Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Smucker’s Creates Memorable Meals and Moments

With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good!

Smucker's horse drawn wagon

J.M. Smucker used a horse and cart to deliver apple butter when he started in 1897.

Trees planted by Johnny Appleseed became the source of apples for Jerome Monroe Smucker back in 1897. This farmer from Orville, Ohio built a cider mill to press fresh apple cider. It wasn’t long after that when Jerome sold his first jar of apple butter from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. The J.M. Smucker’s Company was formed.

 

Smucker's Entrance

Smucker’s entrance is lined with an apple orchard since that’s where it all began.

   Their early jams and jellies are still popular today even though their list of products has been greatly expanded. Family run for four generations, today more than 7000 employees carry on that fine early tradition in more than 30 locations across North America.

 

Smucker's Pollination Garden

During the summer, you can walk through their pollination garden.

   Smucker’s archway highlights their history as you enter. On the left-hand side is an apple orchard so fitting for someone who started the company from apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed. In the summertime, they have a Pollination Garden for the incredible bees to get their nectar for the production of fruit.

 

Smucker's Jam Chandelier

This chandelier made of jelly jars hangs from the open rafters.

   The building even takes you back to those early years as the high open rafters show that it is all wood pegged. No nails were used in construction, much as those early settlers did long ago.

 

J.M. Smucker on apple bin

J.M. proudly stands on his bins of apples as he makes his proclamation.

   A small pictorial museum tells the history of JM Smucker from its beginning. It shows the changes that have been made to make it the present day company. A display of glasses that were used for canning Smucker’s over the years brought back memories of mom saving jelly jars for our drinking glasses at home. That could have been because someone broke a lot of glasses.

 

Smucker's overview

Capture the Christmas Spirit when you enter their Showcase Store.

   The company’s main purpose is to bring families together to share memorable meals and moments. The Smucker’s store has only been around since 1999. This Showcase Store displays all the brands that Smucker’s now makes, which has really expanded since their humble beginning. “Quality first and sales will follow” was the slogan of Willard Smucker.

 

Smucker's Sample Station with Denise

Not sure which flavor to buy?  Denise will help you at the Sample Station.

   Jams and jellies still rank at the top of the favorites list. If you see something you would like to taste, take an unopened jar to the Sample Table, where they most likely already have a jar of that opened for tasting. It’s a great place to make comparisons between brands. Smucker’s claims they are the only brand of jam that can make a slice of bread lively!

 

Smucker's Danilynn and peanut butter

Smucker’s Danimarie explains all the varieties of peanut butter they make.

   Every month has great specials in their store. When I visited, it was Peanut Butter Month where you could sample several different brands of peanut butter that they produce for different companies. My final decision was a jar of Smucker’s Peanut Butter. Creamy, my choice!

 

Smucker's Memorable Moments

Have someone’s picture placed on a label at their Memorable Moments station.

   Another special place is a spot called Memorable Moments. Here you can have your picture taken, or download a picture from your phone, and have it placed on the label of a jar of jam, jelly or peanut butter. How cute to have a child’s picture on his favorite jar of peanut butter!

 

DSC02755

Buy gifts for your dog or cat as well – made by Smucker’s.

   Surprisingly, they also make snacks for dogs and cats. Find treats like Milk-Bone or Meow Mix as a treat for your furry friend when you get home from shopping.

 

Smucker's Cafe

Here’s a great place to stop for a snack while shopping.

   Take a break at their Smucker’s Cafe where the bake an oven brick pizza while you wait. Or if you want to try something new, they make a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich that they say is delicious. Prices were very reasonable and products quite tasty.

Smucker's Sundae Shoppe

Make your own sundae at the Sundae Shoppe with a variety of toppings available.

 

Smucker's Gift Baskets

Check out their great gift baskets for every occasion.

   Smucker’s is a great place to shop for Christmas or any time of the year. They have beautiful gift baskets that you can purchase, or they will make one according to your wishes. Visit their festive store in Orrville, Ohio during the Christmas season or any time of the year.

