By Angela Koenig
CLEVES - This weekend, this tiny western Hamilton County village hosts its annual street festival, Christmas in the Village, now in its 16th year.
"It just keeps getting better and better," co-organizer Sheila Sinclair said of the two-day event, which draws thousands from all over the Tristate.
The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. Friday, but the activities really get going around 5 p.m., with carriage and fire engine rides, entertainment, crafters, food booths and holiday lights. Festivities continue until 10 p.m. and then resume at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, ending about 10 p.m.
The highlight of the festival is the "Christmas Express" train ride to Cincinnati and back. The ride lasts an hour and Santa and Mrs. Claus make appearances. People look forward to the ride as much as the event itself, Sinclair said.
The train will go out twice on Friday, at 6 and 8 p.m., and five times on Saturday beginning at noon. Cost is $9 per person.
"It's the biggest draw" to the event, said organizer Jim Moore, one of about 20 committee members who plan for the festivities.
Last year the train was not available, which cut down on attendance some, he said. This time the village booked it early, he said.
Train tickets can be purchased at Merrilees Hardware in Cleves, Sullivan's Grocery in Miami Heights and the Whitewater Kroger in Miamitown. Parking is at Harmony Field on Cooper Road. Shuttle buses will transport riders to the train station.
For more information or a schedule of events, contact Moore at 941-3220 or Donna Weber at 941-2380.
Also this weekend:
SPRINGFIELD TWP. - The Sixth Annual Holiday Winter Festival at the Grove will be 12:30-5:30 p.m., Sunday, at the Grove and Senior Center, 9158 Winton Road.
Santa Claus will arrive on a Springfield Township fire truck at 2 p.m. Free pictures with Santa will follow in the senior center.
Thirty-two crafters will display and sell their wares along with food sold by civic groups. Entertainment will be in the outdoor heated tent.
TRENTON - The annual Christmas in Trenton festivities will be 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Civic Hall, 11 E. State Street.
A small parade bringing Santa into this Butler County city will kick off the festivities, followed by the simultaneous lighting of the city's Christmas trees around town.
The event will include free food such as pizza and snacks; free pictures with Santa; a visit from the Grinch, and entertainment from area churches and schools.
TOP STORY: NATHANIEL JONES
Coroner says struggle caused heart failure
City Council members livid over release of information
City leads the news
Crowd's questions exceed answers
Family says Jones was never violent
PCP abuse rare here, but catching on
IN THE TRISTATE
You have questions? We'll get answers
Baseball boosters going on road trip
I-270 drivers alert for hidden shooter
'Arsenic' has weathered the decades well
Train ride highlights Christmas Cleves fest
Benefit raises thousands for Marine's widow
Easier radiation cleanup fought
Head Start's holiday brighter
Indian Hill seeks land to connect subdivision
Loveland delays church purchase
Mason school board starts steps for 1.8-mill bond issue
City looks at ways to reduce spending
Woman reports Monroe mayor to police
Ex-officer enters guilty plea
Ski slope's song: Let it snow
Giant food for thought
Public safety briefs
Springboro seeks to build two new elementary schools
Saving the Tower
Around the Tristate
Grant to help teachers advance
Good Things Happening
Crowley: Around Northern Kentucky
Bronson: Sensational, biased news stories stink
Couple's romance got rolling on a bus
Suit can proceed in 1994 fatality
Hebron fire chief resigns; cites health, stress
Disabled students move from wings into spotlight
Housing plan called inclusive