COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is hosting a free holiday open house on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at its Main Library. From 6-8 p.m., families can enjoy activities, sing-along carols and refreshments, plus a visit from live reindeer and a very special guest. But perhaps the biggest draws of the evening will be the tree-lighting of Topiary Park and the return of the Huntington Holiday Train. A ceremonial switch will be flipped on for the train, which will delight library customers through Jan. 8, 2023. Parking for the event in Main Library’s attached garage will be free.
The impressive 600-square-foot Huntington Holiday Train (see photo) includes multiple miniature trains running on more than 280 feet of track surrounded by more than 50 pounds of snowflakes. The miniature buildings – which are all made from leaves, bark, seeds, pinecones, fungus and moss – are modeled after actual structures in Germany.
This marks the 30th year of the holiday attraction, which was built in 1992 by Applied Imagination founder Paul Busse. The train was originally displayed in the lobby of the historic Huntington building at Broad and High streets. In 2009, Huntington graciously loaned the train to CML. This year will be its twelfth on display in Main Library’s atrium. (There was no train display in 2015 due to Main Library’s renovation, nor in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Highlights include a 6-foot-tall cathedral, an 8-foot-tall castle and a waterfall that pumps 600 gallons of water an hour. Each building in the display took between one and three weeks to create. The castle and waterfall took more than three months to complete; it took more than 10 months to build the cathedral. The entire display takes two days to set up.
The Huntington Holiday Train will be on display Monday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023 during regular library hours – Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The first hour of parking in the library garage is free.