Neighbors | Jessica Harker.One String Short performed classic Christmas songs with community members during Mill Creek Park's annual Olde Fashion Christmas event on Nov. 24.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Sheryl Wheatley of Beeswax Treasures sold her hand made goods to community members at Lanterman's Mill Nov. 24.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Patti White of Country Copper and Tin set up her table as a vendor during the annual Olde Fashion Christmas event at Lanterman's Mill on Nov. 24.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Vendors demonstrated their crafts, including wooden spoon carving, for community members gathered at the Olde Fashion Christmas event on Nov. 24 at Lanterman's Mill.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Community members traveled to Lanterman's Mill Nov. 24 for the annual Olde Fashion Christmas event.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Mill Creek Park staff and volunteers roasted chestnuts for community members to try for free at the Olde Fashion Christmas event.
By JESSICA HARKER
Mill Creek MetroParks hosted its annual Olde Fashion Christmas event at Lanterman’s Mill Nov. 24 and 25.
According to Carol Vigorito, the park’s recreation and education director, the event has been a park tradition for decades.
“It’s basically a holiday celebration,” Vigorito said. “It’s a really good opportunity to enjoy the season.”
Lanterman’s Mill’s three levels were packed full with local vendors, entertainment and other events sponsored by the mill.
Vigorito said that there is a lot of competition to become a vendor at the event, since space is limited.
She said that the park gives priority to vendors who have attended previous events, as well as hand crafted works and local art.
“We have very limited space here for vendors. So we pick and choose according to theme,” Vigorito said.
Many vendors demonstrate their craft during the event, including wooden spoon carving, leather work and a weaver.
“It can be a challenge to demonstrate here, because they are working with their hands in the cold,” Vigorito said. “So when we find a vendor willing to demonstrate we like to bring them back.”
The event takes place on the last weekend before the mill closes for the season.
Along with vendors, the park hires various entertainers throughout the day.
Entertainers included the band One String Short, a balloon artist and a visit from Santa Claus.
Community members also have the opportunity to donate to the parks giving tree where they collect hats, gloves and scarves for the Mahoning County Educational Service Center.
Vigorito said that the park has been doing a collection for the last 15 years, and the turn out is always huge.
“Last year was incredible, we have six or seven huge containers full of items, and they really appreciate it,” Vigorito said.
She said that the event wouldn’t be possible without the help from volunteers.
“For the last week volunteers have been helping decorate in the sleet and freezing weather,” Vigorito said.
Twenty-five volunteers spend between 3-6 hours helping park employees prepare for the annual event.
Vigorito said volunteers help run the giving tree, the chestnut roasting, and that even Santa was a volunteer.
“If it wasn’t for them this program wouldn’t have happened,” Vigorito said. “They are just so dedicated.”