BLUFFTON — Ohio’s Holiday Lights Trail features 30 places to view decorations, including Bluffton’s Blaze of Lights.
A folk art display started in the 1930s, a beautifully decorated vintage business district and a residential decorating contest make the village a statewide destination.
“The Ream folk art display has really shaped Bluffton’s decorating traditions,” said Paula Scott, CEO of the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Harry and Dorothy Ream started making and lighting cut-out wood figures in the 1930s. For the past 33 years, the folk art display has been the inspiration for a celebration called the Blaze of Lights. Thousands of new lights have been added to the towering evergreens that surround this year’s display.
The village will hold the Blaze of Lights Festival from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 30, with Shop Small Saturday promotions throughout the day. The decorations will remain illuminated through Jan. 1.
The festival will also feature a 100-unit parade. Anyone wishing to enter a unit in the parade should call parade chairman Junior Weihrauch at 419-889-4315 or 419-365-5304.
The project is a communitywide effort, Scott says: “The village owns the figures and the lights, while setup involves dozens of volunteers coordinated by the Cultural Affairs Committee. This year, village decorations were installed by local business leaders, residents, our fire department and several high school sports teams. Members of American Legion Post 382 set up several displays around the village. It’s a huge undertaking that shows a lot of community spirit.”
The Ream display is located at the Bluffton Presbyterian Church, 112 N. Main St.
Browse the Ohio Holiday Lights Trail online or download a printable map at https://ohio.org/holiday-lights-trail-map/ .