Canton, OH-The second week-end in November kicks off the holiday season in Canton, Ohio with two much-anticipated seasonal events. Celebrating its 41st year, the Christkindl Markt, sponsored by Canton Museum of Art affiliate group the Canton Fine Arts Associates, features art and fine craft vendors from both the northeast Ohio region and out of state. The holiday extravaganza ‘Old Fashion Christmas,’ it its fifth year, brings the variety show back to the Canton Palace Theatre stage.
Events such as these bring visitors to Canton for more than just the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in the summer months. This year, the motor coach group tourism industry has discovered what downtown Canton has to offer for holiday tours. “The organizers of ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ had a vision to make the event a destination for the holiday season.
Many passionate persons shared resources and contacts, plus spent time and energy making this happen in 2011,” stated Laurie Fife Harbert, OFCC public relations consultant. “We are excited that the motor coach companies were as happy to hear about the event as we were to present it to them.”
Country Coach Adventures and Ohio Travel Treasures have scheduled nearly 20 buses to participate in events on November 10 in downtown Canton. “Now that the Carousel Dinner Theatre has closed, we are thrilled to have ‘Old Fashioned Canton Christmas’ to promote to our customers. This is a new and exciting theater event to draw groups to Ohio,” stated Carol Glessner of Country Coach Adventures. “We also love the fact that the proceeds from the show go to good causes,” Glessner said, referring to the percentage of ticket sales benefiting local Stark County non-profits organizations each year. Tickets are $20 and will be available for sale at the Canton Palace Theatre this summer!
Group Tour Operators, However, are able to reserve their tickets early by contacting the organization’s receptive operators at Country Coach Adventures and Ohio Travel Treasures.
Tour busses will bring visitors from throughout Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina to Canton. In addition to the holiday events, tourism dollars will be spread throughout the restaurant and hospitality business in the area. Fife Harbert and Glessner both hope to see more Canton area attractions become involved. “This is a great start to a lot of future tour groups coming to Canton,” Glessner stated.
Festive and colorful, the Christkindl Market spans November 9-11. Area residents have long known this event to be THE place to do one’s holiday gift shopping. Customers from a bit farther away this year will have the opportunity to partake in Canton’s long-standing holiday gift-buying tradition, as 10 tour buses will be arriving at the Christkindl Markt on November 10. “Held in the Cultural Center for the Arts, this important Canton Museum of Art fundraiser features glassware, jewelry, pottery, paintings, metal sculpture, photography, floral arrangements and holiday items,” stated CMA Marketing and Development Manager Mary Byrne. Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the door and may be purchased by calling 330-453-7666.
To further encourage Canton as a holiday destination, a by invitation only ‘meet and greet’ will be held between the matinee and evening shows of ‘Old Fashion Christmas.’ Sponsored by ArtsinStark and the Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, this gathering will bring together Canton’s movers and shakers involved in promoting the city and executives from the motor coach companies. Networking and idea sharing will take place to promote Canton for the holidays and for future tour group events.
‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ organizers hope to get more local organizations and attractions involved in future years. Canton area establishments holding holiday events in 2012 and beyond may contact them through the website at www.cantonchristmas.com. Plans are also in the works by OFCC organizers for a USO-themed show in Canton in July.