Ribbon & Rail's Trains To Run During Sidney's Christmas Stroll
November 22, 2023 | View PDF
During the Sidney Christmas Stroll, another time-honored tradition will be going on in the basement of Sidney's only in-town craft and hobby store, Ribbon N Rail. Russ Markwald, owner, and the rest of the Sugar Valley Rails model-railroading club will be running their trains on Friday, Nov. 24, to join in the Christmas Stroll.
Markwald has had the trains running for the Christmas Stroll ever since he has been running trains at Ribbon n Rail, but the tradition started a long time before that. The craft and hobby store owner said, "My father loved model trains and Dad always had something going around the Christmas tree, growing up." Time marched on and eventually, Markwald found himself and partner, Rod Lorenz, running a handful of trains during Christmas at the Village Square Mall. The following year the train display graduated to the basements of Ben Franklin (currently Ribbon & Rail) when the owners of Ben Franklin sold out, Markwald bought the business and changed the name to Ribbon & Rail.
The Sugar Valley Rails model-railroading club meets on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons in the basement of Ribbon & Rail to run their trains. They usually have their trains set up, running, and open to the public on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m.
In 2022, the Sidney Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture included the store's train setup as an official part of the stroll. They did not make it in this year but they will still be running during the stroll from 1 p.m. to about the time the Parade of Lights gets to Main, usually 7 p.m. Besides their usual setup which may change, depending on the fancies of the club members, they also have a scavenger hunt.
Admission is free, although Markwald and the rest of the club ask that you refrain from touching the trains, tracks, and rest of the displays. Donations are welcome to offset the cost of operating the trains. Ribbon n Rail is located at 110 E. Main St., Sidney, and their regular business hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturdays.