When it comes to decorating for the holiday season, the general rule is the more people involved the merrier. The many community groups that come together every November is what truly makes Walsh University’s Hoover Historical Center a special place for the holidays.
By Thanksgiving of every year and in plenty of time for the annual “Christmas on Hoover Farm,” volunteers will have the Hoover home dressed up in holiday glory.
Each year several groups from North Canton and surrounding areas donate decorations and volunteer their time to put up the decorations, including nine trees, window wreaths, swags on the fence and other festive adornments. The volunteers come from several community service groups, including members of The Herb Society, The Junior League of Stark County, Campus Ministry from Walsh University, students from GlenOak Key Club and the .
Each group selects an area of the home to decorate and then selects their theme or color scheme. Members will buy or bring items to decorate their designated area. In mid-December, each group returns to take the decorations down and donates them to local families in need.
“We don’t have an overall decorating plan, instead we give every group freedom to decorate according to what they have access to,” said Ann Haines, operations coordinator.
“For example, this year the Junior League is decorating a tree in the guest parlor, The Herb Society decorated a tree in the family parlor. The GlenOak Key Club decorated two trees and one is in gold and green colors to represent their school,” she said.
Haines said by letting each group select their own themes, the Hoover House is decorated differently every year. And, by taking the decorations down in mid-December, families that receive them still have time to put them up at their homes.
Only two trees are traditional — the Hoover tree and the tree. Over the next week or so, the students in the museum studies program at Walsh will decorate the outside with window wreaths and the grounds crew from Walsh will put the swags on the fence.
One of the newest additions to the holiday look will be several holiday paintings on loan from (inside the ) displayed in the former family dining room. It’s the same room where Santa Claus will greet visitors during the Center’s free “Christmas on Hoover Farm” event (1 p.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 4). Visitors can bring cameras to take pictures of their children with Santa.
There will be a harpist playing holiday music. Plus, horse-drawn wagon rides will be available during the event for $3 per person. There will be volunteers dressed in vintage attire baking cookies and serving hot chocolate throughout the day. The annual event uses more than 100 volunteers, including those who helped with the decorations.
Maggie Carlson, a student in the Museum Studies program at Walsh University, is an intern at the Hoover Historical Center and helped with decorations this year.
“The Hoover Historical Center is all about tradition and I’m enjoying being a part of that tradition,” Carlson said.
“The entire community is involved in either decorating or helping at the events or coming to enjoy the events. Walsh is the only university in the midwest that offers museum studies and I love the program and love being here,” she said.
Anyone interested in helping with decorating the Hoover Historical Center or in donating decorative items should call Ann Haines at 330-244-4667. It’s never too soon to call because they can start planning a year in advance for next year’s holiday season.
“The Hoover Historical Center is a great legacy for Stark County, as is Walsh University. It’s a pleasure to be associated with them. Not only do they support the Center, they continue to service those in need in the county through their service learning program,” Haines said.
What: Christmas on Hoover Farm
Where: 1875 E. Maple St. in North Canton
Who: Free family Christmas event sponsored by Walsh University
When: 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 4
Cost: Free admission for all events except the horse-drawn carriage rides, which cost $3 per person.
More information: Call 330-244-4667 or visit www.walsh.edu/hooverhistoricalcent.htm.