Richland County's 'Christmas Wunderland' in Mansfield, Ohio Comes to an End

For the past 25 years, the Richland County Fairgrounds have put together a drive-through Christmas exhibit called "Christmas Wunderland", but lack of volunteers and the rising price of electricity recently caused the celebration to shut its doors.

The display had been run by Bob Hoover for the past two decades, who told Fox 8 Cleveland that he'll be retiring from working on the display and a lack of volunteer help means the annual display will close down.

Well, I've been doing it for 24 years, I'm 90 years old, the ladder started getting higher and the designs started getting heavier so it was time for me to hang them up. It used to be that I had a couple of volunteers to help me and we'd put them up and took them down that way but anymore, the economy changed, times have changed, and you have to change with it.

– Bob Hoover, long-time volunteer at Christmas Wunderland
Christmas Wunderland 2012 tour by Brian McQuillen on YouTube

Although Christmas Wunderland is no more, the large light-up decorations will live on. As part of closing down the attraction, there was a public liquidation auction at the Richland County Fairgrounds on April 9, 2015, where the decorations were sold for around $200 for an average-sized piece.

Kaitlin Durbin from the Mansfield News Journal attended the auction and reports that one large "Welcome" sign will remain. Hopefully this will remind generations to come of the classic drive-through attraction that was held at the fairgrounds for almost 25 years.

Do you have an annual display where you live? Consider donating time or money to help out the people and business in charge of the exhibit, since sometimes it may be hard to realize the level of dedication it takes to run a large display each year.

(Image: Christmas Wunderland Snowman in 2009 via Randyonmajic959 on YouTube)

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