Darke County Parks’ annual Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland holiday event saw one of the largest crowds ever on Saturday December 3rd. This was the 9th year Darke County Parks has hosted this public and staff favorite event. Over 700 people made their way through the half mile trail of Shawnee Prairie Preserve lit with nearly 500 luminaries and crisp with the hint of the coming winter on the air. Attendees also enjoyed decorating gingerbread men, delighting in the 14 decorated Christmas trees, and constructing Christmas ornaments in the Nature Center. The Friends of the Darke County Parks Gift Shop was open selling stocking stuffers, Christmas tree ornaments, and much more. St. Nick even stopped in to see what was going on and visit with some good little girls and boys.
At the log house, “200 year old” staff and volunteers welcomed the chilly travelers in true historic style with spiced cider warmed at the hearth and ginger molasses cookies. A mountain dulcimer filled the air with Christmas peace, and even inspired some singing. Upstairs visitors were invited to string popcorn and cranberries to decorate their trees or feed their birds at home. Outside at the blacksmith shop, the anvil rang, and the forged glowed bright.
Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland has proven time and again to be the staff’s favorite event, and this year was no exception.
Roger Van Frank, Director, said, “The weather was perfect. I would like to thank all the volunteers, staff, and public for making this such a successful event yet again.” If you missed it this year, next year will be the 10th annual and will be held the first Saturday in December 2017. The staff is already planning to make it extra special with an extended trail and new activities. The Darke County Park District staff wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Did you know? Santa said he had “never gotten so many requests for farms, fields, or farm equipment before” as he passed out candy canes to the children of Darke County.