German Village Christmas Walk celebrates 25th season

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How to go

What: 25th annual German Village Christmas Walk

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4

Where: Hamilton’s German Village Historic District — Dayton, Village, Second and Third streets

Cost: Free, includes all activities and entertainment. Items are available for purchase.

Hamilton residents and those who make the German Village Christmas Walk part of their annual holiday tradition are gearing up for a landmark year. The 25th annual German Village Christmas Walk will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 5 p.m.

“I don’t know what the records are for other longstanding events, but I think we are probably one of the longest running events in the City. Twenty-five years is a long time and we are really proud of that,” said Ann Dennett, chairman of the German Village Christmas Walk, who has been involved with the event since its inception.

The day will be filled with fun and holiday-themed activities including food, crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling musicians, reindeer and some of Hamilton’s finest historic homes and businesses, which will be decorated during the festivities and open to the public.

This year, the Village will have more Victorian-themed decorations throughout the streets, and there will be a big Christmas tree displayed on Third Street. There are 29 different stops on the German Village Christmas Walk. Twenty-three stops were featured in 2015.

Included in the extra stops are two new businesses on Third Street. There’s another home that’s going to be open, so we’ve picked up some new venues for people to see, Dennett said.

Through the generosity of “Friends of the Village,” we’ve kept this as a free event for 25 years, she said.

Visitors will have an opportunity to take a nostalgic look at Christmas by touring private homes, businesses and the historical buildings, including the Lane Hooven House, St. Julie Billiart Catholic Parish, Butler County Historical Museum, Lane Public Library, YWCA and the Carriage House, among others.

Highlights will include a 4 p.m. choir concert, “Scripture and Song of the Season” at St. Julie Billiart Catholic Parish. Tours of the parish will be available from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from noon to 5 p.m., and Yuletide Brass, a quartet of strolling musicians in Dickens-era attire, will perform on the streets from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Also, guests won’t want to miss Joyful Noise from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The group has performed at every German Village Christmas Walk since the beginning. Butler Tech students will be performing again this year. Additional live entertainment will be featured at several locations throughout the day.

Children’s activities will include reindeer and a petting zoo from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Santa Claus will be greeting children in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium at the Butler County Historical Society from noon to 5 p.m. Dave the Balloon Guy will offer balloon sculptures from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Frozen characters Elsa and Anna will be strolling through the library and up and down the plaza for photo opportunities.

Guests will also be able to purchase gifts and crafts from local artisans and enjoy delicious treats as they walk the streets. For example, Butler County United Way will offer handcrafted bowls for purchase to support the “Empty Bowls” initiative. St. Julie Altar Rosary Society will also host a bake sale from noon to 5 p.m. at YWCA.

Members of the youth philanthropy group from the Hamilton Community Foundation will greet guests, provide directions and pass out flyers with a map and a complete schedule of events.

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