MEDINA, Ohio — Thanksgiving may be next week, but in Medina it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas.
This weekend, the city kicked off the holiday season with its 38th annual Candlelight Walk.
While the weather outside can be frightful, it didn’t stop hundreds of people from celebrating the tradition on Friday night.
“I wanted to take my daughter on her first candlelight walk,” said Medina native Samantha Laliberte. “We’ve been doing this since I was a kid and I wanted it to be a tradition here too.”
For decades, the Medina Candlelight Walk has been a way for the community to come together for the holidays. The historic Medina square is lined with luminaries and people gather to turn on the Christmas lights.
It is also an early gift to all the shop and restaurant owners that line the square.
“We are a gift boutique and we focus on crafts, local and national. Made in the USA is our primary focus,” said Kristin Hadari.
Hadari is the owner of Reverie. He opened the store in Candlelight Walk last year. She is grateful for weekends like the Candlelight Walk that draw crowds to the square.
“We all worry about exposure,” he said. “We really just hope that people come in the door, to learn about our business and what we’re doing here.”
But he admitted that it doesn’t take much to bring people to Medina these days.
“I think the square has become a destination for the surrounding area,” he said. “It’s a community that wants to support each other, wants to stay local, buy local. I think people are pushing harder to stay close to home and eat, shop, all in one place. The square has become that place”.
Stacey Sutphen has owned Lucky Dog Bakery for 13 years. She echoed Hadari’s sentiment.
“It’s a good place to have a business,” he said. “We have expanded three times.”
She has seen growth over the years.
“We get a lot of people from out of town. They come once or twice a year and tell me I’m their first stop and I love that. It warms my heart,” she said.
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