Light Up Downtown: Event Info, Street Closings, Winter Essentials Drive

Light Up Downtown, the annual holiday ELFstravaganza in downtown Canton, is happening next Thursday, Dec. 3, from 5:30-8:30 pm. Download the map here.

Presented by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Light Up Downtown provides fun for the whole family, as 14 city blocks come alive with holiday-themed attractions, entertainment, refreshements and fun for children of all ages.

This year’s Light Up will feature Christopher Pop-In-Kins, every child’s favorite elf, in a musical main stage show. In addition, the show will feature community musical and dance acts, extended fireworks, and a very special visit from Santa.

Dozens of local performers will take to the main stage along Market Square (301 Market Ave. N in downtown Canton). The event pre-show, sponsored by Mix 94.1, will run from 5:30-6:00 pm, with the stage show immediately following. Fireworks are expected to start at 6:35 pm.

After the show concludes, families can walk up and down Market Avenue, as local businesses open their doors to provide live entertainment, refreshments and activities.

Street closings: 

Market Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic as follows:

  • Wednesday Dec. 2: from 3rd St. NW to 4th St. NW beginning at 3:30 pm  for stage set-up.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3: from 6th Street South to 6th Street North, from 3:30 to 10:30 pm.

Tuscarawas St. W. will be closed to vehicular traffic as follows:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3: from Piedmont Ave. NE to Court Ave. NW at 3:30 pm

Walnut Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic as follows:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3 : from W. Tusc. to 4th St. NE

2nd, 3rd, & 4th St. NE will be closed to vehicular traffic as follows:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3 from Piedmont Ave. NE to Rex Ave. NE

Parking:  Parking is available on-street and in the following parking lots and decks, for a nominal fee:

  • Timken High School parking lot
  • Stark County District Library lot
  • City Centre Parking Deck at 120 Cleveland Avenue South; enter off of West Tuscarawas; open until 10:30 pm
  • NewMarket Parking Deck at 233 Market Avenue South; enter on 3rd St. SW
  • Parking will not be available in the Millennium Center Parking Deck and surrounding lots due to being located in the fireworks drop zone

Winter Essentials Donations:
During the event, the Canton City Fire Department will distribute winter essentials – hats, mittens, scarves and socks – to children in need at Market Ave. S and 5th St. S. Donations of new children’s hats and mittens should be dropped off at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, or other downtown Canton locations, through Nov. 27. Visit for a list of all donation locations.

Event sponsors include Key Bank along with AEP Ohio, Aultman, Quonset Hut, H-P Products, Lowes, Kenan Advantage Group, The Repository, Motten and Meadows Architects, TimkenSteel, Leppo Rents, CRI Technologies, Downtown Canton Special Improvement District, the City of Canton, Metro PCS, PPI Graphics, and Mix 94.1 and 1480 WHBC.

Visit for more details. Light Up Downtown is also on Facebook.

Join the Chamber at Annual Thanksgathering Event on Nov. 18

Join the Canton Regional Chamber on Wednesday, Nov. 18, for a special Stir After Hours Presented by Farmers National Bank as the Chamber presents its annual Member Thanksgathering from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Millennium Center (222 Market Ave. N in downtown Canton).
You’ll have the opportunity to tour Millennium Center businesses including Careworks Consultants, Inc., Day Ketterer Ltd. Attorneys at Law, Julz by Alan Rodriguez, Schauer Group, Inc., REM Commericial, and of course, the Chamber of Commerce!
Enjoy entertainment and specialty hors d’oeuvres, delectable desserts, and wine and beer donated from member businesses including: 4 Cookie Divas, Arcadia Grill, Baja West Coast Kitchen, Canal Tavern of Zoar, Cheese Louise, Chocolates by Erin, Courtyard by Marriott, DiBella’s Old Fashioned Subs, Grinders Above and Beyond, Holiday Inn Canton, L.A. Dick Imports, Marco’s Pizza, McKinley Grand Hotel, Napoli’s Pizza, Norcia Bakery, Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Olive Garden, Penn Station, Pure Water Technology, Siegfried Enterprises dba McDonald’s, Smoke the Burger Joint, Thatsa Wrapp, The Cash Cow Girl, and Thompson Entertainment.

Give those in need something to be thankful for by bringing your non-perishable food item or $3 donation for the Stark County Hunger Task Force and receive FREE admission to our Member Thanksgathering event. Though the Thanksgathering event is FREE with your donation, please register online at

Enshrinement Festival Wins IFEA Pinnacle Award

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival was recently recognized by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) with a prestigious Bronze Pinnacle Award for “Best Event Video” in the category of events with budgets over $1.5 million. 

Awards were presented in 68 different categories at the 2015 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards on September 21 – 23, 2015, during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the IFEA’s 60th Annual Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona.

Joanne Murray, vice president of community events & sponsorships, expressed appreciation to Larry Schock of PYEcom Home Video, who developed the event video from hundreds of hours of footage shot by the PYEcom team. Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival overview DVDs are available for purchase at $24.95 each, plus shipping, by calling Chris Gumpp at 330.458.2055 or e-mailing

The professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events.  Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the 500 Festival, Indianapolis, IN; the Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, IA; the National Archives, Washington, DC; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA; the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, WA; SunFest, West Palm Beach, FL and the Edmonton Heritage Festival in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

International contenders included such diverse event organizations as Destination NSW in Sydney, Australia; Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival in Krakow, Poland; the Singapore Garden Festival, Singapore; RedFilo Events in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Showtime Events; New Delhi, India; Festival Lent, Maribor, Slovenia and the Gimje Horizon Festival in Gimje City, South Korea.

