Shawnee State Park Lodge will be hosting their annual Christmas open house, Sunday Dec. 4, beginning at 11 a.m.
Located at 4404 B State Route 125 in West Portsmouth, the lodge will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the open house and the special Christmas displays. Each year, garden clubs from throughout the region gather at the lodge to decorate and celebrate the season.
Each year the responsibility of coordinating the event is rotated from one garden club to another, and this year went to the Minford Garden Club.
There are over 60 trees on display, 43 trees of various sizes and decorated thematically and 23 others.
“We buy around 35,000 new lights each year for the trees and the decorations,” said the lodge’s General Manager Robin McIntire. “Not only do they decorate the trees, but they do the railings, the mezzanine, they do garlands and bows, handmade ornaments.”
The decoration is done on an all-volunteer basis and typically takes around two days to complete. Over the past few years, the garden clubs have recruited National Honor society students to assist in the project.
“It’s a feeling that’s really hard to describe, just watching them all work together, I could never tell them in words how much they’re appreciated for all that they do,” said McIntire. “The employees jump right in to help them as well. It’s kind of like a big family on that Monday and Tuesday when the decorations start to go up.”
According to McIntire, in years previous, the open house has seen as many as 1,200 guests and she hopes that the attendance will continue.
The lodge will offer complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Buffet meals can also be purchased during the visit.
A variety of vendors will be set-up offering locally made hand-crafted items. Kings Daughter Medical Center will also be set up, Melissa Sarver and her group will be providing a healthy snack for guests. None other than Santa Claus himself will also be in attendance.
In addition, there will be entertainment acts throughout the evening like the Portsmouth West High School Choir, a clogging group from Adams County, a drumming group from Portsmouth and more.
For more information about the open house, please call 740-858-6621, you can also visit www.shawneeparklodge.com or Facebook, Shawnee State Park Lodge.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.