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Dancing elves and a tree-lighting event, shown above, kicked off the Yellow Springs holiday season in 2013. This year, a host of events is planned by the Chamber of Commerce, including the Holiday Fest downtown on Saturday, Dec. 13. (News archive photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

Dancing elves and a tree-lighting event, shown above, kicked off the Yellow Springs holiday season in 2013. This year, a host of events is planned by the Chamber of Commerce, including the Holiday Fest downtown on Saturday, Dec. 13. (News archive photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

Village chock full of holiday events

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The downtown is decorated, the village Christmas trees have been lighted, and the holiday season has kicked into high gear. There seems to be something festive to see or do in the community each day through New Year’s.

“And events keep getting added,” said Karen Wintrow, the executive director of the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber represents about 65 local shops and eateries that count on making a significant part of their annual revenues during the last weeks of the year, and it is trying to keep track of all the holiday–related goings-on in town. The Chamber’s website — http://www.yellowspringsohio.org — features a calendar and extensive listing of local events. Wintrow suggests that villagers check the calendar for newly added activities as the month progresses.

“The big thing is the Holiday Fest,” Wintrow said. The event is set for Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with activities downtown and at Glen Helen, where Santa Claus will be on hand to greet visitors from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Carriage rides will be offered throughout the day, as well as stories with Mrs. Claus and other children’s activities during the afternoon at the Glen.

“A lot of independent things” will be happening, too, in conjunction with the Fest, Wintrow said, as shops, art galleries and local organizations welcome community members and guests.

Yellow Springs Heritage, for example, is hosting an afternoon of Victorian-era children’s games beginning at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at John Bryan Community Center, on the second floor in meeting rooms A and B.

According to the organization’s Robin Heise, “President Theodore Roosevelt and his wife, Edith, will be visiting and showing us games and toys of days gone by.” Admission is free, but Heise is asking that participants bring a toy to be donated to the Hustead Fire Department’s Toys for Tots program.

Holiday Fest isn’t the only time Santa plans to visit town before his big night. He’ll also be here on Saturday, Dec. 6, for the annual Santa Pancake Breakfast, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Methodist church. In addition to pancakes and photos with the jolly old elf in the red suit, the event will include games and crafts.

The first weekend in December will also be notable for the return of the traditional School Forest Festival at Glen Helen. The event, during which Yellow Springs High School students help visitors cut their own fresh Christmas trees, has proceeded without the trees for a couple of years while a new crop of evergreens could be nurtured to a suitable size.

As the daylight hours grow shorter, a now annual event will celebrate nature and the seasonal change in poetry. The third annual Winter Solstice Poetry Reading is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Glen Helen. Sponsored by the Glen and Tecumseh Land Trust, the event will feature a scheduled lineup of a dozen regionally based poets reading their work, as well as an open mic period and a wine and cheese reception.

“This year’s theme,” according to organizer Ed Davis, a local poet and retired English professor, is “Solstice: Home on Earth.” The participating poets will “share poems based on natural, spiritual, metaphysical and creative experiences surrounding the solstice.”

The electricity went out during last year’s event, Davis, recalls, but “the poets persisted, reading their work by the dim glow of the emergency exit signs.”

Holiday spirit will glow throughout the village this month with musical performances, holiday luncheons, art exhibitions, nature walks, and more. Listed below is what had been announced as of press time.

• Through Dec. 21 — Young’s Dairy; Choose and Cut Trees; Daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
• Through Jan. 1 — Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill; $10; Daily 6–9 p.m.
• Weekends in December — Children’s Holiday Classics; Little Art Theatre; 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays; Holiday films for kids — different movie every weekend; free.
• Dec. 5–7: Miami Valley Pottery Holiday Open House; 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; 145 E. Hyde Rd.
• Dec. 6–7: YSHS School Forest Festival; Glen Helen.
• Dec. 6: Santa Pancake Breakfast, YS Methodist Church; games, crafts, food, photos and Santa; 9–11:30 a.m.
• Dec. 6: “WinterSong — A Time to Cheer;” First Presbyterian Church; 7 p.m.; Musical performance with wine and refreshments; Donations accepted.
• Dec. 6–31: YS Arts Council Holiday Jumble Sale; shop Wednesday through Sunday, 1–4 p.m.
• Dec. 9: 34th annual Senior Citizens’ Holiday Luncheon; 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Yellow Springs High School; RSVP to 767–7224 by Dec. 5.
• Dec. 12: Winter Solstice Poetry Reading; 7–9 p.m., Glen Helen Building; $2 donation requested.
• Dec. 13: Holiday Fest; Santa, Kids Activities, Carriage Rides, Victorian Games; Glen Helen and Downtown; 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
• Dec. 13: “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Art Opening; Village Artisans at 100 Corry St.; 1–4 p.m.
• Dec. 13: Arts Alive! Heartstrings Concert and Cookie Bake-Off; Suggested donation $7; kids 12 and under free; YSAC, 6:30–9:30 p.m.
• Dec. 13–14: John Bryan Community Pottery Holiday Sale; in the Penguin Building at the rear of 100 Dayton St.; 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
• Dec. 14: Christmas Bird Count; 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Trailside Museum; RSVP to nboutis@glenhelen.org.
• Dec. 14: YS Community Chamber Orchestra and Chorus Concert; 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church.
• Dec. 20 — Family Doggie Hike; Trailside Museum.
• Dec. 22 — Senior Center Holiday Sing–Along; 3–4 p.m., YS Senior Center.
• Dec. 28 — Kwanzaa Celebration; 4–7 p.m., Bryan Community Center
• Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve Movie and Party; Little Art Theatre.
• Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
• Jan. 1 — Awakening to the One, a Pathway to Peace; community meditation hosted by Friends of the Heart, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church

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Village chock full of holiday events

by Carol Simmons