RIO GRANDE, Ohio – “Christmas on the Ridge” is planning a magical night of music and special guests beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 12. Rio Ridge Venue, in collaboration with Bob Evans Farms, hosts the event that is funded entirely by individual and community donations, and is free to the public. The event is located at Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio.
As visitors drive through the decorated farm, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf, the Grinch, and Santa’s elves will line the roadway.
Live reindeer direct from the North Pole have been staying at Barker Farms, and a camel has been added to the live Nativity. Visitors can expect even more decorations throughout their drive than last year. The finale will be Santa and Mrs. Claus handing out goodie bags filled with toys, candy, and cookies to each child.
Jenny Henchey and friends will be preforming in front of the Bob Evans Homestead, and guests can enjoy their music by tuning into 89.7 FM.
Christmas on the Ridge organizer Patricia Filie said she and the volunteers who plan and carry out the event were hoping to have a more traditional Christmas in 2021, but with COVID-19 and its variants still present, the drive through version that was implemented in 2020 will continue.
“Keeping the event as a drive through allows families to stay in their cars,” Filie said. “We want everyone to be safe, and to enjoy themselves, and after our experience last year, we know everyone had a good time.”
Filie said last year’s drive through brought more visitors than expected, as evidenced by the number of treat bags handed out.
“We provided 300 treat bags our first year, so we planned for 800 last year,” she said. “With everything that was happening with COVID, we had no idea if anyone would come to the drive through, but we felt families were in need of a bit of fun, and we wanted to offer the experience.”
Not only did they hand out the bags that had been prepared, volunteers rushed to local retailers to purchase more treats, and quickly filled another 400 bags.
“Santa and Mrs. Claus handed out 1,200 treat bags last year,” Filie said. “We have no idea how many to plan for this year, so we made 1,500.”
She said the event would not be possible without the generous donations from the Rio community.
“Everything for this event is donated,” Filie said. “People and business contribute their time and money to make this a special evening for families. We are blessed with our community support, and are looking forward to another great year of Christmas on the Ridge.”
For more information on “Christmas on the Ridge” find Rio Ridge Venue on Facebook.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.