Memories of Akron Christmases Past

Our Editorial Staff Shares Their Rubber City Holiday Fun, Adventures and Traditions


The Buchtelite Editorial Staff. (Top Row: Brianna Cramer, Erika Newcome, Sala Wier, Brooklyn Dennison. Bottom Row: Robert Barrett, Jr., Jake Herron)

By The Buchtelite Editorial Staff

Brooklyn Dennison, Editor-in-Chief

Ice Skating at Lock 3

I had never explored the holiday events at Akron until I went ice skating at Lock 3 a few years ago when my significant other took me ice skating for our first date. I had no idea how to ice skate, and it was probably a hazardous choice for the date since I’m quite clumsy. However, my significant other taught me how to ice skate and I managed to avoid breaking any bones during the process. He even made sure I didn’t fall over or get run over by the children who were whizzing past me on their ice skates

Now every year, once it starts getting cold, I look forward to ice skating with my significant other. I get excited when I walk past Lock 3 and see the ice rink up and people cheerfully skating. It marks not only the holiday season but the first time I went on a date with my best friend. Ice skating at Lock 3 gave me a memory that I will never forget. Explore Akron and create your own memories.

Jake Herron, Online Editor

Archie the Snowman at Chapel Hill Mall

My favorite Akron Christmas memory is one that resonates with Akronites of many generations: going to Chapel Hill Mall as a child to visit Archie the Snowman.

Archie became a mainstay at Chapel Hill starting in 1968. Since then, thousands and thousands of children have shared their holiday joy with the 20-foot-tall talking snowman, whose voice actors have made the interaction a day to remember that was free for families.

He went away in 2004 after new ownership at the mall eliminated him from their holiday festivities. But his absence wasn’t permanent; a few years later, Archie was back by popular demand.

As a child, I remember walking up the long platform to a microphone where Archie himself seemed to tower above me. I told him what I was hoping to get for Christmas that year. His jolly voice echoed down the concourse and his eyes lit up as he spoke. It made what is usually a chaotic time at the mall a magical experience. Even better was the basket full of candy canes Archie encouraged you to take from as you left the platform.

Chapel Hill Mall has changed quite a bit since those days. Each season, the concourses grow more and more silent as stores close their doors, leaving very little for future generations.

Hopefully, Archie has a plan B should Chapel Hill become a Rolling Acres 2.0.

Sala Wier, Copy Editor

Tree Lighting at Lock 3

Every year the day after Thanksgiving, Lock 3 holds a tree lighting ceremony.  I remember going to this event with my grandma and sister and being amazed at how big the tree is. During the ceremony, along with the tree lighting, there is singing and an amazing fireworks show. After the ceremony, visitors are able to ice skate and enjoy hot chocolate. Ice skating at Lock 3 is only $4, or $2 with your own skates. This year, the ceremony will be held on November 24 at 7 p.m. and it is free to the public. This is a really fun event that kicks off the holiday season and Lock 3’s WinterFest.   

Robert Barrett, Jr., Copy Editor

12 Dogs of Christmas Ale

Looking for a great way to warm up during the holiday season? Instead of turning up the heat, take part in a great Akron holiday tradition and grab yourself a 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale from the Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.

The brewery is located on Grant Street south of South Residence Hall and certainly a point of pride for Akronites. This ale is brewed with honey and spices like nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. The light to medium bodied brew is a great transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas on a cold fall or winter night.

The Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. has been brewing dog-theme beers for twenty years. The brewery started in Canton and has been brewing in Akron for the past ten years.

Erika Newcome, Sports, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Christmas Tree Adventure

All aboard the Christmas Tree Adventure for one of my favorite holiday traditions. Picking the Christmas Tree! A train takes people on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to the Historic Village of Peninsula, before taking a bus to Heritage Tree Farm to pick out a Christmas tree with your friends and family.

I love picking out the perfect Christmas tree and as the holiday season approaches, this ride provides people with a unique opportunity to pick and purchase the perfect tree to celebrate the holidays. The adventure is perfect for friends and families and will last for approximately three and half hours. After purchasing, the tree will be bundled and taken to the train by Heritage Tree Farm.

Brianna Cramer, Social Media Editor

The Nutcracker at Akron Civic Theater

As a child, I remember taking a field trip to see The Nutcracker when I was in elementary school. When I was 8 I felt like the performance was so magical. Every year after I’d taken the field trip to see The Nutcracker, I begged my parents to take me around the time of the holidays because I loved it so much. As an adult, I still find going to the Akron Civic Theatre to see The Nutcracker to be a magical show and that really gets me into the spirit of the holidays.

The Nutcracker is voted Akron’s #1 Holiday Show by the Akron Beacon Journal and is a must-see show for people in the Akron area. I always recommend people to see it at least once because it’s such a memorable part of the holidays in Akron for me, and I know other people will love it, too.

Merry Christmas from The Buchtelite!