By. Karen Smik - Guest Contributor
RICHFIELD, OHIO - The Friends of Richfield Heritage Preserve (Friends) are gearing up for their annual "Winter Wonders" fundraiser, scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will be held at The Lodge at Richfield Heritage Preserve, located at 4374 Broadview Road.
Admission to the event is free, offering an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the holiday season. Guests will have the chance to purchase delicious pre-packaged Christmas cookies at the "Winter Wonders Bakery" and explore a variety of handcrafted items from nine artisans.
To add to the festive atmosphere, horse-drawn carriage rides will be available between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The cost for adults is $15, children aged 2-12 can enjoy the experience for $10, and children under 2 can join in for free. Attendees will also have the chance to capture memorable moments with Sunny the Reindeer Horse during the same time frame.
Father Christmas and his trusted elves will be making a special appearance on horseback between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., delighting attendees with candy canes. For younger guests, there will be holiday craft making, face painting, and various other activities to enjoy throughout the event.
Storytelling sessions by Miss Diane from the Richfield Branch Library will be held by the fireside at designated time slots: 2:00-2:15 p.m., 2:30-2:45 p.m., 3:00-3:15 p.m., and 3:30-3:45 p.m. In addition, an outdoor StoryWalk® will be available for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
Friends merchandise and holiday swags will be available for purchase, and refreshments will be offered in exchange for donations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a special ornament to hang on the Memory Tree, representing a cherished memory or in honor of a loved one or pet. The Memory Tree will be located near The Lodge, marked by a distinctive sign.
The Friends of Richfield Heritage Preserve is a nonprofit advocacy group that works in partnership with the Richfield Joint Recreation District to preserve, protect, enhance, and promote the Richfield Heritage Preserve. The proceeds from the "Winter Wonders" event will contribute to the ongoing fundraising campaign to restore and preserve Kirby's Mill, a historic landmark within the 336-acre public park.
Kirby's Mill, built in 1922 by inventor James Kirby, is an iconic structure situated on a lake within the Richfield Heritage Preserve. Kirby used the mill to generate electricity for his home and workshop, which were also located on the property. The Friends organization has already invested approximately $300,000 in renovations, including the complete reconstruction of the mill's water wheel. However, additional funds are needed to complete the restoration project, with several hundred thousand dollars still required.
For more information about the Friends of Richfield Heritage Preserve and their ongoing efforts, visit their website at friendsofrhp.org.