 

Smucker's Store

Smucker’s Showroom features all their brands all year long.

   In every jar from Smucker’s, there’s more than you see. There are memories, smiles and love shared by people who make it.

Smucker’s is located west of I-77 in Orrville, Ohio on Route 57 just a quarter mile north of Route 30. Their headquarters is located at 1 Strawberry Lane.

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Always a Christmas Tree for Bonnie

Bonnie Entrance

The entrance to Bonnie’s home gives a warm Christmas welcome.

Christmas trees appear in every room of the home of Bonnie Perkins, whose love for trees began back in childhood. Even though her mother wasn’t into decorating much for Christmas, there was always a tree at her grandmother’s house.

  Bonnie remembers a tree there that was so special it’s still stuck in her mind. Her grandmother decorated the tree with their gifts – handkerchiefs with Disney characters on them. Under the tree were bright oranges, a special treat.

Bonnie Living Room Tree

Bonnie tells about this tree, “The tree in the picture is my most special tree, closest to my heart. It has several decorations my kids made as children, some handmade ornaments from a friend, beautifully beaded balls from my late sister, and lots of memories of my husband when we would choose and buy a few new ornaments at Christmastime. Now in late years, I have things on it from my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It always has a special spot in my bedroom. I see it the last thing at night and first thing in the morning!!!”

   Once she married Floyd Perkins, they always had a cut tree for Christmas. Now since she has so many trees, they are of the artificial kind.

   Her pet project for the past 15 years has been Wonderland of Trees, her favorite undertaking of everything she has ever done. This charity display and auction attracts area artists with a flair for creativity as they produce trees and holiday decorations that inspire.

Bonnie Awards

Bonnie displays her many awards for Wonderland of Trees. The glass trees in her hands are awards for Best of Show and People’s Choice.

   Not only does Bonnie help with the display of the Christmas paradise in the lobby of Southeastern Medical Center, but she also frequently is awarded several prizes. In past years, she has won People’s Choice and Best of Show Awards several times.

Bonnie Packed Branches

The branches of her trees have so many ornaments you can scarcely see the pine.

   Usually, she gets an idea “sometime during the end of the year and the first of October.” When someone wins awards year after year, you know they have a magical touch. Once the tree is decorated, spotting the pine beneath can be difficult. Any place the pine peeks through, Bonnie places a flower. Now the entire tree blooms in the color of her choice.

Bonnie Bathroom Tree

She calls this her Grinch Tree, which still makes a beautiful reflection.

   Her home is a showcase of holiday spirit. Many years it has been part of the Christmas Tour of Homes with people clamoring to get a look inside this beautiful house. It usually takes her a couple of weeks to decorate, and even though Bonnie is 83 years old, she climbs the ladder with ease

Bonnie Jewelry Tree

One tree people always remember at Bonnie’s is her Jewelry Tree.

   A favorite tree of visitors can be seen in one of her spare bedrooms. One year Bonnie had a bowl of costume jewelry that she wasn’t quite sure how to use. She also had many strands of pearls as that was a time of her life when she wore pearls frequently. It crossed her mind to give them to Goodwill.

   Then one evening she was resting in bed when an idea came to her. She would use the jewelry on a Christmas tree. That year the Jewelry Tree won all three awards at the Festival of Trees. People’s Choice, Best of Show, and Most Creative. But then it was sold at auction.

   Early the next day, Bonnie’s son and daughter arrived at her home with their families. They were carrying the Jewelry Tree as they had purchased it for their mother. This tree is special today for more reasons than awards.

Bonnie Big Tree

The largest tree in her house stands by the window in the living room.

   Her living room contains the largest tree which nearly reaches the 24′ ceiling. Also here is a beautiful fireplace built from two boxcar loads of copper ore sent from Colorado. An ornate chandelier from Spain adds a special touch to this room as well.

Bonnie Fireplace

Copper ore for this fireplace came from Colorado.

