Christmas C’ville’s Main (St.) attraction

CRIDERSVILLE — A change in set-up led to what was likely the largest turnout for Cridersville’s “Christmas on Main Street,” which was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the community.

“This year we wanted to concentrate more on the kids,” said Charisse Zuppardo, co-chair of the event.

A slew of events were scheduled for the day, and Main Street was busy as parents  and their children lined the sidewalks as they ventured from business to business and other places sponsoring special events.

Children’s events during the day included decorating Christmas cookies at Otterbein-Cridersville Community, crafts at the Cridersville branch of the Auglaize County Public District Library, a Christmas tree festival and model train village display at the Cridersville Historical Society museum, a penguin pond at the Cridersville Fire Department, crafts and hot chocolate at the Lion’s Club, holiday happenings at Cridersville Health Care, a story of the first Christmas at the United Methodist Church, and letters to Santa.

Goodie bags and other treats were available at each location and Lenny the Christmas Mouse roamed the town and visited with the children during the event. Santa highlighted the event with a personal appearance at the fire department.

“We really wanted to step it up a notch this year and gear it towards the kids,” Zuppardo said. “We know we had over 100 children attend this year because we had 100 goodie bags prepared at the historical museum and we ran out, even with some kids not taking one.

Both adults and children were given a passport at the beginning of the event. If they attended each place and got their passport stamped, they could submit their passport to be eligible for a slew of prizes, from a bicycle to a Lionel train set.

Zuppardo said the event was started five years ago by the Lion’s Club. Since then, many other organizations have pitched in to help keep the event growing each year.

“I think making it a more kid-friendly event helped draw a larger crowd,” Zuppardo said. “Everyone was real pleased and we received a lot of good feedback from the event. The Lion’s Club still puts on the event, but now everyone is pitching in. The businesses all donated many great gifts to give away for the drawing.”