HARTVILLE There was plenty of Christmas spirit in downtown Hartville on Dec. 2 with an official tree lighting and the arrival of the man of the season, Santa, came to town.
Hartville held its annual Evening in the Village at Deuble Park and throughout downtown Hartville with music, hot chocolate, lots of activities for the kids, a silent auction, a cookie contest, holiday music and of course the biggest event of the evening, Santa and Mrs. Claus took orders for this year’s Christmas gifts.
Event coordinator Kathy Butcher said the event has been going on for at least two decades.
"Last year, we had at least 2,000 people come downtown," Butcher said. "Along with all of the activities, local businesses and organizations donate baskets and small decorated trees for the silent auction. Half of the proceeds go to next year’s expenses and half go to a local charity."
This year’s charity was Love Our Community and Kelli Viscount from the organization flipped the switch to light the Christmas tree on the square. Love Our Community connects neighbors through relationships and resources to raise awareness, cultivate relationship, build trust and restore hope for neighbors in need.
The event was held from 4:30-7 p.m. and Most of the businesses in downtown Hartville opened up for residents to do some shopping. Santa arrived on a Hartville fire truck with the help from members of the Hartville Fire Department.
Local choirs sang in the pavilion at Deuble Park including Psalm 40 String Ensemble, Rhythm & Roos Akron University acapella, The Church Upon the Rock and Lake High School Reflections Choir.
CEO of Community Hospice Norm Mast and other volunteers were helping people do remembrance tree ornaments
"We are offering the remembrance ornaments where people can write the name of a loved one who has passed on a gold star and place it on the tree," Mast said.
After making a grand entrance, Santa and Mrs. Claus headed to Soul Inspired Dance studio where they had a long line of kids and adults waiting to talk them about what they want for Christmas this year. There was a live nativity, wagon rides, kids' train rides, stories and books and a book and bake sales at Soul Inspired Dance and Village hall.
There was plenty of food to go around with hot dogs, pizza, soup, donuts, hot chocolate and cider. To top it all off, there was a photo booth in the Village Hall.