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Downtown Hartville hosts Winter Story Walk

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

HARTVILLE  Now through New Year's Eve, Historic Downtown Hartville is hosting the Winter Story Walk and Seek & Find where visitors can start at the Peace, Love & Little Donuts shop and follow a mapped path to read a children’s book tilted, "Tough Cookie," a Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway.

Winter Story Walk

There is a second activity called Seek & Find where visitors search for gingerbread men tucked into the windows of downtown merchants. There are 15 businesses participating, all located within walking distance of each other.

“We started planning this event in the fall and we wanted something that wouldn’t get cancelled, I had seen some story walks in local parks and thought it was a fun idea," said Megan Wise of Best Bib and Tucker shop.

Wise emailed Dayna DiMarco from the Lake Branch of Stark Library who helped select the books and got them laminated and come up with other activities to make the event happen. People of any age can participate and win books being awarded as prizes at the library.

“It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk to the 15 different shops. Each shop has a couple of pages of the book and a hidden gingerbread man in the window. The book is really good, it is written by the grandson of Ernest Hemingway. The route starts at the donut shop and ends at the Hartville Chocolate Factory,” Wise said.

She added that there is lots of street parking and each store has a map of the shops participating. The 15 shops participating include Peace, Love & Little Donuts, Pizza BOGO, HallStar Sports, Personal Fitness Studio, Hazlett’s Coffee, Dr. Miller Design Build, Hartville Barber Shop, EuroGyro, Two E’s in a Pod, Best Bib and Tucker, Maple Street Gallery, A Niche in Time, Hartville Tool Exchange, Modern Vintage and Hartville Chocolate Factory.

Wise said that the shops in the downtown area have been “hanging in there” throughout the pandemic. She said that many are doing new services such as curbside pickup and shipping items to customers even within the Village of Hartville.

“We have a really great community that is great about supporting the local small businesses," Wise said. "I think they realize how much the small businesses need them. My own store has been selling items such as athletic wear instead of high school dance gowns which have always been a big seller for us.

“People have been spending their vacation money to redecorate their homes and that has helped too. Lots of carry-outs from local restaurants have helped. Some days are better than others, but we are hanging in there.”

The Winter Story Walk is presented by Stark Library, Discover Hartville, Best Bib and Tucker and Downtown Hartville Merchants. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.