Warm up in Sugarcreek this winter

Light Up Sugarcreek with santa
Randy McKee

During Light Up Sugarcreek, Santa and the missus indeed make and appearance and businesses stay open later to accommodate holiday shoppers. Guests can warm themselves near an open fire and enjoy wassail and other refreshments at one of many local merchants.

The rolling, snow-covered hills of Ohio's Amish Country are dotted with quaint towns and postcard-perfect villages steeped in old-world charm. The region’s scenic spots include areas of outstanding natural beauty even as winter blankets the verdant meadows, forests and farmland.

Visitors to the storybook town of Sugarcreek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio with its Alpine-style downtown will notice the cheese-making heritage brought by Swiss immigrants who settled the area in the early part of the 19th century as it reminded them of their homeland.

With winter comes a slower pace for residents and an optimum time for visitors to explore the village.

“Sugarcreek is the perfect destina-tion for your seasonal adventures,” said Christine Quickel, marketing administrator for the village. “The streets of Swiss Village are lit up with holiday lights and the world’s largest cuckoo clock is draped with greenery. The sound of Swiss music can be heard from the sidewalks as guests stroll along the shops and attractions.”

While fewer visitors find their way to Sugarcreek in the colder months of winter, those who do bask in its relative solitude and the many opportunities afforded to reconnect with friends and family and reminisce about days gone by while creating new memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Discover local bakeries that specialize in enormous, homemade, maple glazed doughnuts or fry pies, a regional snack treat with a crisp, flaky crust you can hold in your hand. Gather round the table at restaurants that specialize in simple roast-ed chicken and homemade Amish noodles served family-style or slow-simmered soups and sandwiches made to order.

The Christmas season has always been a joyous time of fond memories and festive traditions in Sugarcreek. But the village’s Christmas spirit has grown since Light Up Sugarcreek started in 2015.

“We have a downtown committee that starts planning for the holidays many months in advance,” Mayor Clayton Weller said. “We work hard to plan events and decorate the village. We set up a Santa House where children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and offer horse drawn carriage rides through Swiss Village.”

During Light Up Sugarcreek, Santa and the missus indeed make and appearance and businesses stay open later to accommodate holiday shoppers. Guests can warm themselves near an open fire and enjoy wassail and other refreshments at one of many local merchants.

This year’s event falls on Saturday, Dec. 7 and is sponsored by the Village of Sugarcreek and the Sugarcreek Business Association.

Venture away from downtown to enjoy award-winning wines and breathtaking views. “Our numerous locally-owned and operated wineries take immense pride in sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm and hospitality with visitors,” Quickel said.
Award-winning Breitenbach Wine Cellars, Broad Run’s Swiss Heritage Winery and Baltic Mill Winery are all a short and scenic drive from Sugarcreek and offer handcrafted wines in unique settings.

Celebrate the season at the Ohio Star Theater, an intimate, family-friendly venue that showcases musical comedies, concerts and special events on the Dutch Valley campus that also includes the Carlisle Inn, a full-service restaurant and bakery where everything is made fresh each day from savory meals to seasonal pies, breads and cookies.

“During the holiday season, the Ohio Star Theater will host a variety of fabulous shows,” Quickel said. “They feature award-winning contemporary Christian music groups and performances of the timeless holiday favorite, ‘The Nutcracker' when the Holmes County Center for the Arts presents the beloved classic Dec. 14 and Dec. 15.”

Ring in the New Year at the Ohio Star with two shows on Tuesday, Dec. 31 when Party with a Purpose returns to the Ohio Star with Jeff Allen, a Christian comedian who combines side-splitting standup with riveting testimony. Bluegrass band, Southern-Raised made up of three sisters and their brother will join Allen for the event.

Whether you would like to stay in a contemporary hotel, a traditional log cabin, a quaint bed and breakfast or even a vintage train car, Sugarcreek’s innkeepers can accommodate travelers for a night or an extended stay.

“The Dutch Host Inn is offering a special holiday package,” Quickel said. “The package includes a one night stay, full breakfast, and numerous gift items from many of our local stores.”

Visit Sugarcreek online at www.villageofsugarcreek.com or call 330-852-4113 to learn more about the village. Reach them via email at contactus@villageofsugarcreek.com for more information.