Although I try to avoid clichés in writing, it really must be said: that time of year is almost here again! The temperature is dropping, we have already seen our first snow, and we all know we will see much more before it gets warmer. With the holidays just around the corner, this becomes the favorite time of year for so many, myself included. Who doesn’t reminisce when they watch a Christmas movie and see the downtown staged with lights and festive décor? Each Hollywood set built with beautiful storefronts that make each shop and the entire street so very inviting. Thanks to the Van Wert Engineering Department, our own downtown is already beginning to look a little more like those quaint Christmas movie towns, as the thirty-some wreaths along Main and Washington streets don’t just magically appear. And in the coming weeks, so many of our wonderful downtown businesses will be decorating their shops, windows and storefronts to create our own beautiful small town holiday scene. I always pause and listen when a family friend or neighbor shares their fond memories with me about what the holiday season used to look like downtown. I’ve even seen many beautiful vintage photos from different eras. Although our downtown has fluctuated over the decades, with each new business that opens today the opportunity for us to create new memories continues to grow.
After all, the charm of downtown is nothing without the businesses that bring the buildings to life and make it a special place. Please remember our downtown shops and stores as you begin buying gifts this season, as their stores will be filled with wonderful items for anyone on your list. In fact, our promotions committee has planned two different events for you to enjoy the music and atmosphere of shopping downtown. On November 30th from 10am – 2pm, the beautiful Hotel Marsh will be filled with wonderful Christmas gifts and holiday decorating ideas for the Holiday Extravaganza Craft & Vendor Show. More than 30 vendors will exhibit handcrafted, homemade, and one of a kind items alongside delicious refreshments. Then on Saturday, December 7th, several downtown shops will be hosting Christmas Open House events in their stores to help you find something unique and memorable.