpa and Grandma

Grandma and Grandpa Nutcracker sit in Advent Market with picnic tables behind them.

When Mark was asked if he had a favorite Nutcracker, he thought carefully before responding. “Picking a favorite Nutcracker is like picking a favorite child…Impossible!”

Nutcracker Nativity SceneTake a stroll through Fort Steuben Park day or night to walk among the Nutcrackers lined along the avenue created by a canopy of colorful lights. Nighttime becomes magical as lights and music highlight the characters.

Nutcracker Tree in Advent Market

A 30′ Christmas Tree stands in the center of Advent Market.

Special effects can be seen from the blue and gold lights on the Sixth Street Bridge, a 30′ Christmas tree in the heart of Advent Market, and wreaths, holly and garland all around the park. The Advent Market, inspired by a Franciscan custom, is open the five weekends after Thanksgiving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with handcrafted and homemade goods available from holiday chalets.

Nutcracker Crooners

The Rat Pack is featured, including hometown star, Dean Martin, “King of Cool”.

If you would care to watch a special performance, Wooden Heart Follies, an original Nutcracker musical, is being presented at the Steubenville Masonic Temple.  Discover if wooden figures can fall in love. While the melodies are from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, the story is based on the Nutcrackers in Fort Steuben Park

Nutcracker Letters to Santa

Inside the Visitors Center is a convenient place to write Letters to Santa.

Don’t forget to check inside the Visitors Center, where you’ll find a Winter Wonderland of Christmas holidays from the past. There’s also a place to write a letter to Santa and many great gift ideas.

Nutcracker Fudge

You could even find Nutcracker fudge in the Advent Market.

Take a free ride downtown, to view some of the artwork in this “City of Murals”, on the Holly Trolley every half hour on Saturday or Sunday from 1-4 pm.  Or perhaps you prefer a free Hayride every half hour on Advent Days from 6-8 pm.

Nutcracker Amphitheater

Berkman Amphitheater along the Ohio River provides a place for weekend entertainment.

Watch live entertainment consisting of area performers, church and school choirs, and regional bands on Advent Weekends from 5 – 8 pm in the Berkman Amphitheater in the park. Holiday music fills the air.

Nelson Family

The Mark Nelson family all play a role in Steubenville Nutcracker Village.

Stroll through Fort Steuben Park and pick out your favorite Nutcracker…if you can. It’s a great place for families to come together and receive a little Christmas magic.

Historic Fort Steuben Nutcracker Village can be reached off Ohio-7 along the Ohio River. Address is 120 S 3rd Street, Steubenville, Ohio.

 

tis-outside

Entering  Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe, you see the real reason for the season displayed.

Decorating for Christmas helps lift the spirits of a world which is normally a bit on the gloomy side at this time of year. If you need any ideas, Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe near Berlin might be the perfect place to visit. With over 20,000 square feet to explore, you’ll feel like you’re in a Christmas Wonderland surrounded by the songs of the Christmas season all year long.

tis-jo-ann

Jo Ann is pleased with her new White on White Christmas display surrounded by angels.

The story of Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe and Jo Ann Schrock-Hershberger are inseparable. Over twenty years ago, Jo Ann was traveling and visited a Christmas store. She wondered if that idea would work back at her home near Berlin, Ohio.

Jo Ann’s grandfather served as an Amish bishop. Her father and mother broke away from the Amish tradition when Jo Ann was two years old. She wasn’t real sure if Christmas would be an attraction in Amish country. So she tried a small shop first. It worked!

tis-alleluia-chapel

A multitude of angels welcome  you in Alleluia Chapel filled with antique pews and stained glass windows.

Their unique round barn, once part of the Schrock farm, became the home for Tis the Season. When designing the layout of the entire shoppe herself, Jo Ann made sure “no matter where you are, you can see the reason for the season.” A large nativity scene sets high in the center, with the Alleluia Chapel on the main floor.

When you step through the front door, it’s like walking into Christmas. Greeted by the sounds of Christmas music, spectacular trees, beautiful collectibles, and innumerable ornaments, you are immediately filled with the holiday spirit.

tis-overview

This overview from the circular walkway on the second floor displays the spirit of Tis the Season.

Three levels provide room to explore. The main level has decorated trees of every style and color while the upper loft, with circular walkway, has rooms filled with specific decorations. One room overflows with snowmen, while another has various Santa ornaments. A room brimming with gingerbread decorations also holds various candy canes.

tis-cardinal-tree

Birds happen to be one of their most popular decorations for trees. This cardinal tree is perfect for Ohio.

The bottom floor contains examples of many trees, ranging from 2′ to 10′. Here you’ll find a great variety of trees: silver, twig, slim, prelit and more. There are over a hundred decorated trees throughout the building with varying themes from reindeer to angels. Each one is beautiful in its own way and gives you many ideas for decorating your own tree.

tis-snowmen

On the upper floor, snowmen dominate one of the rooms.

Their constantly expanding inventory now includes thousands of bulbs, tree toppers and garlands. Over a hundred different kinds of lights are available. It’s Ohio’s largest year round Christmas shop.

tis-collectibles

Collectibles like Snowbabies make delightful gifts. Various collectibles can be found throughout the shop.

Not only will you find everything you need to give your home a festive Christmas appearance, but they also have unique home decor and holiday gifts from dolls to gift baskets. Many collectibles are available here that can’t be easily found elsewhere.

tis-personalized

The most popular area personalizes from a large selection of ornaments.Selena and Logan find this a happy place to work.

Happy employees abound, but who wouldn’t be happy surrounded by Christmas. However, the main reason the employees enjoy working here is Jo Ann. She works side by side with them, roasting nuts or running the cash register. Everyone has a headset, which keeps them all in close contact.

tis-old-fashioned-tree

A nostalgic Christmas tree contains old-fashioned ornaments.

People come here from all over the world because they love Christmas and can find unique Christmas decorations. Men, women, and children enthusiastically explore all three floors. Once in a while a husband could be found patiently waiting on one of their many comfy sofas and chairs. Many come on family outings. Almost everyone leaves with a piece of Christmas.

When Jo Ann has time, she and her husband enjoy traveling and most likely visit Christmas shops along the way. While they have traveled extensively throughout the United States and taken many cruises, one place left on her bucket list is the homeland of her ancestors – Southern Germany and Austria. Everyone needs a change of pace now and then.

Plan an escape from daily routine and catch the spirit of the holidays at Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe. It’s the kind of place you return time and time again…I do.

christmas-santa-white

This old-fashioned Santa bell was my choice this year.

There’s only one problem. Which lovely Christmas decorations should you take home with you? Several of their ornaments hang on my tree every year, and an old-fashioned Santa was added on this road trip. Visit Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe where it’s nothing but Christmas all year long.

Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe can be found along State Route 39  near Millersburg, Ohio. It sets down off the road in a small valley as part of Schrock’s Amish Farm and Village.

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