LEWIS CENTER — The Orange Township Holiday Celebration will take place Sunday from 4-7 p.m. in North Orange Park Pavilion, 7560 Gooding Blvd., Delaware.
Special guests Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for socially-distanced photos from 5:30-6:30 p.m. There will be train rides, a “Letters to Santa” station, a strolling magician, holiday lights and festive music. Donuts, hot chocolate, and popcorn will also be available.
Musical performances include the Shanahan Middle School Choir at 5 p.m. and the Olentangy High School Choir at 6:15 p.m. The 16-foot tree will be illuminated at 5:30 p.m., and holiday stories will be read at 5:45 p.m. by members of the Delaware County District Library.
The free event will take place “rain, snow or shine,” the township said on Facebook.
Also on Sunday, a drive-thru toy drive starts at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. at nearby Orange Township Fire Station 361, 7700 Gooding Blvd., Delaware. “Items needed are new toys, new outdoor winterwear, non-perishable food and toiletries,” said a Facebook post.
For those individuals unable to drop off items on Sunday, the items can still be dropped off in the Delaware County People in Need box in the station’s vestibule any time between now and Dec. 10. The items will also be accepted at any Delaware city or Delaware County fire departments, and the Delaware County Fairgrounds Coliseum, 236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware. The items will be distributed at the fairgrounds Dec. 12-13.
For kids unable to drop off their letters to Santa on Sunday, a special mailbox has been placed outside of the Orange Township Hall, 1680 E. Orange Road, Lewis Center. The mailbox will be up until 8 a.m. Dec. 13.
“Remember to write your name and address carefully so Santa knows where to write back to,” said the township’s website.
Finally, the community is asked to recycle old strands of string Christmas lights instead of tossing them in the trash. The lights can be recycled at various gift-wrapped drop-off boxes in the county. The locations are as follows: Delaware City Public Works, 440 E. William St., Delaware; all branches of the Delaware County District Library; Delaware Public Health District’s Sunbury office, 137 state Route 3 (in the Kroger Shopping Plaza), Sunbury; Genoa Township Administration Office, 5111 S. Old 3C Highway, Westerville; Price Farms Organics, 4838 Warrensburg Road, Delaware; and Wornstaff Library, 302 E. High St., Ashley.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.