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LIMA — Everyone has their vision of the ideal Christmas. Whether yours involves flashing lights, family gatherings or a quiet manger, there's something local that will meet your ideals.Kicking off the festivities this year is the granddaddy of Lima holiday traditions, the 39th annual Christmas Tree Festival. This year, more than 100 trees and wreaths will be decorated following the “Vision of Christmas” theme.“This is more entries than we've had for a time. I think in part that's because the Allen County Museum has an expanded space to showcase more, and people are interested in seeing the museum,” said Pat Smith, director of the museum. “But I also think with the current situation in the world, people want to focus more on tradition. People are thinking more inwardly on family and community, and this festival is a great place to remember that,” she added.But that's not all, there will also be extended evening hours on Dec. 2 for tours of the MacDonell House and the Pioneer Log House. There will be holiday boutiques, baked goods, activities, displays, Evergreen the Talking Tree, and readings of The Polar Express beside the indoor Shay locomotive.“That will be especially nice because the locomotive in the book was based on drawings of a locomotive built in Lima,” Smith said.So, here's the specifics of what's coming and what to expect.Lima39th Annual Christmas Tree Festival10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Dec. 3; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 4.Allen County Museum, 620 W. Market St., LimaFree, but donations accepted.Polar Express readings at 6 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and hourly starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Also, live entertainment everyday, “Christmas in Australia” in the Children's Discovery Center, daily demonstrations in the log house; night-time tours of the MacDonell House and Pioneer log house on Dec. 2, bake shop, and activities.Holiday Festival10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4.Downtown LimaFreeFollowing the theme “Christmas Joy,” this year's festival includes Open Mic Night at The Meeting Place on Market and Jazz at the Greenhouse at DeHaven's Garden Showplace, both on Dec. 3. On Dec. 4, events include Toys for Tots Breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Wingate, Lima Public Library celebration and St. Luke Lutheran Church's Christmas bazaar. Holiday Street Fair11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 1St. Rita's Medical Center, 730 W. Market St., LimaMusical performances, balloon artists, live Nativity, photos with reindeer and sleigh, and dedication of the Christmas tree. Also items for sale, including homemade buckeyes, holiday decor, poinsettias, sewing and needlework.Lima Symphony Orchestra's “Bells, Brass and Bows”7:30 p.m. Dec. 10Veterans Memorial Civic Center, downtown Lima.Guest Shannon O'Neill and the Lima Symphony Chorus join the orchestra for a program of carols, classics and holiday favorites.“Holiday Spectacular”7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4Veterans Memorial Civic Center, downtown Lima.$5 at any Kewpee location.ONU's holiday extravaganza of carols, dancing and characters. Naturally, Santa won't miss this event.Breakfast with Santa8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3Trinity Center for Creative Child Care, 301 W. Market St., Lima. $5 for pancake/sausage breakfast, additional cost for photos with Santa.Tickets available 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays at the center.23rd Annual Christmas at Apollo Craft Fair9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3Apollo Career Center, 3325 Shawnee Road, Lima.$2 adults, free for 12 and younger.More than 100 crafters with holiday designs. Proceeds benefit Apollo student clubs.Van Wert“The Nutcracker”2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Van Wert.Tickets $12 to $32, at 419-238-6722 or online at www.npacvw.orgThis classical ballet features a live pit orchestra, and guest dancers from around the country. Joining them on stage will be several local dancers, as well as the Van Wert Area Boys Choir.Holiday of Lights Show6 to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, starting Saturday through Dec. 26Van Wert County Fairgrounds, Gate 5 entrance.$5 for cars, $25 for bus.Hosted by the Van Wert 4-H Interstate Exchange Club, the holiday drive-through features 60 lighted displays from local businesses, churches and clubs. Santa will greet vehicles Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Carriage rides will be offered Dec. 4, 11, 18 for $7 each.BlufftonBluffton Blaze of Lights4 p.m. Saturdaythroughout Bluffton.Ice carving precedes the 5 p.m. parade which includes Ronald McDonald. Lights on the Ream displays go on at 7 p.m. Entertainment throughout the village.116th Performance of Handel's “Messiah”4 p.m. Dec. 11Founders Hall at Bluffton University.KentonLake of Lights6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, today through Dec. 26.State Route 67, west of Kenton$5 per vehicle.Holiday 5K run kicks off events at 6 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Jitterz Coffee House in Kenton. After that, special activities include wagon rides from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 for $5. Luminaries of remembrance will be placed on France Lake for a 9 p.m. service on Dec. 18.Candy Cane Tour of Homes3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4Six holiday-decorated homes and businesses around the Kenton area. $12 at the Hardin County Museum, 223 N. Main St., Kenton.OttawaWelcome Santa Parade2 p.m. Nov. 27Downtown Ottawa.Floats, candy, and Santa. Parade ends in the park.40th Annual Carol Sing7:30 p.m. Dec. 4Riley Creek United Methodist Church, 7102 Road M, OttawaSinging around the piano. Story of the Nativity, special choir music, candle lighting.St. MarysSt. Marys Winterfest2 p.m. Dec. 4Memorial Park, St. MarysHosted by St. Marys Optimist Club, activities kick off with ice skating, followed at 4 p.m. with a Holiday Parade. Live nativity and entertainment follow that, with the Festival of Lights coming on at 7 p.m. A Lost in the ‘50s Train will be running to take folks from Memorial Park to K.C. Geiger Park to see the light displays. At Memorial Park, there will be free hot chocolate and hot dogs, with Santa arriving by horse-drawn wagon.Festival of LightsK.C. Geiger Park, St. Marys7 to 9 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 4. After that, hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 23.Free, but donations of non-perishable food and slightly worn clothing and toys accepted.More than 25 light displays from area businesses and organizations. Santa's House starts after Dec. 4. Sledding hill and skating rink too.WaynesfieldBreakfast with Santa7:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 3Waynesfield Lions Building$5 adults for pancake/sausage breakfast, $2.50 for 4 to 10 years, free for 3 and younger. Pictures with Santa are $3, available 8 a.m. to noon.HarrodBreakfast with Santa8 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 10Allen East High School auditeria, 9105 Harding Highway, Harrod. $5 by calling 419-648-3333, ext. 2023.Hosted by the Allen East Mustang Marching Brass and the school's music association. Games, activities and pictures with Santa.Mendon2011 Mendon Town Hall Christmas6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3Various activities around town.$1 adults, at the Town Hall and Motorcycle MuseumActivities on Dec. 2 include Festival of Trees with more than 85 decorated trees at the Town Hall. Also, Nativity displays and Live Animals of the Nativity. On Dec. 3, activities include a quilt show, free horse-drawn carriage rides and the arrival of Santa, who will talk with children from 1:30 to 4:30 that day at the Town Hall.New Bremen“Angelhead”Childrens Christmas musical by the Crescent Players7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10St. Paul United Church of Christ, 117 N. Franklin St., New Bremen.Canned good or monetary donation to Agape Ministries.The story of an angel ornament who falls out of the Christmas tree and is chewed up by the family cat. The ornament goes to a manger scene in search of answers.ContinentalChristmas Open House9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10American Legion, 109 S. Fifth St., ContinentalMore than 45 booths of items for sale. Also, Santa talks with the children from 3 to 5 p.m. Pictures are available.Dunkirk“Night in Bethlehem” Nativity Experience4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4Camp Common Ground, County Road 135, Dunkirk.Free, but donations accepted.60-minute walking tour of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth. Dress for the weather.


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