“The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.  Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Enshrinement Festival Announces Top Leadership Roles for 2016

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Pro Football Hall of Fame have named two long-time community volunteers to the top leadership positions for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival.

CondeChip Conde, Stark County Property Tax Supervisor and long-time Enshrinement Festival volunteer, will serve as general chairman of the Enshrinement Festival activities planned by the Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Guy Ruda, account executive for Advantage Waypoint, will serve as general chairman of the Enshrinement Festival activities planned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Conde, a graduate of Canton Lincoln High School and the former Mount Union College (now University), has chaired many Enshrinement Festival committees including Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, Concert & Fireworks, and Drum Corps International, and he continues to serve as a member of each of those committees, as well as the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner Committee. In 2013, he served as co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Community Celebration Day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 2015, he was the Chamber’s General Vice Chairman for the Enshrinement Festival. He and wife Kathy are strong supporters of the Canton Palace Theatre, including his tenure as a former Board member and current Capital Campaign Chairman. He is a Board member and president of the Friends of the Children’s Network, member of the Canton Lincoln High Alumni Association, and member of the Spanish-American Center. 

RudaRuda begins his first year as general chairman of the Hall’s Enshrinement Festival committees. During the 2015 Enshrinement Festival, while serving in the leadership role as general vice chairman, Ruda also completed his 15th year as chairman of the Enshrinement Committee. He previously served 18 years as a member of the Enshrinement Committee, as well as three years as chairman of the former NFL Experience Committee. A very effective mentor, he provides leadership to his volunteer team by adhering to a favorite motto, “People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves.” Ruda and his wife Gail are the proud parents of David and Danielle.


Enshrinement Festival Announces Photo Contest Winners

In the 27th annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Photo Contest sponsored by Western Reserve Group, professional photographer Deb Penland of North Canton won the coveted $250 “Best of Show” award for her shot of the Night Glow at the Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks.

Penland Balloon ClassicPenland also earned $200 first place prizes for her photos of the Drum Corps International Competition Tour of Champions and the TimkenSteel Grand Parade:

Penland Drum CorpPenland Timken Grand ParadeThe non-professional category was led by Doug Froelich of North Canton who received $300 for his first place photos of the Community Parade, Canton Kickoff Celebration, and Gold Jacket 5K National Championship:

Froelich, Doug - Community Parade Froelich, Doug - Canton Kickoff Froelich, Doug - 5K Gold Jacket Series (1)

Brenda Stankich of North Jackson, Ohio, received $100 for her first place photo of the Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks:

Stankich, Brenda - Balloon Classic copy

The winning photos will be on display at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, located at 520 Cleveland Ave. N in downtown Canton, from Oct. 28 through Dec. 5. The photos will also be showcased on the Enshrinement Festival’s website at

Cultivate Business Leads at Fall NETWORK on Oct. 30

Jeanne_WiedtBring a big stack of business cards and get ready for speed networking! (Think speed dating, but without all the nerves!) The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Fall NETWORK event on Friday, Oct. 30, provides a way to increase your sales database and grow your contacts.

Fall NETWORK will take attendees on a networking journey through four, fast-paced hours of energizing activities, complete with icebreakers and new ideas on how to increase your sales effectiveness. Attendees will acquire new business contacts and potential sales leads at the event.

Event emcee Jeanne Wiedt, certified trainer, Dale Carnegie Training, will present business tips on building relationships and strategies for success.

Fall NETWORK will be held at Skyland Pines Golf Club & Banquet Facility. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the program and roundtable speed networking from 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Tickets are $35 for Canton Regional Chamber members and $60 for non-members, and include a full buffet breakfast. Register now online at or call (330) 458-2070.

NETWORK is not just for sales and marketing associates; it will benefit anyone interested in establishing long-term relationships and increasing a company’s bottom line, including area business owners and purchasing agents. Every attendee will receive a registrant’s list for post-event follow-up and future contact. There is a maximum of two representatives per company permitted to ensure greatest networking exposure.

Abundant Fall Produce Available at Canton Farmers’ Market

Now through Oct. 17, Canton Farmers’ Market shoppers can enjoy a cornucopia of  fall produce including locally-grown apples, pumpkins, gourds, beans, peppers, potatoes, and much more.

Local selections including artisan breads, organic cheeses, grassfed beef, local honey, baked goods, jams & syrups, and more are also available at the Market on Saturday mornings from 8 to 11:30 a.m. The Market is located in the Timken High School Parking Lot at the corner of Fourth St. NW and McKinley Ave NW.

In addition to the 25+ vendors each week, there are weekly live music and activities ranging from gardening tips to make-and-take art for the kids:

October 3
Denny Ott (musical entertainment)

October 10
Sophia Golina (musical entertainment)
Cindy Petitti (organic gardening tips)

October 17
Sophia Golina (musical entertainment)
Sarah Shumaker (kids’ make & take art)
Aultman WOW Van

Visit for more information including a complete list of vendors. Please direct any questions about the Market to Erin Thompson, event manager, at 330.458.2072.