Here’s every holiday activity in Portage County that we know about (updated Dec. 12)

Photo by Wonderlane

If you have events to add to this list, let us know at We’ll update it every few days and share the link in the newsletter on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Lighting extravaganza

Brimfield Township and the Brimfield Historical Society are partnering to provide a community lighting extravaganza from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28.

Walk or drive through a holiday lighting display on the grounds of the Brimfield Historical Society, 4158 State Route 43, while learning about community groups and local businesses.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance in the big red barn, and a D.J. will provide holiday music. Parents are welcome to take photos of their young ones with Santa. The event is free and no registration is required.

Second Annual Tour of Lights

The Parks and Rec Department is also organizing the township’s Second Annual Tour of Lights. The department will post a map on its website, Enjoy driving around the township to view 19 houses which will be identified with yard signs sponsored by Hometown Bank. 

Votes for winning displays may be cast Nov. 28 – Dec. 5. Find the link on the Parks and Rec Department website or social media pages. First, second, and third prize winners will be announced Dec. 6. Meijer is sponsoring the prizes, which are… more lights.

The first place winner will also receive a photo plaque and proceed to the Portage County township lighting competition. There, they will compete with winners from Franklin, Suffield, Randolph, and Rootstown townships for an additional prize.

Fill A Cruiser Toy Drive

Brimfield Police Department will host a Fill a Cruiser event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Walmart in Brimfield. New, unwrapped presents are needed.

Santa delivery

The Brimfield Fire Department is holding its annual Santa delivery. Parents may drop off gifts for their children at the fire department. The BFD, with Santa leading the way, will deliver the gifts on Dec. 18 and 19.


Christmas Decorating Contest

Registration is ongoing for Charlestown’s Second Annual Christmas Decorating Contest. Register on Facebook at ‘Charlestown Activity Committee’ or email Participants should be prepared to provide their name and address.

Judging will take place Dec. 4. There will be three $100 prizes: one for most traditional, one for most spectacular and one for most unique.

Parents who want Santa to deliver a gift to their children should drop off the gift at 7 p.m. any Monday evening at the fire station. The last opportunity to drop off gifts is Dec. 6. Each gift should be wrapped and marked with the child’s name, age and address. Santa will make his rounds on the township fire truck starting at 5 p.m. Dec. 11.


Cookies with Santa

The Freedom Community & Park Boosters in Freedom Township is hosting Cookies with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 1-4 p.m. at the Freedom Town Hall, 8966 St. Rt. 700, Ravenna. The event is free and open to everyone. There will be cookies, hot chocolate and cider, and goody bags and a craft for kids while supplies last.

Organizers will be accepting donations of canned or non-perishable food items for the Garrettsville Nelson Food Cupboard at the event.


Christmas celebration

Garrettsville will host its annual Christmas celebration at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at the clocktower by the police station. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. on a fire truck. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. After the tree lighting, Mrs. Claus will read stories to children at the Cellar Door Coffee. Co., 8138 Water St.


Festival of Lights

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the gazebo at the corner of Franklin Ave and East Main Street in downtown Kent at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. to help light up the city’s decorations. The Theodore Roosevelt High School ACEs choir will perform in the gazebo starting at 5:30 p.m. The celebration will continue at the KSU Hotel & Conference Center where children can line up to meet Santa.

Kent Free Library Concert Series

Northeast Ohio duo Tina Bergmann and Bryan Thomas, will play holiday music on hammered dulcimer and bass instruments on the second floor balcony of the Kent Free Library Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Holiday Music Story Time

The Kent Free Library is hosting a sing along for families with kids of all ages on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

Kent Chorus Holiday Concert

The Kent Chorus will hold its holiday concert Saturday at 3 p.m. in KSU’s Cartwright Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Holiday Concert

The Stan Hywet Goodyear Concert Band and the Supertonics flute ensemble will perform holiday music at The United Methodist Church of Kent at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

Kent Story Walk, Christmas edition

The featured story on the downtown story walk will be Dragon’s Merry Christmas until Dec. 27. Participants can explore downtown Kent while collecting pieces of Dragon’s story. Maps are available at Kent Natural Foods Co-Op or online.

