Winter in the Wald: Neighborhood celebrates holidays with multiple events

Activities in Lindenwald will include tree lighting, music, shopping and more

LINDENWALD — Residents in and around Hamilton will gather in the Lindenwald neighborhood to celebrate the holidays with several special events – Winter in the Wald and Joy to the Wald, Christmas with Santa, which will be Fri., Dec 10 and Sat., Dec. 11.

“Hopefully, it will bring what I consider to be two distinct business areas of Lindenwald together, which is great. Local events like these are another way we can continue to build the community,” said Frank Downie, chair of Lindenwald’s neighborhood association, PROTOCOL, which stands for People Reaching Out to Others: Celebrating Our Lindenwald.

He said PROTOCOL is a division of 17 Strong, which is all about building cleaner, safer, and more engaged neighborhoods.

Highlights of Winter in the Wald will include shopping and crafts from local merchants and vendors, a DJ and live music, a 2K Caroling LindenWalk, a tree lighting, ornament-making for children and a red balloon release following the walk that will honor Nolen Scott Jones, a six-year-old kindergartner of Linden Elementary, who passed away after being struck by a car while crossing Pleasant Avenue. The events are free to attend. There will be items available for sale from food trucks, businesses and vendors.

A commemorative 2K Caroling LindenWalk T-shirt will be available for $25 for adult shirts and $20 for youth shirts with $5 of the proceeds from each shirt going to the family of Nolen Scott Jones. T-shirts can be pre-ordered online on the Winter in the Wald 2021 event page on Facebook.

Winter in the Wald will kick off at the Markets at Pleasant Treasures, 4020 Pleasant Ave., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 10 and the event will continue on Sat., Dec. 11 at the Schuler and Benninghofen Woolen Mill property from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 2K Caroling LindenWalk will begin around 4 p.m. and the walk will proceed down Pleasant Avenue and conclude at the Markets at Pleasant Treasures, followed by a tree lighting between 6 and 7 p.m. After the tree-lighting, there will be an outdoor movie, weather permitting, along with other yard games and activities. Awards will be handed out the day of the event for “Best Lighting Display,” “Best Christmas Display,” “Best Christmas Caroler” and “Worst Christmas Sweater.” Results will be gathered through an online poll.

Michael Yater, lead coordinator and organizer with the Winter in the Wald committee, said with Winter in the Wald, a group of community members and business leaders wanted to do something to bring the Lindenwald community together during the holidays.

“We hope that as we go singing through the town, we’ll get people to throw open their blinds and open their shutters, saying, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ and we can get more and more people to come with us, and enjoy what Lindenwald has to offer,” Yater said.

Winter in the Wald will be in conjunction with Joy to the Wald. Joy to the Wald, Christmas with Santa is a longstanding event set for Sat., Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heaven Sent, inside the coffee shop, at 2269 Pleasant Ave. in Hamilton. The event was founded by Debbie Doerflein of Heaven Sent more than 22 years ago. Children who attend will receive a gift, get their picture taken with Santa, and when they come back a week later, they can pick up their photo.

Cookies and hot chocolate will also be served. No advance registration is required. The event is free and open to all.

“Twenty-six years ago, God just told me to go to Lindenwald and be a light,” said Doerflein, who founded of Joy to the Wald, Christmas with Santa. “Kids that came many years ago are adults now, and they bring their kids, and that makes my heart glad.”

Doerflein spent time growing up in Lindenwald, then her family moved to Cincinnati for a time, and she moved back as an adult. She currently resides in Fairfield. Doerflein has partnered with many individuals, organizations and businesses throughout the community, such as Walgreens and the Hamilton High Twelve Club, to continue to ensure the success of the event. The event has drawn as many as 300 children.

“There’s just so many things that God opens a door to be able to touch a heart of a child,” Doerflein said, “It’s more than just an event for me.”

Community members who would like to donate a gift for Joy to the Wald, Christmas with Santa, may drop off a gift to Heaven Sent up until the day prior to the event, or contact Doerflein. The suggested gift amount is around $5. Those who wrap the gifts prior to dropping them off should mark if the gift is for a boy or a girl and designate the age group on the outside of the package. Cash donations will also be accepted.

On the day of the event, Doerflein said other area business like Barger’s Bargains, Kensho Karate and others will participate by handing out candy canes and other complimentary goodies to the kids.

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