Ohio city offers old-style Christmas festival

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LEBANON, Ohio (AP) -- Planners expect as many as 200,000 people for this weekend's Christmas-themed festival in the southwest Ohio city of Lebanon (Leb-UH'-nuhn).

The 24th annual Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival is a keynote event for the community that prides itself on old-time charms. The city about midway between Cincinnati and Dayton is home to antique stores, quaint restaurants and shops, and to the Golden Lamb Inn and Restaurant that dates to 1803.

There are two parades featuring horse-drawn carriages planned for downtown Saturday.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/V4yHRx ) that attendance has grown from some 80,000 people a decade ago to 200,000 last year.

Sixty-seven-year-old Mike McMurray says most locals consider the parades the beginning of the Christmas season. He will be riding with Santa Claus this year.