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Annual holiday event returns to wildwood preserve metropark – the blade

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In one room, items awaited volunteers, but already the theme had colored the area with patriotic splendor. A table seemed to be spilling over with all things red, white, and blue: stars, flags, ribbon, bears, Uncle Sam, Santas, candles, plates, a tea pot, an urn. Nearby, a red, white, and blue rooster looked ready to crow about freedom and liberty. A tree, stretching from floor to ceiling, already stood at attention, a silent sentry in a display of the good ‘ol U.S. of A.

wildwood manor house


In a little nook-like area, it was a scene truly for the birds. Fanciful and feathery, the decorations were accented with bags of bird seed and golden ears of corn. Highlighting the tree were owls of white, cardinals of scarlet, and squirrels of gray.

manor house kitchen


Downstairs, Toledoans Jodi Grzybowski and Sheila Gramenz admired their just-finished Peanuts Gallery, fanciful fun in space that once housed a shooting gallery.

Co-workers, long-time friends, and avid collectors of all things Snoopy, the decorating duo was giddy about taking part in Holidays in the Manor House. Mrs. Grzybowski said she had been trying for at least 10 years to be selected to decorate a room.

Ginny Feltman, programs department administrative assistant for the Metroparks, said the Peanuts Gallery was one of the best uses of the shooting gallery space she’d ever seen.

“Every year is unique,” Ms. Feltman said about the various themed areas in the mansion each Christmas season. “We look for a mix of whimsy and tradition.”

New this year just outside the mansion: a warming tent where families and friends can gather while waiting for everyone in their “party” to arrive. In years past, people waited just inside the Manor House, which caused crowded conditions at times.

Other attractions this year include a new walkway, a lighted pathway, plus s’mores, and more.

Ms. Feltman noted that a levy approved in 1974 by Lucas County voters made it possible for the Metroparks to purchase the mansion.

Holidays at the Manor House, she said, is special in large part because of the support of area residents. “This is our present to them.”

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com or 419-724-6006.

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