COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is hosting a holiday open house on Nov. 29 at its Main Library. From 6-8 p.m., families can enjoy activities, music and refreshments, plus a visit from a very special guest. The event is free. But perhaps the biggest draws of the evening will be a tree-lighting in Topiary Park complete with live reindeer 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.
Members of the public are encouraged to RSVP at columbuslibrary.org/special-events.
The impressive 600-square-foot Huntington Holiday Train (see photo below) includes four 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 26th 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 bank building at Broad and High streets; however in 2009 Huntington graciously loaned the train to CML. This year will be its eighth 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 Jan. 4 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 Club 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 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. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.