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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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24th annual holiday parade set for Nov. 19 in downtown Toledo
The Blade 24th Annual Holiday Parade Presented by Taylor Automotive Group will step off at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 in downtown Toledo.

Co-grand marshals for this year’s parade will be the University of Toledo women’s basketball team, and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Diego.

The parade will feature giant helium balloons, a 32-foot long North Pole Train, marching bands, equestrian units, antique vehicles, Zenobia Shrines, the Distinguished Clown Corps and, of course, Santa Claus.

The parade will being at the intersection of Summit and Jefferson, travel down Summit, proceed left onto Jackson, turn up Huron and end at Monroe.

Immediately following the parade will be the official opening of Kris Kringle Village at Imagination Station. The village will include more than 40 gingerbread houses on display, along with a 12-foot gingerbread Santa house. Those who visit Santa after the parade will receive a free photo. Admission is free Nov. 19 for kids 12 and under who live in Lucas County.


Bench’s winter wonderland
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Bench’s Greenhouse & Nursery in Elmore.

As they have since 2004, the garden center and greenhouse have been transformed into a winter wonderland featuring more than 200 decorated theme trees, more than 10,000 ornaments and 200,000 lights.

During this growing season, much of the over three acres of production space is utilized to produce poinsettias in red and a variety of colors custom painted by Donald Bench Jr.

Exciting changes are on the horizon at Bench’s Greenhouse & Nursery for 2012, according to Jill Bench. Fairy Gardens – pint sized plantings perfect for window gardens and patios, will be the primary focus of the new miniature department. A Fairy Garden seminar will be held as part of the annual “Let’s Grow” free seminar series in April 2012.

Those looking for a unique holiday gift idea for gardeners should consider the Bench’s 2010 Super Saver t-shirts. Wearers receive 10 percent off all plant purchases in 2012 every time they wear their shirts to the store. Shirts are $10 (larger sizes slightly more).

Bench’s is located at 18063 W. SR 105, Elmore.


Parade set in E. Toledo
The annual East Toledo Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.

The parade will being at Ravine and East Broadway, and continue to Starr Avenue on to Main Street. To register, call Denny Fairchild at 419-693-9517.


Olde Fashioned Christmas fun
With a little help from his friends, Santa will arrive in Oak Harbor Dec. 3.

At 4:15pm Santa’s friends from the Portage District Fire Department will be guiding him through the streets of the village as he opens the 2011 holiday season. At 4:45 p.m., Santa will light the large Christmas tree, located in Adolphus Kraemer Park.

From 5 to 7 p.m., children will have the opportunity to share their Christmas wish lists with Santa at the Portage Fire Station. After their visit with Santa, the children can enjoy hot cocoa and a cookie and design their own packaging for the two special gifts they can select for their loved ones from Santa’s Secret Shop, which will be located upstairs in the fire station.

Santa will also be at the Log Cabin from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec 9 and 16. For more information, call the chamber office at 419-898-0479.


Wildlife open houses 
A trio of holiday open houses will make the season bright Sunday, Dec. 4 from noon to 5 p.m.

The Sportsman’s Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, 13229 W. SR 2, near Oak Harbor, will be decorated for the holidays, complete with a warm fire and live holiday music by the Twisted Strands. Cookies and fudge will be available for purchase, and local vendors will be selling jewelry, pottery, soaps, carvings, photography and more. The Friends of Magee Marsh bookstore will feature assorted nature items for sale. There will also be refreshments, kids’ crafts and more.

At the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, a winter walk is planned for those who want to explore the wildlife area. Afterward, warm up by the fire and browse unique gifts from the gift shop including Blue Goose Christmas ornaments.

At the Black Swamp Observatory, sample a Taste of Ottawa County with foods, coffee and treats for sale. Several authors will be on hand to sign books, and the gift shop will be open for holiday shopping.

Those who attend all three open houses will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket. For more information, call Mary at 419-898-0960, ext. 31.


Ottawa Co. Helping Hand Toy Drive
The holidays will be a little brighter for families in need, thanks to the Ottawa County Helping Hand Toy Drive, a collaborative effort of The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots “Weapons Company 1/24” and Ottawa County Holiday Bureau.

Through this collaboration, last year nearly 6,000 toys were distributed to children in Ottawa County. “This year, we anticipate serving a minimum of 1,900 children countywide,” said Maureen M. Saponari, director, The Salvation Army. “The toy collection boxes will be out in our local stores, churches, banks and businesses through Dec.12. All toys collected will stay in Ottawa County and serve our local residents in need.”

Those who would like to help may drop off new unwrapped toy donations in one of the drop boxes or call the Salvation Army at 419-732-ARMY (2769).


Grant assists fathers
A free, father-centered program is being offered to help men develop healthy, lasting relationships with their children.

Fatherhood Connections, available to fathers in Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca and Hancock counties, is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children with families.

Fathers from all walks of life – custodial and non-custodial, stepfathers, fathers-to-be and others – regardless of economic status can participate in the program, however, priority will be given to fathers who have been or are eligible for assistance through the Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program.

The program provides services such as job development, financial education, life skills and other basic and occupational skills, economic stability training and domestic violence education. The program will also refer those who may need other services provided by local organizations.

For more information, in Wood County, call Joel Burg at 419-422-3679, ext. 1444 or 419-353-7407 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In Sandusky, Ottawa and Seneca counties, call George Dupey at 1-800-775-9767 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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