It’s Christmastime again in downtown Delaware on Friday, Dec. 4, when the community Christmas tree is lighted for the holiday season.
The tree will be illuminated during Main Street Delaware’s First Friday celebration, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. People are invited to gather and hear carols at the community patio at William and Sandusky streets beginning at 7 p.m., with the tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.
“Christmas in downtown is so important to me,” said Frances Jo Hamilton, executive director of Main Street Delaware. “It is my favorite time of year. I am thrilled that we are able to give our community Christmas memories just like the ones I remember of my childhood in Delaware.”
The sidewalks will be lined with hundreds of candle luminaries to add to the festive atmosphere, and warming barrels will be available throughout the downtown. Stations also will be set up for children to type a letter to Santa on a vintage typewriter at A Little Simplicity, 53 N. Sandusky.
For this special night, Santa Claus will be in his house at the Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter St., until 9 p.m., and free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from 6 to 9 p.m., with boarding in front of the theatre. Carriage rides continue on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 18.
Santa also will be in his Delaware digs at the Strand from 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays and from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays between Dec. 5 and Dec. 19. Parents are invited to take photos of their children, or Main Street Delaware will have a photographer on hand who is able to provide prints on the spot for a small fee.
“Main Street Delaware is excited to collaborate with so many special elves to bring Christmas to the city,” Hamilton said. “We hope everyone participates in and supports this wonderful community tradition.”
Delaware’s downtown merchants are inviting visitors to continue the celebration Saturday during Main Street Delaware’s second annual “Holiday Open House” from noon to 4 p.m. Downtown businesses will offer special treats for this one-day shopping event.
Main Street Delaware’s First Fridays will continue on Feb. 5, 2016, with the annual “Chocolate Walk.” Downtown businesses invite visitors into their stores to collect an assortment of chocolates. Tickets for this event will go on sale in January.
This year’s tree-lighting ceremony is sponsored by JEGS. Carriage rides are sponsored by the Delaware County Bank.
This year, Main Street Delaware is looking to the community to help provide funding for the Santa House and other downtown holiday traditions. Tax-deductible donations may be contributed to Main Street Delaware by calling 740-362-6050, by visiting www.mainstreetdelaware.org and clicking “Make a Christmas Donation,” or by mailing a check to Main Street Delaware at 20 E. Winter St., Delaware OH 43015.
Donations are also being accepted at various downtown businesses; look for the box with Santa’s belt. These contributions help keep the holiday events free in downtown Delaware.