Glittering Christmas trees, holiday music, colorful lights, St. Nicholas, and over 200 unique large-as-life Nutcrackers offer dozens of photo opportunities and memorable moments during the annual Steubenville Nutcracker VillageTM in Steubenville, Ohio, which runs from November 24 through January 6, 2024.
Now celebrating its eighth year of bringing joy and laughter to hundreds of visitors, the free event has become a holiday tradition for many. The stars of the Nutcracker Village are the uniquely designed, locally produced, larger-than-life Nutcrackers that depict characters from literature, history, movies, entertainment, and the professions. Although the Nutcrackers are on display 24/7, the event becomes more magical on weekends when numerous activities are added to the excitement.
“We have people coming from as far away as Florida and Canada, as well as our local residents who return every weekend,” explains Judy Bratten, Director of the Steubenville Visitor Center.
“The Steubenville Cultural Trust, which created each of these delightful Nutcrackers, also has developed a variety of activities that appeal to a wide audience, from a Nutcracker Viennese Ball to a Nutcracker Tea, Advent Market, Hayrides, the Children’s Corner, a Christmas Tree Decorating Contest, a Gluhwein Garden, and a St. Nicholas Lantern Parade. There’s even a Yellow Brick Road for the Wizard of Oz Nutcrackers.”
Bratten noted that other groups and organizations in the community have joined in presenting even more things to do while visiting the Nutcrackers, which are located throughout the Historic Downtown area. A Sound & Light Show on the Jefferson County Courthouse on Market Street will be presented by the County Commissioners and will open the season on Tuesday, Nov. 21, for Steubenville Lights Up, which continues each weekend until Christmas.
A Holiday Market in Fort Steuben Park features more than a dozen booths of artisan crafters surrounding the 30’ Christmas tree with two model trains chugging around its limbs. On weekends there are Trolley Rides, puppet shows, movies, live entertainment, and St. Nicholas. Visitors stroll by Nutcrackers through a canopy of multi-colored lights and music to enter the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, the site of the Steubenville Art Association Art Sale, Letters to Santa, Model Train Village, and Christmas Shoppe. The reconstructed 18th-century Historic Fort Steuben is open for a small donation.
The Public Libraries of Steubenville and Jefferson County set up a holiday-themed StoryWalk along 4th Street, and downtown shops will offer special Christmas products including locally produced Nutcracker Popcorn and roasted Renaissance Coffee. Students from area schools have decorated many of the storefronts, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosts the Sanctuary Garden.
The annual Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade with floats, dance troupes, and bands will process down 4th Street at noon on December 2. The Grand Theater – a historic building in the midst of restoration – will be open that day for tours. Historic Beatty Park – a nature preserve just a few blocks from the downtown – will offer a live nativity, children’s activities, and Santa Claus at their Christmas in the Park event, also on December 2.
A Children’s Lantern Parade with St. Nicholas leading the youngsters in song as they process to the Sanctuary Garden will be held on Sunday evening, December 3.
Concerts, art exhibits, and other programs are on the schedule at various venues in the downtown. For more information on all the holiday attractions, go to www.VisitSteubenville.com or www.SteubenvilleNutcrackerVillage.com.