The Shawnee State Lodge is one of the area’s hottest spots, especially when it comes to tourism. People from all over visit to get away from the world, immerse themselves in the historic state park, and engage in all the offerings the area has to relax and enjoy nature. This time of year is no different, as they welcome thousands to the halls that showcase 45 lit trees that have been decorated in partnership with social groups and garden clubs.
“This season is always magical and you can’t find anything like it. As soon as you walk through the front doors, it takes your breath away,” Shawnee State Lodge’s Terry Stevens said. “It helps if you’re having a bad day by brightening it up and it is nice getting to work out here when the place is decorated the way it is.”
Stevens said that the seasonal decorations will attract thousands over the holidays.
“It just puts people in the Christmas spirit. It seems like almost every day we see a new photographer here taking family photos,” Stevens said. “The creativity is like no other.”
Stevens said that the Lodge crew and the garden clubs have worked well together for 32 years.
“It’s great. They’re easy to work with and open to suggestions,” Stevens explained. “They’re talented and they work very hard. They go nonstop, once they come in to decorate.”
Stevens has been with the Lodge for nearly 20 years and sees a massive benefit with having it available.
“It brings a lot of people into the area that otherwise may not. People may not realize how many people visit the area for the lodge and state park,” Stevens said. “A lot of our traffic comes from the Cincinnati and Columbus areas, especially in the summer and holiday seasons.”
Stevens says that, while they have a restaurant and amenities onsite, the group always shares the love with the surrounding area.
“We always give recommendations on restaurants and shops and where to visit once they’ve hit the town. Even though we have a restaurant here, we will suggest other notable places,” Stevens said. “I just think that, all together, with the Lodge, Winterfest, the Christmas Caves, and everything else this town has to offer come the holiday season, that the area is just a great place to visit.”
An open house will be held December 4 for the community to enjoy between noon and three. The garden clubs will have volunteers there, around 20 vendors will be present, entertainment, dance crews and choirs, Santa, free cookies and hot chocolate, and even a pay buffet.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved