BY SHERI TRUSTY
Jane Storrs has a holiday tradition that is indelibly tied to downtown Port Clinton. Each year, she and her great-grandsons visit the massive community Christmas tree for photos, and then they visit Santa. This year, seven-year-old JohnDavid Dulik and three-year-old Corbin Dulik joined their Grandma Storrs on their traditional holiday trek.
“We’ve taken pictures at the Christmas tree every year since JohnDavid was able to walk. I line the photos up at my house at Christmas,” Storrs said.
JohnDavid and Corbin had fun meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus at Ala Carte Cafe, and Santa even invited Grandma Storrs to join in on the photo, so she happily plopped onto his knee.
“Santa was cool because of his hat,” JohnDavid said.
The brightly lit Christmas tree and Santa visits were part of Community Christmas hosted by Main Street Port Clinton. The event included kids’ activities and a chili cook-off at downtown businesses; the annual, after-dark Lighted Parade emceed by Judi Halstead; and a Tree Lighting at Adams Street Park.
Among the chili competitors was Billy Rigoni, co-owner of Northern Exposure.
“Every batch of chili I make is different,” he said. “This time I made a meaty chili with taco seasoning instead of chili seasoning.”
Eleven-year-old Luke Francis noticed.
“Northern Exposure had the best chili,” Luke said. “It’s got a great meat in that chili. It had great meat flavoring.”
Luke attended Community Christmas with his grandmother, Kit Kramer, who also brought grandsons Liam Francis, 10, and Ryder Francis, 8. Kramer liked Erie Shores Chiropractic’s chili the best.
“It has a lot of good flavor. It’s a little spicy but not too much,” she said.
The Frederick Agency hosted a free hot chocolate bar, and Moonwyck’s offered free apple cider.
Nine-year-old Landon Fuhr of Perrysburg and 8-year-old Natalya Havens both said their favorite activity was getting their faces painted at McCarthy’s Pub.
“It was my favorite because you just sit there and tell them what you want,” he said.
At the Island House, kids could decorate cookies with red and green icing and spoonfuls of sprinkles.
“We had about 230 kids. We baked and baked and baked and had lots and lots and lots of cookies,” said Island House General Manager Lisa Young. “I loved it. I was so much fun.”