Athens Aglow with Twinkling Lights


As the sun dips behind the hills earlier with each passing day, we head our way toward the heart of the holiday season with the locations of the best and brightest holiday light shows around Athens County. The good cheer and joy that accompanies the cold weather also brings out the best in decorative lighting. There’s several can’t-miss festive displays found throughout Athens. Here’s where to find them:

Uptown Athens

It’s hard to miss Court Street’s holiday transformation into a winter wonderland, complete with lights, horse-drawn wagon rides, gingerbread masterpieces and visits from Santa. There’s a long list of holiday fun in Athens up until Christmas, you shouldn’t miss out on a second more of the holiday happenings.

Hocking Valley scenic railway pic

Santa Train

Bring family and friends along for a ride during the Hocking Valley Scenic Railways‘ longest running annual event, the Santa Trains! They’re festive, fun and full of holiday cheer. Train riders are even treated to a special guest appearance from Santa Clause himself; be sure to bring your Christmas wish-list along to tell Santa if you’ve been naughty or nice this year. Train rides takes place every Saturday and Sunday through December 20th. Each train departs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. toward East Logan. The coaches are decorated, heated and play Christmas music for the duration of the trip.

New Year’s Eve Train and Fireworks 12/31

Celebrate 2015 and help reign in the new year on Hocking Valley Scenic Railways New Year’s Eve Train, accompanied with a fireworks display that’s so 2016. The train leaves the station at 10:30 p.m. on December 30th, heading toward East Logan before returning in the new year. Riders can choose between a “pizza and soft drinks” cruise along the Hocking Valley Railroad, or opt for a more luxurious experience while riding in a “wine and cheese” carriage.


North Pole Nelsonville

Nelsonville Holiday Home Tour 12/12

The Nelsonville Holiday Home Tour is a one time only event allowing guests to tour six beautifully decorated homes around Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square. The tour runs from 6 to 8 p.m., allowing for full views of the festive light displays hung around Nelsonville.

Gingerbread Competition 

The Athens County Historical Society is once again hosting their annual Gingerbread Building Competition during the month of December. Those walking Court Street should take time to visit the Historical Society to witness a collection of talented artists’ depictions of significant and historical Athens County buildings, made entirely of gingerbread and other edible sweet treats.