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Canfield spruces up for tonight’s Christmas parade, festivities

Staff photos / J.T. Whitehouse ... Running the light string around one of Canfield Rotary’s 65 trees on the Village Green are Rotarians Leslie Butler and past President Sieglinde Warren. A small group of Rotarians completed the stringing of 65 trees Thursday in time for the Lighting of the Green event at 6 p.m. today.

CANFIELD — Preparations are nearing completion as Canfield gets ready to flip the switch for the Village Green Christmas lights.

The annual event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. today at the Gazebo on the Village Green. It will feature a parade led by the Canfield High School drum line along with the band, police and fire units and a horse-drawn carriage delivering Santa Claus.

According to Lighting Committee chairman Anthony Nacarato, the light switch is expected to be activated at 6:45 p.m., and Santa will be delivered to the Canfield Township Hall afterward to greet children. Santa will be in Township Hall along with crafts for the children.

Next door, the Mahoning Dispatch Museum, 23 S. Broad St., will be open for tours. The Dispatch building was constructed right after the Civil War circa 1865-66 by Piermont Edwards. It served as a general store and was vacated prior to 1893 when it was purchased by H.W. Fowler.

Fowler transformed the building and built an addition to house a large Campbell press, which was needed to put out his publication known as the Mahoning Dispatch. The newspaper, targeting the rural areas of Mahoning County, actually began in 1877. Fowler’s new building served as the editorial offices as well as the home for the printing presses. The final edition was put out in 1968 but the business continued as a printing company until 1991 when Ralph Fowler passed away.

It is currently owned by the Canfield Historical Society, which opens it on the Fourth of July, the Lighting of the Green and by private tours throughout the year.

Before this year’s event, the Historical Society had the lettering redone on the front windows. That lettering was outlined in gold leaf and is 100 years old. Lamarca Professional Painting came in to do the restoration.

“It’s important to preserve history,” artist Angelo LaMarca said.

At 7 p.m. today, two concerts will take place. The Canfield Grade School Choir will perform at the Methodist Church and the Canfield High School Choir will perform at the Canfield Christian Church at the same time.

Nacarato said Piccadilly Parlor at the south end of the Green will open for cookies and treats. A horse-drawn carriage will take people between Township Hall and Piccadilly Parlor.

He added that the Rotary Club sold 65 Christmas trees on the Green at $150 each and sold 20 “up-lightings” which is where lights are strung high on existing park trees around the Green. Rotary gets $300 per tree for sponsorship.

“All the money we make will go towards Rotary projects,” he said.

jwhitehouse@tribtoday.com

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