“Cool” Winter Events in Ohio’s Largest Playground!

November 2006 (LEBANON, OH) – You don’t have to drive far to get into the holiday mood and take in a variety of merry festivals and events.

1,800 horses’ hooves clomp down Broadway in scenic southwest Ohio. The charming town of Lebanon, including Ohio’s oldest inn, The Golden Lamb, draws thousands of visitors to see majestic Clydesdales, adorable miniature horses, and be-decked equines of all sizes as they herald the beginning of the holiday season at the Historic Lebanon Christmas Parade. Strolling musicians, crafters and yummy food booths add to this special holiday event.

One hundred antique carriages get “dressed up” for the holidays to parade down the main streets of historic Lebanon on the first Saturday of each December – not just once, but twice. This parade is so spectacular and popular that it is repeated again the same day by candlelight to accommodate the large crowds. This year’s event is scheduled for December 2. Parade times are 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. The event caught the eye of Martha Stewart, who featured the parade on her popular television program.

Ice skating, toboggans, and sleigh rides at a water park – Southwest Ohio’s largest outdoor ice-skating rink, carriage rides, and paddle-boats on the Lazy Miami River at Holiday Fest at The Beach Waterpark add to the unique holiday activities in Warren County. This traditional summer hot-spot is transformed into a winter wonderland of fun, complete with a live Nativity, petting animals, holiday crafts and a huge food tent. The festival begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs select dates through January 1.

Nationally recognized “House of Lights” to be recreated in Heritage Oak Park’s Festival of Mason. Local Mason, OH residents, Carson and Sherry Williams made national news last December when their super-decorated home was featured on The Today Show, Inside Edition, CBS Evening News and included in a Miller Lite commercial. The William’s home and holiday display will be recreated in “Festival of Mason”, December 2 – 31. A 24-by-48-foot wooden façade will be constructed in the park’s Christmas display – complete with 35,000 lights timed to music. This local light display is a guaranteed hit to thrill visitors. Admission to the festival is based on a per-car basis.

Santa’s North Pole Express rolls out of Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad station on December weekends. The vintage train ride travels to Santa’s workshop, where each child will receive a special gift from Santa, plus hot chocolate for all passengers. Be sure to bundle up!

Christmas at Glendower provides an opportunity to experience a Victorian Christmas in all its brilliance at this grand historic residence (December 2 – 10). Lebanon merchants decorate each room with their own signature touch, providing a unique room-by-room tour of decorative holiday splendor. Live musicians and refreshments are served in classic style.

There’s great Christmas shopping all year ’round at King’s Mills General Store and Christmas Shop in Mason, featuring Patricia Breen collectables and holiday items of all kinds; and Christmas Village in Lebanon offers unique Christmas items, toys, and home décor plus a special treat for girls with a princess tea party in a Narnia-setting.

The Golden Lamb Inn & Restaurant offers unique holiday dining opportunities:

Frohe Weilhnachten (German meal of venison) – December 4 – 8
Cratchit’s Christmas Dinner (English meal of goose) – December 11 – 15
Christmas at Mt. Vernon (American meal of turkey & ham) – December 18 – 22

Create your own “Norman Rockwell moment” in Warren County’s charming community holiday celebrations. Visit www.ohioslargestplayground.com for a complete listing of parades and activities in Springboro, Waynesville, and Mason.

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