With ORF behind us, the people behind the gate are putting all their focus on switching out their ren faire flair for yuletide pride! Yuletide Village: Season of Lights returns for its second season starting Nov 26th and continuing through Dec 18th, providing four weekends of winter wonderland fun and excitement.

Last year’s inaugural event showed us how eager people are to give their families a holiday event worth visiting. As such, Yuletide Village has expanded its hours in 2021, giving guests more time to enjoy the sights, take in live entertainment, and get some shopping done at our holiday market. Switching over isn’t easy, especially when you only have about three weeks in which to transform the village into a winter wonderland of lights. The site crew and staff pull in first thing Nov 1st to start hanging lights and setting up displays.

Each section of the park carries with it a different theme, from Woodland Holidays to Gumdrop Alley. The boothies in each section take responsibility for decorating their storefronts to create a wonderous holiday market for you to peruse. These can take hours, sometimes days to fully put together, with a few going so far as to make vignettes depicting scenes from some of our favorite seasonal tales.

It’s definitely a labor of love! Winterizing the booth has been the biggest hurdle for us, trying to make sure the wind can’t really get in so that we can keep our customers warm. And we still have plenty to do before we are ready, but we are so excited for everyone to enjoy all of the hard work and love that’s been put into our booth.

Selina Coffey Cordes

Shipping concerns in large-scale retail centers have created a renewed interest in artisan goods and locally-owned shops, meaning that many folks will be looking to put something more creative under the tree this year. Since many of the shops returning for Yuletide were also at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, the artisans spend the time in between events at the workbench, creating unique pieces to restock their shelves.

We had an amazing season at the Ohio Renaissance Festival! We had a hard time keeping stock on the shelves. That’s a wonderful problem to have, it just means we have our work cut out for us to get ready for the Yuletide Village! All the Vikings Wives (and Company!) have gone into our workrooms and have been doing our best impression of Santa’s Elves! We have a saying in the booth: “When you think you have enough, MAKE MORE!

Sarah Brinkman

Many of the cast members you came to know during ORF will return, bundled up in their winter gear to keep crowds cheerful in the lanes. From the brass band to live carolers, they will be out no matter the weather, and it takes more than a cloak to stay toasty in the snow. Mittens, scarves, wool cloaks, and thick socks all make an appearance during this frosty holiday festival.

Last year I thought I would freeze, but in my experience Tudor ladies are only cold from the bosom up! My bottom half was super warm with all the layers- skirt, kirtle, long chemise, long socks, boots. Arms, chest, and head are out in the cold though! I bought arm warmers and knitted myself a long and wide scarf that I tuck into my belt and over my shoulders. I’m making hats and fingerless gloves for this year!

Kristen Hill

These preparations are all the more meaningful with a village full of guests to share them with. Whatever your plans for this holiday season, we’d love to see you come out to Yuletide Village. So get those gloves on and prepare for an evening of delight to make the season bright! Tickets are on sale now!

feature image credit to Elizabeth Munoz