Monday, November 29, 2010

WANTED: Green male, age 53 - The Grinch Capers Return to Fairport Harbor

The denotation of 'lore' is acquired knowledge on a particular subject, for example, local traditions handed down by word of mouth and usually in the form of stories or anecdotes.  An icon of the winter holidays, The Grinch returns to Fairport Harbor this Saturday for his annual capers.  Theodor Suess Geisel, a German immigrant better known as Dr. Suess, wrote the tale of our infamous green character in 1957.  Appearing in an issue of 'Redbook' and in book form, the classic storyline is this - Bitter and hateful, the Grinch is irritated at the thought of the nearby village having a happy time celebrating Christmas.   A television special followed in 1966, and rocketed The Grinch to his iconic status. The Grinch, Max and Cindy Lou Who have reveled in their lore for the decades that followed.

In 1994, the village of Fairport Harbor began an annual event known as Harbor Holidays.  It is held the first Saturday in December and features shopping, eating and entertainment at the local businesses, churches, schools, museums and organizations.  In 2000, a green figure emigrated to Fairport Harbor and has been seen on the first Saturday in December throughout the village.  His capers include stealing gifts from the local merchants, driving around the village in a classic 1960's red Ford sedan and appearing at the Fairport Public Library at noon to autograph his book and take pictures with the little true believers.  " Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more."  Thus, the Grinch began a new local tradition of reading his classic story from the top of the lighthouse tower at 6pm that Saturday.  The crowds below, many in blankets and sitting in lawn chairs listen to his classic transformation and join him afterwards in the park for free pictures ( Santa is present too ) , free hot chocolate and a snack.

While there is much holiday lore in Lake County from the Corning House at the Holden Arboretum to the Nativity Scenes in Historic Kirtland Village, it is the shared generational program sponsored by the Fairport Harbor Business Association, Fairport Public Library, and Fairport Harbor Historical Society that should be visited and revisited the first Saturday of each December.

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