Kwanzaa, a Swahili word that means “first fruits,” is a seven-day festival that honors African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa takes place each year in the United States from December 26 to January 1 and celebrates family and community through music, dance, poetry, storytelling and art. Maulana Karenga, an African-American civil rights activist, first established Kwanzaa in 1966.

Around the globe people have celebrated the beginning of the new year for millennia. 4,000 years ago Babylonians celebrated the the new year during the first new moon in late March after the vernal equinox — the day with an equal amount of darkness and sunlight. c. 2000 B.C. the new year was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox.

Harbourtown Fine Arts Center seeks to preserve the past and build a future centered around the fine arts in Vermilion, Ohio. Located in the Vermilion Old Town Hall and Opera House, the Center hopes to restore the iconic building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1883 and completed in 1884, Old Town Hall was the center of the village of Vermilion.

Vermilion, Ohio straddles a river of the same name as it empties into Lake Erie, and it has a past as colorful as the clay for which the river was named. Once known as the “city of sea captains,” the city was a popular drop-off point for illegal liquor from Canada during the days of Prohibition. The city has been home not only to many captains and sailors, but also to an amazing lighthouse story that spans two centuries and two Great Lakes.

Brownhelm Community Christmas takes place December 24th, annually. Santas visit homes in Old Brownhelm delivering gifts, candy and fruit. In 1931 a young child, 8 years old, was told there wouldn’t be any Christmas presents for her. The Great Depression had taken its tole on Northern Ohio and her father was out of work. The little girl confided the heartbreaking news to her pastor of the Brownhelm Congregational Church.

Louis Wells, a Cleveland contractor, began the Vermilion Lagoons project as a means of keeping his men busy during the Great Depression of the 1930s. By 1931 the first house and the beach house had been built and the lagoons were dredged and most of the wooden piling secured. The first house was located just to the south and west of the beach house on the Erie Lagoon and belonged to a Mr. Comstock.

On December 25, people around the world celebrate Christmas. Some people celebrate by giving gifts. Children may be thanking Santa Claus for new toys. They may also be going to church with their families. Christmas has so many traditions and symbols associated with it that it's hard to determine exactly how it came to be the celebration it is today. Christmas has been celebrated around the globe.

Once a year, Jewish children all over the world play a game of chance called “dreidel” that uses four-sided spinning tops inscribed with Hebrew letters. The game is played during Hanukkah and commemorates a miraculous event that took place over 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. The game, like Hanukkah itself, recalls the victory of a small band of determined Jewish fighters, led by Judah Maccabee, over an army of invaders.

Today’s Thanksgiving holiday has roots in a number of celebrations that occurred centuries ago in different regions of North America. Native communities had regularly given thanks for nature’s gifts for centuries before the arrival of Europeans on the continent. In May 1541, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led 1,500 men in a thanksgiving celebration in what is today the Texas Panhandle. Two decades later, French Huguenot colonists gave solemn praise .

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

It's a nightmarish scene in the countryside of Vermilion on Gore Road over one hundred years ago. A gigantic fire engulfs an old orphanage burning dozens of young children alive. Desperate to escape the inferno, the children on the second floor found the stairs blocked by flames. Dreadful screams of the children trapped inside the blazing building pierce the ears of horrified onlookers unable to stop the carnage.

Historical markers commemorate Crystal Beach Park at the north end of Nantucket Drive in Vermilion, Ohio. The markers are a collaborative effort of Crystal Shores Apartments and members of the family who used to operated the park. Craig Luther, 31, an Army veteran and reservist, is a maintenance technician for Crystal Shores Apartments.