Mrs. Claus settled in the Dienstberger House to captivate children with her storytelling Friday evening during the Kiwanis Hometown Christmas. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Mrs. Claus settled in the Dienstberger House to captivate children with her storytelling Friday evening during the Kiwanis Hometown Christmas. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS — Delphos ushered in the holiday season during Friday’s Kiwanis Club Hometown Christmas.

Hundreds gathered for the parade, which brought Santa to town, and all the free activities.

“This event caps off the year very nicely,” Kiwanis Treasurer Cindy Metzger said. “We ask the community to support us on the big projects and this is a big ‘thank you’ for that.”

Crowds were four and five deep for the annual parade, which continues to see growth as does the business participation.

“We keep getting more parade entries and businesses who add to the celebration,” Metzger noted. “We want to continue to grow.”

The Kiwanis have increased food and beverage counts every year. This year, 800 hot dogs were served. With stops all over the downtown and beyond, gallons of hot chocolate, cider, Grinch Punch and more were consumed, along with hundreds of cookies, bags of popcorn and ham and bean soup with corn bread.

The Delphos Public Library offered cookie decorating and the Dicken’s Village.

“We think Hometown Christmas is absolutely wonderful and we love being a part it and the community,” Library Director Kelly Rist said. “We are a community center for Delphos.”

The library increased its cookie count this year from 200 to nearly 300. They were washed down with hot chocolate.

Westwood Behavioral Center has participated for several years. This year, children could make their own Santa hat and enjoy a cupcake with Grinch Punch.

“We just think this is great. It’s fun to celebrate with the community,” Director Mark Spieles said. “This is one of the best Christmas events around.”

Children could test their skills at the Reindeer Games at Dick Clark Realty and win lighted prizes at Lavish Salon and Spa’s “Light up Christmas.”

“It’s nice see the community come out and celebrate,” Dick Clark said. “It’s nice we get to be a part of it.”

Lavish owner CT Horstman agreed.

“We love to give back to the community that supports us,” Horstman said. “It’s very important to us to be involved.”

At the end of the night after Santa had seen every last child, Metzger and the Kiwanis were very satisfied.

“This is a great way to get the community together to celebrate the season,” Metzger said. “We’d love to see this event keep growing and become a ‘Winter Spectacular’.”

The Kiwanis and the Delphos Stadium Club have teamed up for the latest round of improvements to Stadium Park. According to Metzger, weather permitting, ground will be broken for the new $250,000 pool house yet this year.

“We want to get started on the pool house as soon as possible,” Metzger said. “Spring has not been good to us as far as our projects.”

The original existing shower and restroom facility was built as part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) project in 1941 and has not been updated or renovated since that time.

Since the construction of the splash pad in 2017, the pool attendance has significantly increased. The pool and splash pad are fully inclusive for all ages and physical abilities. The current restroom and shower facility does not lend itself to easily accommodate those with limitations.

The new 2,888-square-foot pool house will house new restrooms and shower facilities for men and women and a new concession stand with access to the concessions from the pool and playground. The building will also contain new office space as well as an improved life guard station. The structure will be fully handicap accessible.

Contributors to the project will be recognized on a permanent sign at the pool house. Persons interested in contributing to the project can send donations to either the Delphos Kiwanis Club, Pool House Project, PO Box 173, Delphos, OH 45833; or Delphos Stadium Club, Pool House Project, PO Box 250, Delphos, OH 45833. Donations can also be dropped off to Metzger at First Federal Bank in Delphos.