Special Events & Festivals

Christmas events get rolling this weekend in heart of Huntington

There are several Christmas activities that families can enjoy right in the heart of Huntington, beginning with the Downtown Business Association’s annual “Christmas in the City” celebration on Saturday, Nov. 28, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“Christmas in the City”
Rebecca Hanson, president of the DBA, says the day is in correlation with Small Business Saturday.

“It’s a way to kick off the Christmas season, but also a way to support and promote the small businesses downtown,” she says.

Santa arrives in Warren on Friday night

Tucker Mann thinks through his wish list with Santa Claus at the Knight Bergman Center, in Warren, on Nov. 28, 2014. Santa will arrive in Warren this year on Friday, Nov. 27, and supervise the lighting of the town Christmas tree before settling in at the KBC to hear Christmas wishes.
TAB file photo.

The Christmas lights will come to life when Santa Claus arrives in Warren Friday evening, Nov. 27.

The Warren Fire Department will give Santa an escort as he arrives in the center of town aboard a decorated horse-drawn wagon at 6 p.m. He’s scheduled to arrive at the town Christmas tree, outside the Town Hall at 132 N. Nancy St., at 6 p.m.

Santa will spend about a half-hour at the tree, greeting the youngsters and handing out candy before he oversees the lighting of the town tree.

Christmas Shopping Extravaganza

Photo by Steve Clark.

Ann Richard (left), co-owner of Giggabuggy, puts the finishing touches on a custom ornament for customer Angie Garcia at the third annual Christmas Shopping Extravaganza, overseen by Love in the Name of Christ and Upward Sports and held in Heritage Hall at the Huntington County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Nov. 21. Love INC and Upward Sports split proceeds from the event.

I’ve got this …

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Boy Scout Jakob Miller, 14, of Troop 637, hoists a tree off the delivery truck at the Scout Cabin, home of the Huntington Lions Club, on Saturday, Nov. 21. The scout troop unloads the Christmas trees each year for the sale as part of its service project. Jakob is the son of Mike Miller, of Huntington.

Horse-drawn wagon rides

Photo by Steve Clark.

JD Walters provided horse-drawn wagon rides in downtown Warren as part of the Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Walk on Friday evening, Nov. 20. Visitors got to judge 24 Christmas trees and could visit in more than 30 businesses and churches, where they could find holiday threats and special deals.

Train ride in downtown Warren

Photo by Steve Clark.

Free children's train rides in downtown Warren were among the features of the Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Walk in the town on Friday night, Nov. 20. More than 30 businesses and churches opened their doors to visitors, offering holiday goodies and special deals.

Special tree

Photo by Steve Clark.

Josilyn Kelsey looks over a decorated Christmas tree inside a snowman during the Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Wlak in downtown Warren on Friday night, Nov. 20. Onlookers got to vote for their favorite trees from among 24 at the festival, which also featured holiday treats, a children's train ride, a wagon ride and special deals from the Warren merchants.

Checking out the tree

Photo by Steve Clark.

Kodi Elliot (left) points out a detail on a Christmas tree to her young daughter, Keeli, during the Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Walk in downtown Warren on Friday night, Nov. 20.

Treats on the Warren Holiday Walk

Photo by Steve Clark.

Deb Boepple (left) hands Connor Karst a Rice Krispie Treat while Karst's father, Nick, looks on at PNC Bank during the Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Walk on Friday night, Nov. 20, in downtown Warren. More than 30 businesses and churches opened their doors to visitors, offering holiday goodies and special deals during the event.

24 decorated trees on display at Warren Festival of Trees and Holiday Walk Friday night

Twenty-four decorated Christmas trees will be on display for the Warren Holiday Walk and Festival of Trees on Friday, Nov. 20.

In addition, more than 30 businesses and churches will open their doors to visitors, offering holiday goodies and special deals.

The festivities take place in downtown Warren between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and visitors can enjoy Christmas music while walking through the downtown.

The evening is also opening night for “Peter Pan Jr.” at the Pulse Opera House, also located in downtown Warren.

