In the late 17th century, German woodworkers created wooden solider-like nutcrackers often given as good luck keepsakes. The charming wooden nutcrackers quickly became a beloved keepsake in the 19th century after the book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A Hoffman, was composed into Tchaikovsky’s world-famous “Nutcracker Ballet.” Nutcracker enthusiasts can now revel in the delightful charms of world’s largest collection of life-sized nutcrackers at the Steubenville Nutcracker Village.
Adding a little magic to the holiday season, the Steubenville Nutcracker Village at Fort Steuben Park welcomes visitors to this quaint Ohio town with over one-hundred life-sized wooden nutcrackers. With each wooden nutcracker unique from the next, their 6-feet tall personalities shine under the twinkling arches of this festive holiday village.
The life-sized wooden nutcrackers have each been made locally at Nelson’s of Steubenville and hand-painted to depict a local theme, local personality, famous personality or well-recognized character or literary hero. Visitors will have fun finding their favorite wooden nutcracker, whether its Benjamin Franklin, all five members of the “Rat Pack” (including Steubenville’s own Dean Martin), Shirley Temple, Jack Frost, Scrooge, Wizard of Oz’s beloved characters or the Nutcracker Prince.
Along with the charming hand-made nutcrackers, the Steubenville Nutcracker Village offers visitors a Christmas Wonderland (inside the Fort Steuben Visitor Center), a glimpse inside the historic Federal Land Office, hay rides and trolley rides (offered on weekends, trolley rides are $5 per person) and an Advent Market featuring community food and craft vendors (open on weekends through December 18th). Grab a cup of hot cocoa or cider and enjoy the giant Christmas Tree with hundreds of twinkling lights and model train encircling its base.
This free holiday village welcomes visitors of all ages to find the joy of the holiday season by exploring the magic of the wooden nutcrackers and enjoying the welcoming community spirit of Steubenville!
The Steubenville Nutcracker Village at Historic Fort Steuben welcomes visitors through January 8, 2017. To plan your visit, please visit www.steubenvillenutcrackervillage.com.