LOVELAND, Ohio — Over a year since part of Loveland's historic district was destroyed in a fire, the community came together for a holiday tradition Saturday - the first “Christmas in Loveland” since the devastation.
Instead of boarded-up windows, the streets were packed with people and local business vendors. The retail and restaurant core was filled with and Christmas lights, live performances and a nativity scene, plus roasting chestnuts and and free face painting.
With carolers spreading good cheer, it definitely was something to sing about.
It's been quite the journey to get back to this point. In May 2017, flames tore through several more-than-century-old buildings, closing dozens of local businesses. But shops like Loveland Sweets are now open. Workers said they’re a perfect example of how strong their community is.
"It just shows Loveland turning up as a community,” said Katie McElveen of Loveland Sweets. “Despite the rain, there’s a lot of people who are really committed to the community that show up … and come together for a really special night."
It was a special night for everyone, but especially the kids. That’s one of the reasons Pattie Cooper came.
"To see the grandkids see Santa, and enjoy the free cocoa and cookies and activities that they have here,” said Cooper. “They do a lot for the children in the community. All the area businesses come together to make it fun for the kids as well."