The Tilson-Snider Family Gathers for a Fall Celebration in Lakeside

Posted on February 04, 2016

The Tilson and Snider families are looking forward to celebrating their “Annual Fallabration” at Lakeside this September.

Dawn Tilson tells us the story of how it all began in 2006 with the wedding of her daughter, Andrea, to Thomas Snider and a get-to-know-the-families gathering.

“Who would have known? We ended up with 22 people, four generations on each side, and we had a ball,” says Dawn.

Ten reunions later, it has turned into a family tradition. Their reunion now draws family from across Ohio and as far as Denver, Colo. for “one weekend out of the year to share, grow, laugh, eat and be together.”

Dawn had grown up visiting the Marblehead Peninsula with friends and spent a lot of time in Lakeside throughout the years.

[Tilson Snider Reunion (3)] When the reunion outgrew its previous homes, the family decided to move it to Lakeside’s Erie Guest House, a three-story cottage located in the heart of the Chautauqua community. As one of Lakeside’s largest cottages, it easily accommodates the Tilson/Snider reunion. They will soon be enjoying their 5th year of gathering in Lakeside.

“The term ‘Fallabration’ was coined by my nephew, Ruben, and we all decided it was perfect,” Dawn explains. “We have been to Lakeside during every season. I love the fall and off-season because there aren’t as many people, and Lakeside is absolutely beautiful in the fall. The leaves, the quiet, the lake…”

When she closes her eyes and thinks back on reunions past, what she remembers most is the laughter.

One of the family’s favorite activities is a “Make or Bake,” a fun twist on a white elephant gift exchange for a family full of creative people. Each person brings something handmade.

“Everybody spends all year trying to decide what to do (really!), and the results are amazing!”

[Tilson Snider Reunion (2)] Gifts are numbered, and each person draws a number. Then, one by one, they take the corresponding package or trade for one previously opened.

Past creations have included delights such as pumpkin bread, handmade stationary, personally performed music CDs, knitted slippers, photo coasters, peppermint bark, stained glass window hangings, wooden magazine racks, and more.

“We have close to 100% participation, and we have so much fun.”

When asked what part of their Lakeside experience should never change, Dawn decides, “The love that everyone shares. The little ones are growing up too quickly, and family is so important. I want them always to have this weekend to look back on and remember.”

Lakeside Chautauqua hosts hundreds of groups year-round, including youth groups, weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, anniversaries, church groups and business retreats.

For more information about booking your next group event at Lakeside Chautauqua, visit

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