Christmas lights, carols, candles, children’s choir concerts and cocoa were some of Medina’s favorite things during the weekend.
Friday marked the beginning of the city’s 31st Candlelight Walk, presented by Main Street Medina, with the lighting of luminarias and a 13-foot Christmas tree in the gazebo on Public Square.
“Friday was really big this year,” Main Street Medina Executive Director Matt Wiederhold said.
The festivities continued Saturday with the Parade of Lights through the historic district and a fireworks show that was held after dark. Wiederhold said not as many people came out for the fireworks Saturday night because of the weather.
“The rain really put a big damper on it,” he said.
New this year was the Christmas Around the World craft show that filled the halls of Medina High School on Saturday and Sunday. The show usually is held at the Medina County Fairgrounds every year the weekend of Thanksgiving, but the organizer, Linda Loveless, said she changed things up this year.
“There’s not as much room here as there is at the fairgrounds, so we don’t have as many vendors, but there are just as many people coming through,” she said.
Christmas Around the World has been a Medina tradition for about 36 years and this year they had nearly 60 vendors. Loveless said she wanted to try having the craft show the same weekend as the Candlelight Walk, since Thanksgiving weekend often is overshadowed by Black Friday shopping at large department stores.
“It’s just a good kickoff to the holiday season and to bring people to Medina,” she said.
Michelle Griffith, of Wellington, was running a booth for Oh My Darling D￩cor, which is a shop she owns that repurposes old items.
“I love talking to people at events like this, because everyone is here buying holiday gifts,” she said. “My favorite part is learning who the shoppers are buying for, and how excited they get when they find the perfect gift.”
Katie Baker traveled from Vermilion to sell her crafts at the event.
“I love seeing people’s expressions when they learn that I craft miniature foods with polymer clay,” she said. “Even if people are not buying from us, we’re adding to the happiness and festiveness of the event, and I love that.”
Another shopping destination during the Candlelight Walk weekend was Root Candles, at 623 W. Liberty St., where the Medina County Farmers Market was set up with 22 vendors and crafters.
“This year was a very good year for us,” said Keith Williams, market manager. “Saturday was probably our best day as a market.”
The people coming in for the market also shopped for candles.
Melissa Fox, the store manager for Root Candles, said “a lot” of candles were sold over the weekend and Root donated 5,000 for the luminarias on the square.
“Everybody loves candles,” she said. “And more people burn candles this time of year.”
Also new this year was a Christmas concert by the St. Francis Youth Choir on Sunday afternoon. About 25 elementary and middle school students sang carols on the square.
“The kids were on board and excited to do it,” said the church’s youth choir director, Marian Fletcher. “It’s a festive way to kick off the season.”