Raising the flag

Members of American Legion Post 85 assist the Lancaster Elementary School Color Guard in raising the flag over Lancaster Elementary School on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11. Denis Miller (center) and Barry Baker (far right) were among the American Legion members present for the flag raising.

Flagpole dedication

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Stratton Harrison (left), a Huntington University student from Sacramento, CA, plays “The Star-Spangled Banner” on violin as members of the Roanoke American Legion Post 160 Color Guard hoist the flag on the new flagpole at Roanoke Elementary School on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Students and faculty of the school attended the dedication ceremony, as well as several local business and civic groups that donated money to replace the old flagpole, which was damaged by a driver last winter.

Refill, please

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Chief Deputy Chris Newton of the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department (right) refills Jo Ann Sell’s coffee as her husband, Max, looks on Wednesday, Nov. 11, during a veterans’ breakfast cooked by members of the sheriff’s department and served to veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689.

City dedicates new Memorial Park monument to those wounded or killed in battle for their country

A new monument at Memorial Park pays tribute to American service men and women who have been killed or wounded in the service of their country. The Purple Heart monument, shown here in an artist’s sketch, was unveiled Saturday, Nov. 7, as part of a dedication ceremony for a new veterans’ memorial at the park. The ceremony followed the Veterans Day parade.
Graphic provided.

A monument dedicated Saturday, Nov. 7, at Memorial Park pays tribute to the men and women who have been wounded or killed while in battle for their country.

Crafted from granite and marble, the Purple Heart monument bears the medallions of each of the Armed Services’ five branches — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Local man Holzinger recalls blast that nearly took his life

Marine Sergeant Robbie Holzinger was awarded the Purple Heart on Nov. 15, 2006, after he was injured by an improvised explosive device in Anah, Iraq.
Photo provided.

Marine Sgt. Robbie Holzinger was awarded the Purple Heart on Nov. 15, 2006, after being injured by an explosion in Anah, Iraq.

Holzinger enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2001 and served four tours to Iraq. He was injured during his third tour.

“My life wasn’t going in a good direction. Marine Corps sounded like a good step,” Holzinger says. “I was with Alpha Company out of Camp Lejeune.”

Holzinger’s job was light-armor reconnaissance. During his third tour of Iraq, Holzinger was with Alpha Company running counter-insurgency in the city of Rawah.

Huntington man Kuschel suffers eye, nerve damage in Vietnam

Chuck Kuschel was injured by an exploding booby trap just 45 days into his service in Vietnam. “I don’t really talk about it that much,” the Purple Heart recipient says.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Chuck Kuschel was 17 when he joined the Army.

He was 19 when he came home, broken.

Kuschel, sitting at a table at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post last month, remembers the date he enlisted.

“Oct. 31, 1967,” he says. Enlisting was his choice, he says.

“I had a friend who was killed in Vietnam,” Kuschel explains. “It was something I had to do for him.”

Minton’s Purple Heart memories among many of service years

Gary Minton displays just a few of the medals he received during his service in the Army while in Vietnam, from 1967 to 1969. From left is the Purple Heart (with oak leaf cluster), two Bronze Stars and an Army Commendation medal. Minton was wounded in less than two months.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

While Gary Minton was crawling through some of the worst firestorms of Vietnam, he managed to rack up not one — but three — medals for wounds he suffered in the thick of battle.

His Purple Heart medal, which includes an oak leaf cluster signifying additional awards, is in addition to two Bronze Star medals — one With Valor — and an Army Commendation medal he earned during his service.

Seibold has piece of plane he was shot down in to go with Purple Heart

Wilbert “Curly” Seibold, a World War II Air Force veteran, holds his Purple Heart, which he received in August 1945 for injuries sustained in a plane crash. Seibold, 97, spent nine months as a prisoner of war following the crash.
Photo by Steve Clark.

A Purple Heart isn’t the only memento Wilbert “Curly” Seibold has from his time serving in the Air Force during World War II.

Seibold, who received his Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in a plane crash, also possesses a piece of the plane he was shot down in.

The piece, a small, rippled metal fragment, is mounted on a plaque that was given to him by a friend, Dick Winger, who obtained it on a trip to Germany, where the plane crashed.

Walling still carries reminder of his Purple Heart injury

Jerry Walling, who earned a Purple Heart during the Vietnam War, says he’s proud of his military service.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Jerry Walling still carries a reminder of his 12 months in Vietnam — shrapnel buried deep inside his left arm, just beneath the shoulder.

“I can’t do a lot with this (arm) now,” he says. “I can’t have an MRI because of the metal in there.”

Walling, now a Huntington resident, was living in Muncie when he was drafted into the Army. He went willingly.

“I was apprehensive about it,” he says. “But I was in a position where I wanted to do something different.”

Iser still uncomfortable reliving his injury day

Chuck Iser, of Huntington, holds the Purple Heart medal he received during the Vietnam War.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Chuck Iser is understandably uncomfortable about reliving the day he received combat injuries in the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam, even though it has been many years since he was “in country.”

“I’ve never talked about this before,” he says.

A Markle native, Iser spent two years in the Marines, choosing to enlist rather than be drafted.

“I was going to get drafted into the Army, and I didn’t want to go there,” he explains. “My best friend was a year older than me and he joined the Marines, so I followed him.”

Traveling wall display paying tribute to American men, women killed in battle is on display at city building through Nov. 13

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters, Huntington resident Gloria Holzinger and Military Order of the Purple Heart Commander Larry Shaw stand with the traveling Purple Heart Memorial, which will remain on display at Huntington’s City Building through Nov. 13.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

A traveling wall paying tribute to American men and women who have been killed in battle — and especially the 150 Hoosiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan — is on display through Nov. 13 in the Huntington City Building.

Members of the community along with families of the fallen, and especially the men who fought with them, are invited to visit the Indiana Purple Heart Traveling Memorial.

A mother’s work

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Gloria Holzinger (center), mother of Purple Heart veteran Robbie Holzinger, receives a hug from Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters, as Larry Shaw, commander of the state committee of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, applauds her for the work she did in spearheading the raising of a monument to honor Huntington County’s Purple Heart recipients. Fetters presented Holzinger with a plaque during the dedication of the monument at the veterans memorial Saturday, Nov. 7.


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Members of the Huntington County Purple Heart Memorial Committee gather after the monument is unveiled at the veterans memorial in Memorial Park during ceremonies on Saturday, Nov. 7. Pictured are (kneeling) Brian Love; (second row from left) Juanita Hedrick, Gloria Holzinger, Leslie Ackerman, Larry Jenks, Larry Shaw, the latter representing the Military Order of the Purple Heart; and (back row from left) Chris Newton, Danielle Clements and Bruce Stanton.


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

A military squad delivers a 21-gun salute at Memorial Park on Saturday, Nov. 7, during ceremonies to honor veterans. The program included the ribbon cutting on the veterans memorial as well as the unveiling of the Purple Heart memorial.

Veteran player

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Bruce Lemar, of Huntington, plays the tuba in the Erie Band during a veterans recognition program held Saturday, Nov. 7, at the veterans memorial at Memorial Park. Lemar served in the military during Vietnam and played the tuba in the United States Army Band for three years.

Showing their pride

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689 wave from their float as it moves along West Park Drive during the Huntington Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Waving on high

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Members of the Huntington County Purple Heart Memorial Committee wave from a wagon float as it heads along West Park Drive near the end of the Veterans Day Parade route on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Patriotism on fire

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Bedecked with flags, members of the Roanoke American Legion Post 160 wave from their antique fire truck as it travels down North Jefferson Street during the Veterans Day Parade held Saturday, Nov. 7, in Huntington. The parade concluded with a program and ceremonies at the new veterans memorial at Memorial Park.

Pumpkin head dolls

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Admiring the "pumpkin head dolls" at A Renaissance in Roaonke on Saturday, Oct. 10, are (from second left) Braely Freedman, Adelaide Freedman, Aleena Freedman and their father, Jordan Freedman, all of Fort Wayne. Josh Roseberry mans the Phil Foster Fruit Farm booth.

Entertaining the arts crowd

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Guitarist Joe Justice entertains the crowd at A Renaissance in Roanoke on Saturday, Oct. 10, in downtown Roanoke.