The Steubenville Nutcracker Village opened in Steubenville, Ohio, November, 2015, featuring life-sized Nutcrackers created locally in the production shop of Nelson’s of Steubenville. Each 6’ nutcracker on display in Fort Steuben Park is uniquely hand-painted with many crafted to reflect some theme, character or aspect of Steubenville.

This project was conceived by Jerry Barilla, President of the Board of Old Fort Steuben Project, while putting a nutcracker decoration back into its box after Christmas and then brought to life by the father & daughter team of Mark & Therese Nelson and the talented crew of Nelson’s of Steubenville.  The introduction of The Steubenville Nutcracker Village was overwhelmingly successful with thousands of visitors and rave reviews. The one word used over and over again to describe the event was – “MAGICAL!”.  The project quickly took off and the result has been amazing.

The initial year welcomed 37 nutcrackers in the park ranging from the traditional German soldier to such characters as a gondolier, a Franciscan friar and the Phantom of the Opera. The second year the Village saw an increase in the Nutcrackers to over 100, and also a larger Christmas Wonderland/Gift Shop and Advent Market with extended days and hours. Year three introduced even more Nutcrackers, and the Advent Market, Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop added extended days/hours and variety.  Year four  brought new Nutcrackers, an extended Advent Market, additional hours for the Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop,  many new decorations,  and a sequel to the original musical production based on the characters of the Steubenville Nutcracker Village.

Visitors can stroll along the walkways and identify the Nutcracker clever designs and characters, taking photos and selfies.   In conjunction with the Nutcracker Village, the outdoor Advent Market features food, local artisans, Christmas gifts, hayrides, and music.  The Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop inside the Fort Steuben Visitor Center offer an opportunity to reminisce about Christmases past and shop for unique and interesting items for every age.  To add to the fun is a Nutcracker-themed Christmas Parade and a new original nutcracker musical production written by local residents Von and John Holmes, using familiar melodies of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.


The Steubenville Nutcracker Village and Advent Market will be open from Friday, November 27th, 2020 through Saturday, January 9th, 2021.

This year will look a bit different to comply with the COVID 19 guidelines   to enable social distancing and other safety protocols, but will be featuring 180 Nutcrackers at Historic Fort Steuben Park and on 4th and Market Streets, in Historic Downtown Steubenville.  At the Park there will also be the Advent Market booths, giant Christmas trees, the Holly Trolley, holiday music, expanded gift shop, tours of the fort, and an outdoor ‘food court’.

Please check back on this page for updates and specifics  for the upcoming season as they become available, and/or visit:

Steubenville Nutcracker Village on Facebook at

or the Steubenville Nutcracker Village website at

For information regarding the Nutcracker Village, Advent Market, and Parade or to arrange a Group Tour or Tour Package (see sample itinerary below photos), contact the Fort Steuben Visitor Center at 740.283.4935 or



Two Day:  ‘It’s all about Art’ Holiday Tour

Day One:  Start your day with a step-on guided tour of Steubenville’s 25 larger than life Murals that artfully capture the city’s rich heritage; then enjoy a light buffet lunch at the Classic Corner Restaurant.

Continue with a tour of the Jefferson County Historical Museum. Each of the nineteen rooms in this mansion has a different theme, including a Dean Martin Room, Presidents Room and Civil War Room.

After a stop at your hotel, enjoy your dinner at Naples Spaghetti House, one of Steubenville’s finest and oldest eateries.

Next, it is on to Nutcracker Village & Advent Market where you will have the opportunity to ‘meet’ with  life-sized nutcrackers of every description and character imaginable and visit the Advent Market which features food, local artisans, Christmas gifts, music, and more.

You can also shop at the expanded Gift Shop located inside the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, tour Historic Fort Steuben,  take a ride around Historic Steubenville on the Holly Trolley, and visit the Steel Valley Train Display (subject to change).

Day Two:  After breakfast, head West to enjoy a fascinating trip back in time and experience old world England as historic downtown Cambridge, Ohio, is charmingly transformed into a Dickens Victorian Village with over 180 life-size characters throughout town in nearly 93 scenes. Bronze plaques on each scene tell interesting facts about life at that time.  Look for scenes on the street, in the store windows and even check out the second story windows from time to time.  These life-size and hand-made mannequins take hours to complete, and wear vintage clothes. Their heads are specially made by local artists from the Eastern Ohio Art Guild. You will find scenes depicting Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, or the infamous Scrooge and Marley. Many times it seems they look so real, they could come to life.

Enjoy the Victorian style buildings as you stroll through the scenes, perhaps stopping at one of the unique shops or sampling some delicious food at a bakery, candy shop, or home style restaurants.

Then end your day with the Courthouse Holiday Light Show, which starts every evening at 5:30. Over 55,000 lights are synchronized to holiday music for this special presentation.  Four different segments entertain with carols, children’s songs, classical and traditional Christmas tunes.

For more information please call:  740.283.4935 or email: