The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 3, 2012

Christmas lights up canyon

By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Heritage Canyon was aglow with Christmas memories, crafts and tales from the past during the annual Christmas Walk on Saturday.

Early American Crafters led visitors back in time dressed in traditional costumes and by telling historical anecdotes.

The special event that has been going on for more than 25 years celebrates Christmas memories of years past and the traditions instilled by Heritage Canyon founder Harold Wierenga.

During the day crafters demonstrated skills from the past and at night they shared their favorite Christmas memories as visitors frolicked down candlelit paths.

Events like this are just as much fun for the crafters as they are for the participants.

Each event brings a chance to play a different character and try something new.

“I like to try making different things,” Crafter Bob Olsen said. “I've made a wheelbarrow, a stool, a sled and more. This year I'm making a bunch of Saint Nicholas statues.”Generations of crafters entertained visitors with historical snippets. Young volunteers Sarah Swan and Erin Overstreet have donned their pioneer costumes and greeted visitors since they were youngsters and continue to enjoy the tradition with friends and family. Many of the members get their start from family that already belong to the group, but they are always looking for more members.

This year the city of Fulton and Unity Christian School provided a free shuttle service for the illuminated walk. The new service helped alleviate parking issues and is likely to continue for events in the future.

As visitors strolled through the fully decorated town they were serenaded by carolers and musicians and enjoyed free treats. Children eagerly awaited a chance to visit with Santa, who had gifts for all who visited.