Garrettsville – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” as crooner Andy Williams reminds us over the radio every Christmas season. In Garrettsville, the holidays are graciously ushered in with the biennial 2016 Christmas Walk and Craft Show, November 4, 5 and 6, and November 11, 12 and 13.
Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Historical Society for nearly three decades, this year’s tour features three private homes in the Garrettsville area, the Johnson Historical Home in Hiram, the Craft and Artisan Show at the Garrettsville Village Hall, and the Garrettsville Methodist Church, which will be serving lunch for purchase. Each destination will be decorated according to its own chosen holiday theme.
The holiday festivities kick off with the traditional Candlelight Tour on Thursday, November 3 from 6:30-9 p.m. Limited ticket sales for 200 participants are available for a donation of $25 each. The evening includes refreshments, an ornament, a one-year membership to the historical society, and an evening of joyful hospitality at four specially-decorated homes. Also, enjoy the craft show. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kit Semplak at (330) 842-2822 to make reservations for the Candlelight Tour.
Tickets for the Christmas Walk tour are available at $15 per person at the historic Mott Building, located at 8107 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville, or by contacting Debbie Smith at (330) 389-1859. Plan to participate Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-5pm; or Sundays, 12:30-5pm. No reservations are needed. Gather together a carload of friends and family and drive from destination to destination at your own pace.
Here is a preview of the 2016 Christmas Walk:
* Barb and Jim Bejger home at 10045 Hewins Rd., Garrettsville – Theme: ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.’ The whole house tells the story of the age-old tale as you walk through, from room to room, starting with “stockings are hung by the chimney with care.”
* Lisa Yarnell home at 8410 Garfield Drive in Garrettsville – Theme: ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’ featuring warm country decor and Lisa’s personal collection of more than 20 Santa figurines.
* Sandy and Glenn Pelphrey home at 8093 South Park in Garrettsville – Theme: ‘Home for the Holidays,’ consisting of family photographs, dolls and collectible items accrued over the years.
* Johnson Historical Home at 6203 Pioneer Trail in Hiram – Theme: ‘Paper and Pine.’ This house was built in 1828 by John and Emma Johnson, who provided a home for religious leader Joseph Smith and his family from 1831-1832. Smith received revelations within these walls, and the house served as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. It now serves as a museum and destination for Mormon pilgrims.
* The Garrettsville United Methodist Church at 8223 Park Avenue will be decorated for the season, according to the church’s Angels of Mission program. Lunch will also be served. The menu includes homemade chicken or vegetable soup, chicken salad sandwich served on a croissant, and a hot pulled pork sandwich. Desserts and beverages will also be available for purchase.
* Local Craft and Artisan Show at the Garrettsville Village Hall, 8213 High Street. Crafts for sale range from homemade candles, refurbished furniture and household decor, maple syrup, and other handcrafted items.
The area’s original Christmas Walk is held on the first two weekends in November on even-numbered years. The Garrettsville Christmas Walk typically draws 1,500-2,000 participants and, as a bonus, increases holiday traffic for local merchants and restaurants. The event represents the JAG Historical Society’s primary fundraiser to cover expenses over the next two-year period, says historical society representative Debbie Smith. “The monies go to paying our bills, upkeep of our buildings, and items purchased for displays (each featured home also receives $600 to help defray decorating expenses).”
The historical society exists to acquire, conserve and preserve objects of historical interest; to promote knowledge, and inspire interest and pride in the early history and settlement of the communities of the James A. Garfield School District. Public meetings are held at 7:30pm the third Monday of every month at 8107 Main Street.
Above all else, the biennial Garrettsville Christmas Walk rolls out the red carpet for the holiday season with the small-town charm that has made this village dear to so many visitors and residents alike. “There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when love ones are near. It’s the most wonderful time of the year” once again in Garrettsville.