Christmas caroling on a horse-drawn wagon, a decorated Victorian farmhouse, visits with Santa – it’s all part of the annual “Christmas on Hoover Farm” event set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“We are in our third decade of providing a Christmas celebration for our community,” said Ann Haines, Hoover Historical Center operations coordinator.
“Of course, initially, we were a part of The Hoover Company. But Walsh University – as the proud steward of the Hoover homestead since 2004 – continues this tradition, not only to extend the philanthropy Hoover practiced, but also with the spirit of community and giving to others which thrives throughout our campus.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus (Joe and Connie Faust of Hartville) will be available throughout the afternoon Sunday to greet children of all ages. Center staff will be on hand to take family photos with the family camera, while harpist Francesca Indorf of North Canton will delight all with Christmas melodies.
Ladies in vintage attire will be baking cookies in an old-fashioned stove. These volunteers and those assisting guests throughout the afternoon were scheduled through volunteer coordinator Marlene Senter of North Canton.
Homemade cookies and hot chocolate will be provided in the adjacent Tannery Building by a refreshment committee of bakers and hostesses chaired by Nancy Tyburski of North Canton.
There is no admission or parking fee to attend. However, tickets are $3 per person for Christmas caroling through Hoover Park on a horse-drawn wagon. Rides are available until 4 p.m., but ticket sales will end earlier, determined by attendance.
Raffle tickets will be sold for the 30 gingerbread houses made by North Canton Girl Scouts that will be display throughout the house. An additional free raffle will be held for a center T-shirt, and volunteers will be available to assist with purchases from the center’s Gift Shoppe.
It takes a village, of sorts, to provide Christmas elegance throughout the Hoover family homestead for visitors to enjoy.
Each year several groups from North Canton and surrounding areas donate decorations and volunteer their time to put them up. Each group chooses an area of the home to decorate and then selects their theme or color scheme.
The 2012 volunteers include students and staffers from Walsh Habitat for Humanity Student Organization and Walsh Campus Ministry; members of The Herb Society at the Hoover Historical Center; members of the Glen Oak High School Key Club, Hoover High School National Honor Society and The Junior League of Stark County.
In mid-December, each group returns to take the decorations down and donates them to area organizations or local families in need. For example, Walsh students will be donating their tree and décor to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for auction, while The Junior League will be donating their equestrian-themed decorations to Solid Rock Therapeutic Center.
Haines said the wonderfully exhausting annual event uses more than 80 volunteers, including those who helped with the decorations, and typically attracts about 500 visitors (last year it was 600).
“It’s so exciting to come in here early that day to make sure everything is prepared for our guests, then it’s thrilling to see all the community support we receive. It’s wonderful to be part of such a unique afternoon,” she said.
The Hoover Historical Center is located at 1875 E. Maple St. in North Canton inside Walsh University’s Hoover Park and across the street from the university’s main campus. For more information call 330-499-0287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.