Historic Fort Steuben once again welcomed hundreds of visitors who came to Steubenville, the Fort, and the Visitor Center for the holiday events: Steubenville Nutcracker Village and Christmas at the Fort.
The staff and volunteers of the Steubenville Visitor Center tally the number of visitors who come through the doors of the center which this year totaled over 17,500 people. Since there were many who visited when the Visitor Center was closed, it is estimated that an additional 10,000 to 15,000 people attended the event throughout the downtown area.
The event could not have happened or been successful without the cooperation and contributions of numerous businesses, organizations, and individuals.
The Visitor Center distributed printed programs listing the various activities that were being offered. Trinity Health System and Historic Fort Steuben hosted Christmas at the Fort with movies, puppet shows, trolley rides, live entertainment, animated Christmas trees, and a Holiday Market in Fort Steuben Park as well as the Steubenville Art Association Show and model railroad display. The Steubenville Cultural Trust, creators of the famous Nutcrackers, provided maps for visitors who came to see the 200 Nutcrackers on display at various sites around the city and organized hayrides, a Christmas Tree decorating contest, a Lantern Parade, music, art, and crafts for children. The annual Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade drew thousands of people to the downtown. The Courthouse Light Show was presented by the County Commissioners and several churches made space for displays and activities. Friends of Beatty Park had their annual festivities in the park and the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County developed special StoryWalks. More than 30 businesses and organizations were eager to be part of the event and sponsored many of the activities. Departments of the City of Steubenville worked together with organizers to be sure the streets were well lit, clean, and safe.
The local restaurants reported record numbers of patrons. The vendors at the Holiday Market also noted increased sales and enthusiastic comments from those who shopped at their booths.
Visitors from Nov. 20-Jan.7 who signed the guest book came from 33 states and 7 countries. The comments written in the guest book included: Amazing! Awesome! Fantastic! Beautiful! Wonderful! Very Impressed: will be back! “Love this whole town and the people!”
Much of the event depended on the help and expertise of volunteers. Historic Fort Steuben last week honored the volunteers who helped decorate the fence around Fort Steuben Park, put up the canopy of holiday lights, erect the standard and LED Christmas trees and market chalets, set up the train & tracks and fairy tale figures in the park, scheduled activities, gave tours of the Fort, operated the gift shop, and welcomed visitors. We could not have done it without them!
This truly is a community event, an opportunity in these divisive times to come together and unite for the greater good. We are grateful to all the following who made it happen: