Saturday, November 23, 2002

Christmas walks


Rudd tradition kept up

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LIBERTY TWP. - Although the massive holiday display founded by Carl Rudd at his rural Adams County home is gone, Carl and his wife, Judy, will open a garage display at their farm at 1205 Cassel Run Road near Blue Creek and welcome old friends.

They'll start the day after Thanksgiving and "keep it going for as long as possible," or through the end of December, Mrs. Rudd said.

Carl is now fighting cancer, his second major health battle in only two years. Apparently he has stopped the progression of Alzheimer's disease that started in 2000.

He says he'll be able to spend time with visitors the way he did when he started the display 30-some years ago.

"I love to talk to the people," he said. "I can't do too much work this year, but I can talk to them."

Meanwhile, Niederman's Christmas Farm is preparing for its second season - following Mr. Rudd's tradition.

Bob Niederman, who bought much of the Blue Creek display last year, lives at 4930 LeSourdsville-West Chester Road in Butler County.

Visitors can park in his large gravel lot and walk through the display, which is the equivalent of five or six city blocks.

He charges no admission. He and his family will serve hot chocolate in his barn at the end of the walking tour. They've even purchased four wheelchairs.

The display features tens of thousands of lightsand many life-size figures of angels, wise men, animals and shepherds. The Christmas message is told in large oil paintings and supporting props such as an ark and a country church.

"We have three, 400-amp transformers to power the display," he said. Niederman's Christmas Farm will open from 5:30-10 p.m. from Nov. 29-Dec. 30. From Cincinnati take Interstate 75 north to Tylersville Road and go west (right at exit). Turn right on LeSourdsville-West Chester Road and follow it to Niederman's Christmas Farm.

Mr. Rudd's farm may be reached by taking Interstate 275 to Ohio 32 (Eastgate Mall exit) and going east. At Seaman, take Ohio 247 south to West Union, then go east on Ohio 125 to Blue Creek. Turn left on Cassel Run Road. Rudd's farm is on the left.

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LEBANON - Betty Darst, a Dayton historian, dramatist and educator, will portray first lady Lucy Webb Hayes at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

She will give a personal account of Mrs. Hayes after a brief business meeting of the Warren County Historical Society at its museum, 105 S. Broadway.

Her free presentation is open to the public.

Information: Historical Society, 932-1817.

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OWENSVILLE - Families Connected and The Child Advocacy Center will present a day of learning about special education from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Thomas A. Wildey School, 2040 U.S. 50.

The free seminar is for the parents of children with emotional, cognitive (mental retardation) and physical challenges.

Information: Families Connected, 732-5034.

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SHARONVILLE - The naturalist at Sharon Woods will escort visitors on a Harvest Hike. Meet at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 27 in the Gorge Trail parking lot.

Visitors will hear tales of the first Thanksgiving. Information: 521-PARK (7275).

Contact Randy McNutt at the Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Dr., West Chester OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail: rmcnutt@enquirer.com.




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