O’Tannebaum Days spreads cheer, highlights art

Marlena Sloss/The Herald
The Christmas tree outside the Dubois County Courthouse is decorated on Nov. 25. The tree was donated by Leo Eckerle of Jasper, who planted the tree 45 years ago.


JASPER — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Jasper.

Light posts are wrapped in multi-colored bulbs, a massive decorated tree stands in front of the courthouse and storefront windows are decked out with festive gear.

This weekend, the city’s annual O’Tannenbaum Days will return — promoting holiday spirit while also drawing visitors in to local businesses for special events and offerings. Nancy Eckerle, executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, said the annual celebration centers on art.

“That’s always been the focus of O’Tannenbaum Days,” she said. “The art and artisans — keeping all of that alive in Jasper.”

The holiday festival will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is the third holiday celebration of Dubois County’s Olde World Christmas, following the Huntingburg Christmas Stroll and Ferdinand Christkindlmarkt. The Jasper celebration is organized by the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, and is provided as a service by the chamber, the Greater Jasper Downtown Business Association and the Dubois County Visitors Center.

Following the arts theme, The Ivy Manor will host a custom, inspiration sign maker on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; custom hair bows will be tied at EJ and Dots all weekend; and Finishing Touches will host painter Judy Bennett, who will create a piece from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday that guests can register for a chance to win.

At L.H. Sturm Hardware, Ann Weyer will demonstrate how to make handcrafted, 3-D greeting cards, and she will also sell the cards.

“We’re trying to bring those artists into the stores and the shops so that not only do you get to see that artist and what they’re doing, but then you also get to patronize those stores,” Eckerle said.

She hopes the events encourage people to shop at local and independently-owned businesses, as well as promote the city and its sense of community. She encouraged readers to try to make it to each of the many activities offered.

“I would challenge anyone to try to do everything on this list,” she said, referring to the jam-packed schedule. “I think it would be difficult to go in every store, every business, go to every church bazaar, ride the carriage rides, visit Santa Claus, go on the church tour, go to the library [and] the museum. There are so many things going on. And that’s what we want.”

Wherever guests end up visiting, Eckerle wants them to make lasting memories with their loved ones.

“These are the things that people remember,” she said. “These kind of memories, not necessarily the gifts that they get that are under the tree.”

A full schedule of events can be found here.

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