By CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN
Instead of sitting in front of your computer and ordering your holiday gifts online, get out into your community and experience the real magic of the season.
Rocky River has a number of special community-wide events planned for the holidays.
Sip, shop and stroll your way through the annual Winter Market on Linda Street in Rocky River on Nov. 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Started in 2014, this free event is open to the public. Visit sipshopstrollcle.com.
The Downtown River Holiday Walk is Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join your friends and family in a full day of fun and shopping. There will be holiday-inspired ice sculptures, live reindeer, free horse-drawn carriage rides and historical walking tours of downtown Rocky River. A complimentary brunch at the Burntwood Tavern will feature family photos with Santa. Other local restaurants will offer food tasting and area merchants will feature sales and specials. There will be strolling carolers, sing-a-longs, an indoor holiday market, kid’s crafts, face painting, a balloon artist and pet photos with The Grinch. A tree lighting ceremony will take place at Rocky River City Hall. The event is sponsored by Smiles by White orthodontics by John White, DDS. Visit riverholidaywalk.com for details.
“We kick off the holiday season with Santa, live music and store specials,” Mitchell Sotka of Mitchell Sotka, Ltd. on Old Detroit Road noted. “Our street is very festive. Everyone comes out to meet friends and neighbors. This area becomes a social epicenter in the street and in the stores.”
“You can find unique holiday gifts here that are beautiful and cost effective. Your gift doesn’t have to be another sweater or shoes. You can purchase a piece of jewelry with a story, or some artwork,” he said. “You want to represent who you are when giving a gift, as much as you want to please the person who receives it. You don’t need to be in a hurry to rush to the big-box stores with your holiday list. It is important at this time of year to become part of your community by shopping local. Every shop on this street is locally owned.”
Sotka said that his holiday window display goes up right after Thanksgiving, and he sources vintage ornaments all year long. His store will feature a red I jewelry holiday trunk show with artisans Debra Woolfork and Susan Scaparotti on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15. “The last week of holiday shopping, Susan will be here all week. And, we are open on Christmas Eve,” Sotka added.
Across the street on Old Detroit Road, the newly opened Maison Maison Homewares Design Studio will host an evening of cheer and small plates on Dec. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. Hosted by Jesse Marquardt, with Executive Chef Patrick McAllister and Sommelier Anne Kokoskie, the evening will tantalize your palette with holiday combinations of food and wine. The entertaining, feasting and relaxing evening is $45 a person. Visit maisonmaisoninteriors.com for details.
The Rocky River Women’s Club is hosting its annual Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Funds raised from this event are funneled back into the community.
Tickets to the Holiday Home Tour go on sale the second weekend in November and can be purchased online using Wheedle or by visiting the Lake Road Market. You can follow the event on the Rocky River Women’s Club Facebook page, where there will be a link to tickets sales.