Columbiana Named in the Top 25 Hallmark Christmas Towns Index
Reservations.com recently categorized Columbiana, Ohio as one of The Top 25 Hallmark Towns of America. And it’s no surprise considering the numbers.
It starts with 200 artisans, at least, toting their hand-made treasures to “Christmas in the Woods” in October for the annual craft fair. It’s an event full of magical woodsy charm brought to life in the spirit of the gifting season.
50 floats parade down the street the Friday before Thanksgiving, and if you think that’s too early this city will convince you it’s not. Even Santa finds time in his schedule to make an appearance this early in the season.
Carolers gather on the typical old-town square, a giant beaming Christmas tree is lit, and strings
upon strings of lights transform the city.
85 animated lights scenes and 1,000,000 lights illuminate the beloved Joy of Christmas at the parades close. 6,800 carloads of people from the end of November to the end of December ride through in awe of the bright 80+-year-old park absolutely transformed into a Christmas wonderland for the event.
150 gingerbread houses are collected in the Gingerbread House in the park, a place also famous for Santa’s presence, hot chocolate, and a toasty fireplace. The decorative candy-cookie creations are constructed by children all over the city and even from neighboring towns. They are on display throughout the season.
It’s not just in the numbers, but Columbiana has them. And it’s not that they’re counting, but it’s hard not to with these kinds of stats.
Yet, it’s important to note those numbers and measurements are more than just collections of data. They are just a sample representation of how much this city invests in itself and its community.
This past year they were recognized by Readers Digest for being THE NICEST PLACE IN AMERICA not just in Ohio, but in the United States. After that recognition, it’s hard NOT to imagine a Hallmark movie here.
To determine the “Hallmark” quality of various cities, the Reservations team used their own measurement system. They factored in the population (under 15,000), winter scenery, friendliness (obviously the nicest places have this), walkability, Christmas cheer (think Christmas events, festivals), and small business presence (cafe, boutiques, diners, etc).
The research is based on existing references and data, with some subjectivity on what exactly is “winter scenery.” Columbiana had high scores across the boards, but the biggest hurdle was their walkability score. Next year they will be a tougher contender considering their 2020 to-do list. They will soon have completed one million dollars in sidewalk projects funded almost entirely by grants. Ultimately, they aim to develop safer walkability for neighborhoods, parks, and schools. Of course, that’s right in line with their nice and kind and considerate community spirit. Always looking out for one another should be their city’s motto.
This charming town never fails to recognize a single member of their community and to include and consider everyone. This kind of sincerity and consideration results in a long list of inclusive activities that goes on and on. And what better way to keep the Christmas spirit alive?
You can check out the full infographic from Reservations.com and the other 24 places here.
Speaking of numbers, this small town is home to a significant number of incredibly talented local artists who create works that celebrate this lovely city. As a homage to Columbiana’s Winter Scenery, we will close with some treasured pieces dedicated to preserving the magical charm for all to share.