   No matter how beautiful everything appears, it’s a house to be lived in and enjoyed. Grandchildren enjoy games of hide and seek behind the furniture, and toys can often be found scattered around the rooms.

Bonnie Family Portrait

This family portrait hangs in her hallway as family is most important to Bonnie.

   Having started life in a poor beginning has made Bonnie appreciate her good fortune, but she assures that it came from hard work. Floyd and Bonnie stayed busy all through their life.

Bonnie Welcome Center

Not all Bonnie’s trees are at home. Every year she decorates a tree for the Guernsey County Visitors and Convention Center. She still climbs ladders!

   Even though Christmas trees are her passion, she also enjoys flower gardening, her fish ponds, grandchildren, and helping others. Something she looks forward to once a month is going with garden club members to make crafts with residents of Cardinal House.

Bonnie Pond

Bonnie's Garden

Here’s just a sampling of her beautiful flower beds.

   The most exciting thing she ever did in her life was to take a cruise around the world with her late husband, Floyd. For 101 days, Bonnie said she lived a life of nothing but luxury while seeing places like the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and Pyramids of Egypt.

Bonnie Showing Horses

Bonnie shared this photo of her prizewinning Tennessee Walker, which she rode in competition.

   Even though Bonnie has enjoyed homes in Florida, thoroughbred Tennessee Walking horses, antique cars and lovely surroundings, no one’s life is ever all perfection.

Bonnie's 2018 tree

Bonnie’s 2018 Christmas Tree at the Guernsey County Visitors Bureau.

   This gracious lady always makes people feel special wherever they happen to meet her. Her advice for an enjoyable life would be, “Look for the good things in life. Find something happy about every day.”

Happiest Season of All at White Pillars Christmas House

White Pillars - Christmas House

White Pillars Christmas House carries unique decorations.

Take a break from the Christmas rush and surround yourself with the spirit of Christmas. One place to receive that feeling is at White Pillars Christmas House. Visions of beautiful decorations for your home will dance in your head.

White Pillars - Snow Babies

These well-liked Snowbabies are attractively displayed.

   Wanting a business of their own, three high school friends decided to reopen White Pillars Christmas House along Old Route 40 west of New Concord. Why did they decide to open this particular business? Because everyone likes Christmas and they could remember going to White Pillars as children.

White Pillars - Buckeye Tree

Every good OSU fan needs some Buckeye ornaments.

   Having been built in 1882, the home originally belonged to a potato farmer, who had a 300-acre farm there. Upstairs were the servants’ quarters and a separate back staircase they used can still be seen behind the railing in the Sale Room.

White Pillars - Bear Nativity

This bear nativity scene seems perfect for a cabin or lodge.

    When Jane Castor first saw this house, she told her husband, “That house would make a perfect Christmas shop.” In 1981, Don and Jane Castor, owners of Zanesville Pottery, opened the first White Pillars Christmas House at this location. For many years after that, Betty Ward had the house, but then sadly it closed for five years. Everything was sold down to the bare walls.

   Those three high school friends: Trent Cubbison along with Keith Taylor and his wife, Yolanda, had to start over from scratch. The house had stood empty during that five-year span, and many wished it was still open, as they appreciated a place that carried unique items for the holidays.

White Pillars - Marshmallows

These “Toasted” marshmallows hold clever sayings like Inside I’m a real softie.

   The trio decided they would continue that tradition and fill up the house with special Christmas items you couldn’t easily find elsewhere. Each January they close the store and head to a special market where they purchase these unique items.

White Pillars - Snowpinions

Snowpinions have a little sass and a lot of attitude. Have a little fun with your gift!

   These three hard-working owners also work in other areas as well. All graduates of John Glenn High School, Trent is now the principal of the East Muskingum Middle School. Keith serves as pastor of three small Methodist churches in Claysville, Cumberland and Hiramsburg. That gives him a special connection to Christmas.

