Is it too soon to talk about holiday events? For some, it’s not soon enough!
While Christmas itself is more than a month away, the start of the holidays are marked with events like seasonal lights, tree lightings, and appearances from Santa Claus. Some of those are already underway or are coming up soon.
Below is a list of events The Gazette knows is happening in Delaware County and nearby. Additional events will be shared in the Delaware County notebook, which appears on page 2 in The Gazette.
• WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio, now through Jan. 9; Hartford Fairgrounds, 14028 Fairgrounds Road, Croton. This is a new location for the event, where the drive-thru light show is synchronized to a soundtrack. Reservations are required at showclix.com/event/christmas-in-ohio.
• Fantasy of Lights, 5:30-9 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday) and 5:30-10 p.m. (Friday-Saturday), Nov. 19-Jan. 2; Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 3311 S. Old State Road, Delaware. The nearest drive-thru light show for Delaware residents. Also nearby at 3190 S. Old State Road in Cross Creek Camping Resort is the independently-operated Santa House, where visitors can get a photo taken with Santa.
• Wildlights, 5-9 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday) and 5-10 p.m. (Friday-Saturday), Nov. 20-Jan. 3 (closed holidays); Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Powell. For more information, visit columbuszoo.org.
• First Friday celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3. The annual Main Street Delaware event will take place in downtown Delaware and will feature peformances by local musical groups, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa at the Delaware Welcome Center (by reservation only), and the lighting of the Christmas tree on the corner of William and Sandusky streets at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit mainstreetdelaware.com.
• Tree lightings, 5:30 (Otterbein) and 7 p.m. (City Hall) Dec. 3; Westerville. Otterbein University will have a tree lighting, holiday feast at the Campus Center and its annual Sounds of the Season concert at 8 p.m. with the city’s lighting also taking place.
• Christmas in Ashley, 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; East High Street, Ashley. Christmas parade begins at 5 p.m. Also featured will be a live nativity scene located across from the Methodist Church on East High Street. The event will also include luminaries, free Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, a toy drive at the Elm Valley Fire Department, a food drive and the BV Food Pantry, and local churches and businesses will be open to the public.
• Holidays in Powell, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; Village Green, Powell. The Holiday Market, presented by the Powell Chamber of Commerce, will be held in the Powell Municipal Building. At 6 p.m., guests are invited to join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Mayor Frank Bertone for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. in Village Green Park, 47 Hall St. A holiday concert will be held immediately following the ceremony.
• Fill a Cruiser, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; Dublin Justice Center, 6565 Commerce Pkwy., Dublin. The third annual holiday toy drive for local newborns through 17-year-olds is a drive-thru event.
• Christmas on the Square, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; Sunbury square. The event will begin with a craft and gift fair on the square, and food and beverage vendors on Vernon Street. The Christmas parade around the square start at 5:30 p.m. There will be holiday-themed activities throughout, with the Christmas tree lighting by Mayor Joe St. John and Santa at 7 p.m., followed by a donut-eating contest. For more information, visit sunburybigwalnutchamber.com.
• Home for the Holidays Parade, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5; Delaware. The annual parade will leave Mingo Park in Delaware at 3 p.m. The parade route heads west on East Lincoln Avenue then turns left to walk south on North Sandusky Street. The parade will end at the corner of South Sandusky and Wilmer streets near the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.
• Santa Claus and tree lighting, 6-8 p.m., Dec. 5; Galena. For more information, visit galenaohio.gov.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.