Want to go?
• WHAT: Clyde Christmas Fest
• WHEN: Dec. 2-4
• WHERE: Downtown Clyde
• COST: Free
• INFO: clydechristmasfest.com
Santa’s home may be the North Pole but you better believe good ole St. Nick is a snowbird of sorts leaving behind his frozen homeland for a chilly weekend in Northwest Ohio as the centerpiece attraction of the Clyde Christmas Fest taking place Dec. 2 through 4 in downtown Clyde.
Formerly called Winesburg Weekends, this yuletide event boasts everything one could imagine, including a massive parade followed by fireworks, trolley rides and more.
“It’s been a tradition for 40 years but we decided just to change the name and really add a ton to it this year,” said Clyde Christmas Fest Co-Chairperson Kendra Fultz, a 1990 Clyde High School graduate. “Our parade will be Friday night and it’ll be with fireworks. We’ll probably have more than 50 parade entries in it. It’s huge and a good time for the kids. Then we’ll have about a 10-minute fireworks show after the parade and the kids line up and visit with Santa in the firehouse afterwards. We have Christmas tree vendors down there.”
While the parade attracts roughly 2,000 locals, the event itself usually finds 3,000 attending all weekend long. Fultz thinks she knows why Clyde Christmas Fest is so popular.
“Because we’re a small community and we still have that small-community touch,” she said.
If you’re attending Clyde Christmas Fest, Fultz has a few can’t-miss attractions:
“You must attend the parade and fireworks obviously. The parade is the kickoff,” Fultz said. “Everybody comes down Friday night. It’s a nighttime lit parade. That’s a big deal for the kids and we do have fireworks. That’s a big kickoff and that’s when we get our most attendance. This year we’ve really ramped it up, we have a North Pole set up at St. Mary’s Hall with a model train display and a sugar plum forest where businesses will set up their trees. Everything will be enclosed in one area.”
“First and foremost, you have to visit Santa in either the fire station Friday night or at the North Pole Saturday and Sunday,” Fultz said. “He’s set up on a very picturesque stage at the North Pole. We’ll have face painting, character drawings and hair bling, which is basically the tinsels and feathers in the hair. There will be make-it-take-it crafts where kids can make their own crafts. We give away free goodie bags to every child that comes through and parents get not only a nice picture view with Santa but they have a ton of other stuff to do at the North Pole there at St. Mary’s Hall.”
“Doebel’s Flowers has a huge open house and petting zoo,” Fultz said. “That’s always a huge thing for kids. The kids get to go into the petting zoo to chase the chickens and pet the goats. That’s pretty popular. Kids love animals. They also have a beautiful arrangement of Christmas trees you can stroll through. So the parents get to see the trees and the kids go down and chase the animals.”
“That’s horses and a trolley,” Fultz said. “It’s big, holds about 20 people and is basically pulled by two horses that will give you rides through the downtown area and then over to the North Pole at St. Mary’s. It’ll be circulating that entire time, ride it over or ride it back. They’re fun because of the horses. People love animals. And the horses are huge. People love to have their picture taken next to them. Who doesn’t like a romantic horse and trolley ride?”
“We’ll have ice sculpting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Town Plaza,” Fultz said. “EHOVE will be out here carving four blocks of ice. That’ll be pretty neat. The kids will be out here hacking away at the ice
creating some sculptures for us. It’s just amazing to see what they can create out of a big block of ice. I don’t think people realize the intricacies of it and realize how neat it is to see that transformation.”
The Clyde Christmas Fest takes place Dec. 2 through 4 in downtown Clyde. For more information, visit clydechristmasfest.com.