White Pillars - Grinch Tree

This nasty creature, The Grinch, hated Christmas until a little girl changed his mind.

   Their first year in 2015, only the bottom floor was opened. They didn’t want to go in debt so increased their merchandise as quickly as funds were available. Their plan obviously worked as in 2017 they opened the second floor as well. Now all nine rooms are full of Christmas items you probably won’t find anywhere else locally.

White Pillars - Department 56

This Department 56 Village is all about Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

   A popular item is Department 56 Villages from Dickens’ houses to those of Charlie Brown. They believe they are the only store in the state of Ohio that sells them.

White Pillars- Radko Ornaments

Radko ornaments are made of Polish hand-crafted glass.

   Christopher Radko glass holiday treasures are created in Polish artisan factories. Each piece is handcrafted from glass blowing and silvering to delicate painting. These magical heirlooms bring joy and happiness to homes worldwide.

White Pillars - Ornaments

Find the perfect ornaments for your tree from their vast selection.

   While they don’t sell Christmas trees, they do have a wide variety of ornaments, which are their biggest seller. Prices range from $2 – $80 and you’ll have to see for yourself their great variety.

White Pillars - Keith

Co-owner, Keith, stands beside a popular LED Confetti lite display.

   Keith, who has a great sense of humor, enjoys being at the Christmas House because “You can’t come in a Christmas shop in a bad mood.” He also has great fun decorating and arranging the displays.

White Pillars - Room

This room holds many magical decorations for your home.

   It’s a soothing place to shop as soft Christmas music plays in the background all the time. Everyone that stops by is happy they are open again. For the owners, it’s a great chance to meet people from all over the world and hear their Christmas tales.

White Pillars - Santa

Santa greets you at the front door as you enter and as you leave.

   Christmas will be here before you know it, so stop by White Pillars Christmas House at 7405 East Pike (Route 40) Norwich. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. And they’re open eleven months of the year – January, they shop!

   You’ll be amazed at how much is perfectly displayed inside this two-story Victorian mansion.

White Pillars Christmas House is located on Old Route 40 between New Concord and Norwich on the north side of the road, naturally. Stop and receive a friendly greeting and find some treasured Christmas decorations.

Cambridge Amateur Radio Association Serves the Community

Amateur Radio Operators

We talk to the world.

Kenwood TS-50 Radio

CARA recently inherited an old Kenwood TS-50 Ham Radio.

Communication modes with amateur radio are numerous. Some still use the International Morse Code, while others prefer voice communication or a digital mode. Using the satellites that are in our skies today, they can bounce radio waves off them, or even off the moon or meteors, to send messages around the world.

   Longtime members of Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, Sonny and Lyn Alfman are quite active in the group and helpful in explaining the joys of amateur operators, called “hams”. Sonny said that word was derived from Old English in London, where their speech made ‘amateur’ sounds like ‘hamateur’. Now you easily see the connection.

HAM Passing Messages via Amateur Radio

“Ham” operators Bruce Homer, Larry Dukes, and Alan Day pass messages.

   These hams have to pass an amateur radio exam in order to obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. They are only called amateurs because they do not get paid for their services.

   The Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) is the latest name for a group that was formed in Cambridge way back in 1913. They were the 18th Amateur Radio group formed in the United States. Today there are 5,600 groups.

_Ham Caleb Barton with Everlyn Barton

Evelyn Barton practices her communication skills while Caleb Barton listens and learns.

   This area group has approximately fifty members, meets every month and often takes a field trip to a science museum. But you can be certain they enjoy their radios every day. Ages of operators vary from 10 to 82 and each one of them has their own unique call sign.

   Special Radio Sports encourage competition through challenging contests on the local, state, national and even international levels. Sonny likes being challenged. “If it isn’t hard, it isn’t fun.” Perhaps that ‘s one reason he’s talked to every country in the world at least once. This includes talks with King Hussein of Jordan and Barry Goldwater.

CARA 2

During a contest, Larry Dukes talks to another ham as Nathan Roe lists info on the laptop.

