Love the seasonal lights and music? Do you want to take great Christmas photos with the family? Looking for a fun holiday weekend? Look no further than Steubenville in eastern Ohio which has become a mecca for Christmas lovers.
It all began eight years ago with the creation of the Steubenville Nutcracker Village. Starting with just 35 life-sized original nutcrackers depicting characters from literature, art, music, and entertainment, the collection has grown each year, and with the addition of 15 new nutcrackers this season there will be 200 on display 24/7 throughout the historic business district on 4th Street in downtown Steubenville from November 22, 2022 through January 7, 2023. Maps indicating the locations of the Nutcrackers can be obtained at Leonardo’s Coffeehouse (159 N. 4th Street) and the Steubenville Visitor Center (120 S. 3rd Street).
All the nutcrackers are designed and produced locally by the creative elves at Nelson’s of Steubenville. From the characters of the Wizard of Oz to the members of the Rat Pack and a huge variety of figures from history and the professions, the nutcrackers provide excellent opportunities for making family memories and taking selfies. steubenvillenutcrackervillage.com
A number of additional attractions have developed alongside the Nutcracker Village including a Holiday Market and Christmas at the Fort at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center on S. 3rd Street on weekends. The Market is set in the plaza around the 32’ Christmas Tree and features wares from local artisan and crafters as well as food and drink. Some of the famous Nutcrackers stand under a canopy of holiday lights while St. Nicholas strolls along the walkway. New this year, a Forest of Animated Trees will light up the central lawn in the Park. Weekend movies, puppet shows, and rides on the Holly Trolley add to the fun. The reconstructed 18th century Fort Steuben is open for tours at a nominal fee. Inside the Visitor Center, a model train village is on display, work from local artists is for sale, and the Fort Gift Shop is stocked with holiday items as well as books, toys, and souvenirs.oldfortsteuben.net
The downtown streets are decorated with 25 live Christmas trees with a tree decorating competition for local non-profits that viewers can vote for. Students from the local schools have decorated store fronts to enhance the holiday spirit.
The Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County offers a Nutcracker Storywalk among the trees and nutcrackers on 4th Street, so visitors can search for pages and enjoy a seasonal classic while they walk.
The Children’s Corner on 4th & Market Streets will be open on weekends with free crafts, games, performances, and photos with Fr. Christmas.
Leonardo’s Coffeehouse on N. 4th Street will have a Museum of Classical Christmas Masterpieces displayed on their 2nd floor. North 4th Street will also be the site of the German Gluhwein Garden, where visitors can sip on mulled wine in a Bavarian atmosphere. Other shops along the street will have special holiday sales and offerings.
No holiday event is complete without a parade and the Steubenville Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade will process down 4th Street at noon on December 3rd with bands, dancers, and floats to celebrate the season.
Another popular way to join the fun is to participate in the Saint Nicholas Day Lantern Parade that will take place along 4th Street on the evening of December 4th. St. Nicholas and companions will begin at First Westminster Presbyterian Church and lead lantern-bearers, bellringers, angels, and celebrants to the Creche at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, singing hymns and spreading the joy of the Christmas season.
Other holiday events include Christmas concerts and music workshops, a Holiday Hike at Beatty Park, Story Time led by the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County, and Holiday Hayrides.
After a lapse of two years, the original musical production Wooden Heart Follies is returning this season. Created by veteran community theater actors, directors, and playwrights John and Von Holmes, the play brings to life nine nutcrackers, using the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with comic lyrics added. The story begins once upon a time in a magical land called Steubenville, where the mad scientist nutcracker falls in love with his human designer and turns the Nutcracker Village upside down. Audiences will discover whether nutcrackers really do like sugar plums, and whether or not wooden hearts can fall in love. The production will run December 1-4; tickets can be found at woodenheartfollies.com.
For information on these as well as lodging and dining options in Steubenville, contact the Steubenville Visitor Center by phone (740.283.1787), email ([email protected]), or stopping by 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville OH 43952.
Photos and post submitted by
Historic Fort Steuben
120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville OH 43953