COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is hosting a free holiday open house on Wednesday, Nov. 20 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 the end of the year. More information about the holiday open house can be found by clicking here.
The impressive 600-square-foot Huntington Holiday Train (see photo below) 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 28th 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 tenth on display in Main Library’s atrium.
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 through Monday, Dec. 30 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.
Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.
CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.