County roundup: Christmas festivals and news from Freedom, Mantua, Hiram, Garrettsville and Windham

Village of Mantua

A Merry Evening in the Village will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Spend a pleasant evening in the Village of Mantua enjoying the holiday spirit. Shops in will be decorated, stocked with Christmas items and open until 8 p.m.

When you are not shopping, the local restaurants will be offering food specials. The Crestwood High School choir will sing Christmas carols. Inside the Restoration 44 Coffee Shop, the Crestwood band will hold a cookie walk to raise money for its trip to perform at Walt Disney World in February. The Farmers and Makers Market, with over 20 vendors, will be set up in the basement of the Granary building on Prospect Street from 5 to 8 p.m. with some unique Christmas gift options. The Mantua Rotary Club is holding a Decorated Christmas Tree Auction, and all the trees will be on display that night. Be sure to put in your bids to add one or more of these lovely trees to your home Sunday, Dec. 10 when the Rotary Club members will personally deliver them to your door.

If that isn’t enough to get you in the holiday spirit, you can reserve a $10 ticket to ride around town in a horse-drawn carriage, starting at the Granary building. There will be a limited number of seats available to buy that night, and purchasing seats in advance is the only way to guarantee a spot (only 210 spots are available). Reserve a ticket here.

People are encouraged to park for free in the Compass Packaging Parking lot on High Street, at Advanced Rehab on Mill Street or at the Headwaters Trailhead behind McDonald’s. Golf cart rides will be available for those with mobility difficulties. Parking on the street is limited and not legal in all areas.

For more information, follow the Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce’s current Facebook page. It is the one with the picture of the Village Green Mural by Five Five Media. You can also call Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce president Randy Ellis at 330-414-8212.

The annual Fill-a-Cruiser toy drive will be from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. A police car will be parked at the Dollar General at 10600 Main St., and you can drop off unwrapped toys or make a cash donation. It is to benefit needy children in Mantua. Up until Dec. 10, you can donate a toy or make a donation either at Dollar General or the Mantua Village Police Department at 4650 W. High St.

Mantua Township

The Mantua Township trustees are seeking commercial landscape companies to bid on the 2024-25 lawn service contract for lawn maintenance at all township properties and cemeteries. Legal ads and invitations to bid will be sent out in January and advertised in local news publications. Bids will be open at the Thursday, Feb. 1 trustees meeting. Any interested party can preview the lawn service contract information at

The trustees will be looking for township residents who want to be involved in its local government and make a difference. There are openings for alternates to the Mantua Township Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Anyone interested should send a letter of interest in serving to: Mantua Township Fiscal Officer, P.O. Box 841 Mantua, OH 44255.

The township trustees will have their last meeting of the year Tuesday, Dec. 26 at the Town Hall. Legal ads will be sent out in a couple of weeks. The last regular meeting scheduled for 2023 will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Town Hall at 4196 Twinsburg Warren Rd. The meeting is open to the public.

Mantua Township has had a wonderful 2023, officials said. The township is growing and there have been many wonderful improvements throughout the community. The trustees wish everyone everywhere a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Village of Hiram

Hiram Village Council passed legislation to institute speed cameras. These speed cameras will be administered by police officers rather than the stand-alone speed cameras.

“One of the problems we’ve seen in our community is people driving through Hiram Village at a very high rate of speed,” Mayor Lou Bertrand said. “This will start probably sometime next year. If you get a ticket, it’s a civil charge and not a criminal charge.”

The village’s machinery to pick up leaves raked to the street by residents is broken, so Village Council hired an independent contractor to pick up the leaves before the snow arrives.

The annual Shop with a Cop will be from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

“We’ve been doing this with Garrettsville for years,” Bertrand said. “The schools give us the names of families in which the children are really not going to have a Christmas. The police departments take the kids and their parents to Target in Streetsboro to buy the youngsters clothes and other things.”

Hiram Township

Hiram Township passed a resolution to stop commercial wind and solar farms.


The annual Breakfast Bowl with Santa will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 at SkyLane Bowling at 8311 Windham St. There will be a breakfast buffet, you get to bowl for two hours and you get to meet Santa Claus. The menu will consist of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, orange juice and coffee. The fees are $18 for adults and $14 for children aged 10 and under.

The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Christmas Mingle at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4 at the Sky Lounge inside SkyLane Bowling at 8311 Windham St. Garrettsville business owners are invited to enjoy appetizers, rigatoni and salad.

“The prime objective is to try to get some new people in the area to come out, let us tell them what we do and what the Chamber can do for them as a business owner,” Chamber board of directors member Aaron King said.

The 23rd annual Christmas tree lighting took place Nov. 25 downtown. The Garrettsville High School choir performed, and Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived via a fire truck. Hot chocolate and cookies were provided by McDonald’s as they are every year.

“We had a lot of people down there, probably more than 400,” Mayor Rick Patrick said. “It just keeps gradually growing.”

Village of Windham

The annual Parade of Lights downtown will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10 downtown. Participants can decorate their vehicles with anything Christmas-y and make floats if they like. The parade will start at 6 p.m. at the Dollar General at 9132 N. Main St. Afterwards at the Windham Community Center at 9621 E. Center St. there will be photos with Santa Claus plus hot dogs, hot chocolate, cookies and kids’ crafts.

The annual Windham Police and Fire Departments’ Fill a Cruiser for needy children will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Dollar General at 9132 N. Main St. New, unwrapped toys and monetary donations will be accepted. For more information, call the police department at 330-326-2212.

The Windham Fire Department hosted its annual turkey raffle Nov. 20. There were 35 turkeys and 15 hams given out as well as door prizes.

Windham Township

The Windham Township trustees made a motion to request a search warrant on a house at 9096 State Route 303. They sent evidence backing the motion to the Portage County prosecutor demonstrating the conditions of the vacant property are deplorable, clearing the way for demolition and cleanup of the land. The property has high vegetation, among other issues.

“We’d like to have the Portage County Land Bank take the property over and clean it,” township Chair Rich Gano said.


Cookies with Santa will be from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Freedom Town Hall at 8966 State Route 700. They will have free cookies, cider and hot chocolate with Santa. Children can have their pictures taken with Santa as well. A limited number of craft and goodie bags will be given out to the kids. Bring nonperishable food items for the Garrettsville Nelson Food Cupboard. The event is sponsored by the Freedom Community Park Boosters.

The Asbury Road culvert replacement is scheduled to begin Monday, Dec. 4.

Roger Gordon
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