   It’s possible to talk to other amateurs locally, nationally, internationally, and even out of this world via the International Space Station. Actually, ham radio is the official hobby of NASA’s space station where they frequently talk to students as they pass over them.

   It’s said that the ham operators wear a two-sided hat – one side for emergencies and the other for fun.

Ham CARA Alan Day snowstorm (1)

CARA member, Alan Day, assisted on the Muskingum River during the 1978 blizzard.

   One service of CARA is to provide auxiliary communications to agencies during disasters such as floods, windstorms and hurricanes. They work closely with the Guernsey County Emergency Management Association, but special training is required to work with EMA. During that terrible blizzard of 1978, they made communication possible for the Ohio National Guard in this area.

CARA

At a Field Day in Byesville’s Jackson Park, Evelyn Barton talks to another amateur while Jake Johnson listens in.

   Ever wonder how events stay so well organized? Well, these amateur radio operators enjoy being behind the scenes for bicycle events, marathons and parades – especially the Cambridge Christmas Parade since 1979. Now that’s commitment. They align the parade entries and send them out in the correct order of appearance. That’s no easy task.

   These local hams enjoy setting up portable stations at local events so people can better understand how it operates. Recently, they displayed at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, National Road / Zane Grey Museum, and John & Annie Glenn Historic Site. Just last month their members operated from the three crash sites of the USS Shenandoah in Noble County.

   When Christmas season arrives, their club has an on-air net on Christmas Eve. Children, who are visiting a member, can talk to Santa on the radio!

Ham Century of Radio

The group worked together to write a book, “A Century of Radio”.

   Ham members created a book, “A Century of Radio”. The book was organized by Evelyn Barton and tells the history of the club, which celebrates 105 years this December.

Ham Waller McMunn Museum

Standing outside the future Waller-McMunn Museum are Sonny Alfman, Larry Dukes, Dave Adair, and young helpers on each end.

  A current project involves the building which was used by Roy Waller and his brother-in-law, J. Homer McMunn, as an amateur radio station. Then in 1923, this same building was used as WEBE, the first commercial broadcast radio station in Cambridge. Plans are to restore this building and turn it into the Waller-McMunn Museum.

   Contact is maintained on a monthly basis through the CARA Communicator, a quarterly newsletter created by Lyn. Members participate in numerous events to practice their emergency communication skills. Training classes are held and the local group administers the federal test so new trainees can receive their FCC license.

Sonny and Lyn

Special thanks to Sonny and Lyn for answering all my questions and teaching me about CARA.

   When electric power fails, ham radio becomes even more important as it’s the only foolproof radio in the world. If you would like to become a ham operator, please contact Lyn Alfman at 740-872-3888 or lynalfman@aol.com.

   Ham radio has something for everyone to enjoy! Sonny says, “Amateur Radio is America’s best-kept secret.” It’s the perfect way to leave home while sitting in your favorite chair.

Kiyoe Howald – Frequently Featured Artist

Kiyoe Hope and Despair

Kiyoe’s painting, “Hope and Despair”, carries a story of life during WWII in Japan.

Light can vanquish darkness as long as you never lose hope.

Born in Japan during WWII, Kiyoe knew what it was like to live in despair on the island of Hokkaido. As a nine year old when the war ended, her family had neither food nor fuel. So Kiyoe and one of her seven siblings would pack up kimonos and dishes, then bundle up and take the train to the country. Putting these items on a sled, they would then trade for potatoes, radishes, and wood to keep their home warm. They traded until they had nothing left.

Years later, she would compose a picture depicting life as she remembered it then. The picture is called “Hope and Despair”. Kiyoe feels the picture perfectly describes the world she lived in during WWII. In her mind, “No child should ever have to feel that way.” Even in the midst of despair, Kiyoe’s collage tells people there is hope that things would get better.

Kiyoe Art Show

Kiyoe’s Art Show in Zanesville featured paintings showing her love of nature.

