Mendon held their annual "Town Hall Christmas" Friday. Pictured is Barb Hamilton with some of the decorated trees. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Mendon held their annual "Town Hall Christmas" Friday. Pictured is Barb Hamilton with some of the decorated trees. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

MENDON – It is the 19th year that the community of Mendon has come together for a “Town Hall Christmas” and each year has taken on its own personality, says Barb Hamilton, who has been involved with the event all 19 years.

This year, 92 Christmas trees were signed up for the event. Trees are decorated according to certain themes from various individual, community organizations, business and religious groups.

“All represent individual effort. Each tree has its own story,” said Hamilton of the display. “We honor our volunteers and law enforcement, our veterans and all of those who are dedicated to protecting our community. Some trees are, ‘in honor of,’ others are, ‘in memory of,’ and others represent various meaningful themes dear to the people that put them together.”

Hamilton said that this year’s event had trees from surrounding communities such as Spencerville, Coldwater, St. Marys, Ohio City, Van Wert, Rockford, Celina and Mendon.

“This is really a special time for us,” said Hamilton. “It brings Mendon alive and puts us in a really festive happy mood. We try to do all that we can to make this a family affair. It’s our way of giving back to the community.”

“I like it because it gives us a chance to see people that we don’t see very often,” said retired school teacher Judy Crider, who has been involved for most of the lifetime of the event. “It’s the only time of the year that you can’t find a place to park in Mendon. The churches are full and bless us with Christmas music.”

One individual who has driven to Mendon from out of town to be involved with the festival is Roxanne Klenke from Coldwater, who has been involved 16 out of 19 of the festivals.

“I worked with a lady from Mendon at Reynolds and Reynolds in Celina,” said Klenke. “She invited me to come to this and I’ve come every year since then. These are a great bunch of people, we always have such a good time.”

Other activities include bake sales and other Christmas exhibits in other businesses and churches, plus the annual visit from Santa Claus.

One of the most touching moments is the opportunity to visit a small table adorned with symbolism of remembrance for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

“This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called P.O.W.’s or M.I.A.’s, so we call them ‘brothers.’ They are unable to be with us today, so we remember them,” states the note in the weekend program.

Outside the city hall, Christmas music echoes through the streets of the festive town, “Hark now hear the angels sing, a new child is born today, and man shall live forevermore because of Christmas day.”