COSHOCTON — Roscoe Village provides the perfect escape from holiday hustle and bustle to the peace and traditions of Christmases past. This historic village, America’s Canal Town, provides a scenic backdrop for holiday fun all month long, as well as during the annual Christmas Candlelighting Ceremonies that for more than four decades have celebrated memories of the magic that makes the holidays so special: family, friends and tradition.

The village’s earliest history dates to the early 1800s when the small community became a port on the Ohio & Erie Canal. Many of the buildings that once lined the man-made waterway still stand today, lovingly restored some 50 years ago. Today the street is alive with shops, restaurants and historic replicas of the homes and businesses of its first inhabitants. It’s a charming blend of the old and the new, but it’s at Christmastime when the village takes on a unique glow.

From the time you enter Roscoe Village, you know you’ve arrived in a special place. Each window is lit by the light of a single candle, a tradition based on the custom that a candle lit in the window is a sign of welcome to all who enter. The buildings are accented with beautiful wreaths, many handcrafted from dried natural materials and fresh greens. All the special holiday touches — from beautifully lit trees to holiday swags on each lamppost – bring warm reminders of holidays past.

On the first two Saturdays of December – the 7th and the 14th this year – all of Roscoe Village gathers to celebrate the season in a very special way. The Roscoe Village Christmas Candlelightings are a decades-old tradition that offer a breathtaking reminder of the essence of the Christmas Season. Throughout the day, you can enjoy a special Christmas Tour of the historic village as we share origins of favorite holiday traditions. You’ll have loads of fun visiting the unique Shops of Roscoe Village where you’re sure to find the perfect gifts – from fine jewelry to women’s clothing and accessories to meaningful hostess gifts and stocking-stuffers. There’s even an old-fashioned general store and a candy shop brimming with treats you’ll remember from childhood.

Children of all ages will enjoy visits with Santa at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum from 2 to 5 p.m. on both Candlelighting Saturdays. From noon to 5 p.m., the museum will offer crafts, cookies and hot chocolate, with free admission to tour the fascinating American Indian, Chinese and Japanese, and Historic Ohio exhibits. For the age 21-and-over visitors, the museum will offer free tastings of Gluehwein, a German mulled wine.

Take a rest during your day to enjoy fresh sandwiches, soups and salads at Medbery Marketplace or a relaxing lunch or dinner with family at The Old Warehouse Steak & Stein Restaurant. These inviting eateries are housed in historic buildings that date to the mid-1800s and offer a fun, cozy atmosphere surrounded by historic charm.

Enjoy a mid-afternoon snack of kettle-corn or warm roasted chestnuts cooked outdoors near the center of the village. As the cool of evening begins to approach, the fire is lit for warm mulled cider prepared in a huge copper kettle and you can pair your beverage with the taste of ginger cookies made from the Roscoe Village traditional recipe. The cider will surely keep you warm as you anticipate the start of the Candlelighting Ceremony.

As 6 p.m. approaches, follow the luminaries that line the street to gather at the main stage for the Roscoe Village Candlelighting. Join with us as we gather with cherished families and friends around the tree for a ceremony that celebrates the beauty and wonder of the Christmas Season.

Complete the experience with a special Christmas Lantern Tour of the historic village at 7 p.m. You’ll learn of holiday customs and local traditions led by an interpreter dressed in 1830s attire. Reservations for this unique holiday tour can be made by calling 800-877-1830. Visiting another time of the year? Historic tours are offered daily; call for times or check our website when you’re planning your visit.

Roscoe Village is open daily this time of year, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Specific shops or restaurants may have special holiday hours, so be sure to check www.roscoevillageshops.com or the Roscoe Village Foundation website at www.roscoevillage.com for details.