This popular painting, “Hope and Despair”, was part of an art show at the Zanesville Public Library recently. It attracted much attention as Kiyoe shared the story of her painting, which showed so much hurt being present. The light showed good things to come. All the people in the painting are shown leaving to go to Northern Europe. You can feel their pain through her art, and others are touched by the symbolism.

At an early age, Kiyoe’s teacher in Japan noticed her artistic ability. She did art work in middle school but put art on the back burner to help care for her family in Japan. Years later she moved to Tokyo to find a better job as a tour bus guide so she could send money to her mom.

Kiyoe Christmas Card 001

A Christmas card?  No this is a hand painted cake, which won first prize.

It was here this beautiful Japanese lady met her husband, Senior Master Sergeant Larry Howald, while he was serving in the Air Force in Japan after the war. They enjoyed hiking and running together. Before he went back to the States, he asked her to make Japanese shawls for his mother and grandmother.

On Valentines Day, Kiyoe received a card from Larry saying, “Come to the States and marry me.” Since then, Larry has been a great supporter of Kiyoe’s artwork.

Kiyoe Birthday Cakes 001

Birthday cakes were one of Kiyoe’s ways of sharing her art years ago.

Her daughter, Miki, and son, Arn, remember the beautiful cakes their mom decorated with pictures that looked like paintings. She has won several cake decorating contests. Her art was being kept alive in a different way at this time of her life.

Kiyoe Pottery Vase

Kiyoe’s hand painted vase was part of a community art project in Zanesville.

After retirement from Larry Wade, where she was a seamstress, Kiyoe began taking classes and workshops about watercolors. Bill Koch’s watercolor class was a big influence on her revived interest in art. She has won first prize with many of her paintings around the area and even at the State Fair. Kiyoe’s work is always in demand.

Mannequin dressing

Making hats for the mannequins at Dickens Victorian Village gave her creativity a boost.

Volunteering for Dickens Victorian Village took many hours of her days for years. She began by making skirts and capes for the Imagination Station at the Visitors Center. Making hats became a new fun venture.

Kiyoe Howard

Recently she created mannequin heads resembling John and Annie Glenn.

Later, she made several of the mannequin heads that line the main street of Cambridge during the holiday season. In her mind, “Working at Dickens made me more creative.” Kiyoe’s current project for Dickens involves creating a new head for Father Christmas as his head has severe water damage.

Rock Garden

Her rock garden represents tranquility in a busy world.

“There’s always something new to learn.” Those words from Kiyoe are no surprise as she constantly explores new artistic endeavors. Currently, she is taking a Carving Class in Parkersburg, where she is learning the beginning steps of wood carving. Her goal is to someday carve a Buddha.

Kiyoe Alaska

On a recent trip to Alaska, nature again caught her eye.

She also teaches acrylic and watercolor classes in Zanesville. Origami classes have also been taught by Kiyoe as she enjoys making these meaningful objects, a Japanese tradition.

Since she doesn’t look her age, it makes one wonder how she stays so young. Every week she attends a Tai Chi class and a Yoga class. She never runs, but does walk three miles at least once a week.

Kiyoe Waterfall Series

In her Falling Water Series, her subjects are waterfalls that exist in peaceful, hidden canyons.

In the spring, Kiyoe will have an art show at First Friday in Zanesville. This event is sponsored by Zanesville Appalachian Arts Project. She finds associating with other artists quite rewarding. Even though she is a bit on the shy side, it’s a real pleasure for her to participate in artistic endeavors.

One thing she has yet to try is brush writing. When she finds someone to teach her some basics, this will be her next artistic challenge.

Kiyoe Name 001

This card created by Kiyoe has her name written in Japanese.

Kiyoe takes great pride in her work and enjoys having others appreciate it. Her beautiful smile and humble manner make everyone comfortable in her presence. Like Kiyoe, may we always be searching for new things to learn.

 

Nutcracker Village Guards Historic Fort Steuben

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 the Season to Catch the Christmas Spirit

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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