German Village Gazette

Festive atmosphere surrounds Village Lights

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Lights, cameras and, certainly, action will await patrons at this year's Village Lights.

More than 1,000 luminarias will guide visitors through German Village streets and Santa will pose for pictures at Raffensberger Photography & Framing, which has been in the area at two different addresses for 19 years.

Jpeg images and prints will be available for between $7 and $15.

"My goal for 2013 was to meet more of the community," said Neal Raffensberger, owner of the shop at 347 E. Livingston Ave.

"Village Lights gives me a chance to do just that by offering pictures with Santa," Raffensberger said.

"The picture with Santa is a keepsake, a memento, from the evening spent enjoying Village Lights, all the businesses and the joy of the holidays in German Village."

Village Lights -- organizers say this is its 10th year -- will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 1.

"Village Lights is a central Ohio tradition and we can't wait to welcome our visitors to experience the magic," said Shiloh Todorov, director of the German Village Society.

"I am crossing fingers and toes for a light snowfall that evening."

As with previous years, food and drink will be a major attraction.

Many stores will be offering light refreshments. Scrambler Marie's will sell hot chocolate for $3 each in front of Mary B's on Kossuth Street and St. Mary Catholic Church on Third Street. Proceeds will benefit the German Village Society.

Local favorite Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, also a sponsor of Village Lights, will bring its mega food truck to the platz of the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St., the site of Striezelmarkt.

The open-air market will feature a number of vendors who will sell gifts, offer samples and provide information about their businesses.

Among other attractions, a horse-drawn carriage, presented by German Village Chiropractic, will be available for rides.

Buddy the Elf, also known as local insurance agent Bryce Sanborn, will pose for pictures at German Village Insurance.

Greg Gamier, president of the German Village Business Community, said the event unofficially kicks off the holiday season in central Ohio.

The Village has a diversity of boutiques, shops and restaurants, which will be offering discounts and special attractions.

"There's certainly a lot of shopping to be done," said Gamier, co-owner of Village Pet Supply, which will be selling holiday-themed dog toys at Striezelmarkt.

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