The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

CVB: County a great holiday destination

Submitted information

The Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is in the midst of marketing the Van Wert area as a destination point for many holiday activities. CVB Executive Director Larry Lee noted that the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and entertaining often stand in the way of people just relaxing and enjoying the many attractions and events available locally.

The Butterfly House at the Children's Garden in Smiley Park sports hundreds of lights as part of the Christmas Garden event held during the Christmas holidays. The event is only one of many in the Van Wert area during the holidays. VW independent file photo
The Butterfly House at the Children’s Garden in Smiley Park sports hundreds of lights as part of the Christmas Garden event held during the Christmas holidays. The event is only one of many in the Van Wert area during the holidays. VW independent file photo

Bringing people from miles around are the Children’s Christmas Garden and the Holiday Lights at the Fair.  The Children’s Christmas Garden is illuminated nightly with thousands of lights now through January 1. This free attraction welcomes people of all ages to wander through the Garden at Smiley Park and feel the excitement of the season. The Holiday Lights at the Fair, a project of the 4-H Exchange Club, is a drive-through attraction with lighted displays throughout the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. The $5 per car charge is used by the club for its annual summer exchange trip with a 4-H club from another part of the country.  The displays are sponsored by various local businesses and organizations, with several displays making their first appearance at the event. The Lights at the Fair display is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6–9 p.m. now through December 25.

Other community events include the annual Christmas Tree Festival at the Delphos Canal Commission Museum, 241 N. Main St. in downtown Delphos. This year’s theme is “Songs of the Season”. The free exhibit is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., through December 18.

Also taking place in Delphos on Friday, December 2, is the annual Delphos Kiwanis Christmas Parade, starting at 6:30 p.m., on Main Street. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available next to Santa’s house and area residents have an opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa’s sleigh and live reindeer or with the Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, and an elf. Mrs. Claus will be reading favorite Christmas stories at the Dienstberger house.

Also on Friday, December 2, the lighting of Fountain Park in downtown Van Wert takes place, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with caroling by the Merry Gentlemen. There will be free hot chocolate and cookies for the first 100 visitors, a visit from Santa lighting of the Fountain Park Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m.

The Jennings Road Church of Christ, 1124 Jennings Road, invites local residents to a drive-through “Live Nativity” on December 2-3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Live camels will once again be the feature attraction, with authentic costumes and scenes recreated from biblical times. A no-vacancy inn, lively bartering around the marketplace, singing angels, shepherds and sheep, and the newborn baby will be seen from the comfort of your car as you drive through the recreated scenes. There is no cost for the event, though donations will be accepted.

The Van Wert Civic Theater will present Miracle on 34th Street December 1-11. This holiday tradition revolves around a young girl and a lawyer who must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing. The Civic Theatre is located at 118 S. Race St. For ticket information, call the box office at 419.238.9689.

Vantage Career Center will be the site for the annual 4-H Craft and Vendor Show on December 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be local residents’ chance to do some holiday shopping from among the more than 27 area crafters and vendors. This project is used to support the 4-H Teen Camp counselors.

The village of Willshire welcomes the holiday with its annual Christmas in the Park event on Sunday December 4, from 4-7 p.m. As people stroll through the park, they will see a live Nativity and luminaries lighting the pathway. There will also be carriage rides, Christmas craft projects, and stringing foods for the birds to enjoy. Those who participate will hear beautiful Christmas music and be able to listen to readings of favorite holiday stories, as well as enjoy popcorn and hot chocolate, as well as homemade soups, sandwiches, and cookies. This event is a great way to prepare for and celebrate the season of Christmas. This event is sponsored by the Willshire Lions Club, with assistance from area businesses and organizations.

The Van Wert County village of Wren is all decked out for the holidays. On December 10, 16, and 17. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Santa House, corner of Ohio 49 and Jackson Street. Carriage rides, hot chocolate, and cookies will be available during the Santa hours of 6 to 8 p.m.

Vantage Career Center will be hosting its annual Christmas Luncheon on December 14 and 16 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. On the “all you can eat’ buffet will be a full salad bar, roasted turkey, stuffing, ham, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls, an assortment of delicious desserts, and beverages for just $8.95 (plus tax). Reservations are necessary for this special event. Call 419.238.5411, extension 2425, to reserve a spot.

And what is Christmas without the special music of the season? Area schools will be presenting their annual Christmas concert, beginning December 1 with the Van Wert High School Band Concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. The Lincolnview High School Music Department’s Christmas Concert is slated for Monday, December 5, at 7 p.m., while the Delphos Schools Winter Concert will be Wednesday, December 7, at Jefferson Middle School, starting at 7 p.m.

On December 12, the Van Wert High School Choir Christmas Concert will be presented at 8 p.m. in Van Wert Middle School. Crestview will have two Christmas Concerts — the high school program will be on Monday, December 12, at 7 p.m., while the middle school concert will be Thursday, December 15, at the same time, both in the Crestview auditoria.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center has a series of holiday concerts planned for December. Artists include Sandi Patty on Sunday, December 4; the Lennon Sisters and the Osmonds in the Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday, December 10, and John Tesh Big Band Christmas on Saturday, December 17. For more information and tickets, call the box office at 419.238.6722.

Special Christmas concerts include the Trinity Trio Christmas Theater on Saturday, December 3, at Trinity Friends Family Life Center, starting at 6 p.m. Southern Gospel trio Trinity presents its annual Christmas Dinner Theater with guest artists that include Dove-Award winning singer-composer John Darin Rowsey, New Journey, and Tom Kennerk. For more information on this concert, call 419.238.2660.

On Sunday, December 11, starting at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church the Van Wert tradition of presenting Handel’s Messiah continues. The Van Wert community tradition of a Messiah performance dates back to pre-World War II years. Since 1992, it has been a biennial tradition. A volunteer chorus of approximately 75 singers joins a professional chamber orchestra and four professional soloists. The December performance will include Part I, as well as “The Trumpet Shall Sound”, “Worthy is the Lamb/Amen”, and the “Hallelujah Chorus”. The performance is sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation, in cooperation with First United Methodist Church.

And finally on Sunday, December 18, the Van Wert Boychoir will present its annual Christmas concert at 3 p.m. This year’s concert will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert.  The members of the choir invite area residents to join them in celebrating the holidays at this free concert.

“There’s no reason to travel far to enjoy this special time of year,” Lee said. “On behalf of the board of the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, we wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy holiday season.”

POSTED: 11/30/16 at 8:33 am. FILED UNDER: News