Christmas in the Village

There are still a few weeks left in the Christmas shopping season but folks have a chance to wrap it all up in one fell swoop this weekend.

A “progressive” shopping event called Christmas in the Village will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. in western Washington County.

“We are hoping to draw people from Marietta, McConnels-ville, Athens and surrounding areas because we have a lot of good things to offer people,” said Susie Ashley, founder of the event, now in its eighth year.

Christmas in the Village, which started out in 2006 with about 20 vendors in Barlow, now boosts more than 150 vendors and includes Little Hocking, Vincent, Veto, Cutler and Porterfield.

“People can go to any of our sponsors like the Par Mar stores or others listed on our website and get an informative paper to tell them where the vendors are,” Ashley explained.

The website, www.barlowchristmas.com, also lists many of the vendors by area with an explanation of what each vendor is selling.

Ashley said the time has passed to be listed on the website but vendor applications are still being accepted by contacting her at 236-3502.

Items include wood crafts, salsas, handmade jewelry, The Pampered Chef, photography, home fragrances, Mary Kay cosmetics, Thirty One handbags and much more.

Debbie Snider, 59, of Vincent, was attracted to the idea of selling Origami Owl products about a year ago when she needed something to keep her busy.

“I use to be a childcare provider until the child started school,” she said. “I was looking for something to do and someone suggested I sell Origami Owl.”

The home-based company was started by a young girl -14 at the time – who wanted to raise money to buy a car when she turned 16. She created a unique jewelry line featuring lockets and charms that tell stories. Now there are thousands of independent “designers.”

“For a while, there was a freeze on new sellers but now there are over 40,000,” said Snider, who hosts only a few parties and tends to meet one-on-one. For Saturday’s event, she will be set up at the Barlow Library.

“I will have about 35 lockets and 300 charms but if somebody wants something and I don’t have it then, there will still be enough time to order it (before Christmas),” she said.

Vendors will be set up at the library on Ohio 339, at Barlow-Vincent Elementary School and at the Barlow Fire Department, as well as individual homes. Participants will be clearly marked. Businesses and churches in the area will also be participating in the events with special deals, crafts and baked goods.

Once the shopping is done, visitors can enjoy the Scenic Hills Lions Club Barlow Christmas parade. Around 20 units will line up at Barlow-Vincent Elementary at 4 p.m. and the illuminated parade, which kicks off at 5, will go down Warrior Drive, turn on Ohio 550 and proceed to the fairgrounds, all led by the Warren Warriors marching band.

“People are very excited and there is always a very big turnout,” said Bobby Neville, president of the Scenic Hills Lions Club, which oversees the parade.

Spectators should bundle up because Saturday’s temperatures are expected to be more seasonal in the 30s.

Neville, a 35-year resident of Warren Township, said plenty of area businesses will participate, as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, which is instrumental in controlling traffic, and the most important guests of all: Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be riding in a sleigh.

“There would be no parade without them,” Neville laughed.