A scheduling mix-up for this year’s Village Lights has led to a mini celebration a week earlier than the official event in German Village.
Schmidt’s Fudge Haus, Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant and the Red Stable will entertain guests from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 on a short section of Kossuth Street where the businesses are located.
Meanwhile, Village Lights will proceed as planned from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8 in the historic Columbus neighborhood. All three businesses are expected to participate in those festivities, too.
Greg Gamier, co-chairman of the German Village Business Community, which organizes the event, said Village Lights traditionally is held the first Sunday in December.
A German Village Society worker who is no longer employed by the organization reportedly switched the date – without authorizing it with Gamier or Jeff Lowe, the other chairman of the business community – to the following week because it was so close to the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday, Gamier said.
Gamier said that, at the time, no advertising about Village Lights had begun, so he and Lowe intended to switch it back Dec. 1, the original date.
However, Experience Columbus – an agency whose mission is to sell, market and promote Columbus to visitors – had scheduled a group of travel writers to visit the city weekend of Dec. 7, ending with an excursion to Village Lights.
Gamier said he and Lowe did not know about that decision.
Megumi Robinson, a spokeswoman for Experience Columbus, said Experience Columbus confirmed the Dec. 8 date with the German Village Society, not knowing the German Village Business Community actually organized Village Lights.
“It wasn’t until maybe just a couple months ago (we learned) that it had been switched to the first (of December),’ she said, noting that the press-trip invitations already had been sent.
To complicate matters, some of the businesses on Kossuth already had lined up entertainment for Dec. 1, and some of those performers could not reschedule, Gamier said.
So the final call was to have Village Lights on Dec. 8, with the small cluster of businesses on Kossuth holding their own party Dec. 1, Gamier said.
“I want success for everyone, everywhere,” he said.
Matt Schmidt, brand ambassador for Schmidt’s restaurant, said Kossuth will be closed between Mohawk Street and up to the restaurant, 240 E. Kossuth St., both weekends to accommodate the celebrations.
Entertainment Dec. 1 will be the Columbus Chorus of Sweet Adelines and photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s sleigh.
The Fudge Haus will hand out candy samples. Roasted nuts, coffee, popcorn and hot cocoa also will be on sale.
Schmidt’s restaurant will raise money for the Charity Newsies in advance of the all-day paper sale scheduled for Dec. 14, Matt Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he looks forward to the intimate party Dec. 1.
“It will just be like a fun little thing we have,” he said, adding that all three businesses will be open for Village Lights the following Sunday.