Mantua Village

Fill A Cruiser Toy Drive

The Mantua Police Department will host its first Fill A Cruiser Toy Drive from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Please donate toys at the new Dollar General store in Mantua Village.

Go see Santa

Santa’s coming to town at noon Saturday, Dec. 4. He’ll be in temporary residence at the Mantua Village Green until 4 p.m. The Crestwood Choir will be caroling from noon to 3 p.m. Participants can help decorate a large Christmas tree which will be at the Green.


Breakfast With Santa

The Paris Township Fire Department will host Breakfast With Santa from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 18. Pancakes with biscuits and gravy will be served, and children will have special one-on-one time with Santa. Each child will receive a gift.

A Grinchly guest will also make an appearance from 10-11:30 a.m.

Tickets are available at the Paris Fire Department. Cost is $8 presale or $10 at the door.

The fire department is accepting new, unwrapped gifts for the event. Gifts may be dropped off at the fire department from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Southeast Music Boosters Holiday bazaar

There will be a holiday bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at Southeast High School. The bazaar will feature over 50 vendors and music performances all day. Southeast band and choir students will be performing from noon to 4 p.m.


Christmas Walk

The Portage County Historical Society will host its first annual Christmas Walk from 4-7 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the historical society grounds, 6549 N. Chestnut St., Ravenna. The event is $10 per person or $20 for families. There will be music, light refreshments, tours of all the outbuildings and door prizes. 


Light Up Rootstown

There are only a few days left to sign up for Light Up Rootstown, a house decorating contest open to all Rootstown Township residents. To register, please visit Rootstown Light Up Night on Facebook.

Houses must be located in Rootstown Township. No professional displays are permitted. The sign up deadline is Sunday, Nov. 28, and judging will take place Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Judging will be done by the community via a link on Facebook. Winners will be announced Dec. 4 during Rootstown Light Up Night at the Township Hall. 

Lights will be turned on at 7 p.m., and families can enjoy music, children’s activities, treats and visits with Santa. A visiting food truck will also sell hot chocolate and coffee. A big Santa mailbox will be located at the old Rootstown post office next door so children can bring their letters to Santa. Santa will answer every letter, according to event organizers.

First, second and third place winners will receive gift baskets filled with goodies from local businesses. Light Up Rootstown’s grand prize winner will also receive a trophy and will advance to the Portage County township lighting competition. There, they will compete with winners from Brimfield, Franklin, Suffield, Randolph and Atwater townships for an additional prize.

Light Up Rootstown is sponsored by the Rootstown Chamber of Commerce, Bill Stevens, Rose Stevens, Jordan Michael, Nick Schneckenburger, and John Michael, all of whom have been instrumental in imbuing Rootstown with holiday spirit.

The event is 100% funded by donations, so the Light Up Rootstown committee wishes to thank all who have generously donated their time and treasure.


Holiday potluck

The Shalersville Township Historical Society will host a holiday potluck at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at the township hall. No reservations are required: just bring a dish to share.


Lighting ceremony

The annual holiday lighting ceremony will take place at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 on the Square.

Heritage Foundation Holiday Open House

The Heritage Foundation of Streetsboro is holding a Holiday Open House at Singletary Museum on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. Adults and children can craft old-fashioned Christmas decorations and refreshments will be provided. The museum is located behind the Walmart on Singletary Drive.

Windham Township

House decorating contest

Township residents are invited to participate in a holiday house decorating contest. First prize is $100, second is $75, third is $50, and two honorable mentions of $25 each.

Parade of lights

Residents are invited to decorate a vehicle, bike, four-wheeler, golf-cart or riding mower to join the Seventh Annual Parade of Lights on Dec. 12. Participants are asked to line up at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Maple Grove Road and North Main Street. The parade will step off at 6 p.m. and travel down North Main and East Center streets, ending up at the Windham Community Center, 9621 E. Center St. Call the Windham Utility Office at 330-326-2622, ext. 221 if you want to participate in the parade.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will take up temporary residence from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the community center. The ceremonial Lighting of the Village Green will take place, and light refreshments will be served.


The Windham Police Department will hold a Fill-a-Cruiser event from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 4 at the Dollar General store, 9132 North Main Street. Brighten someone’s Christmas with a donation of toys and stocking stuffers (new and unwrapped), cash, winter gear (new), or gift certificates or gift cards.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.

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