Main Street Delaware’s Home for the Holidays First Friday event is set to return for its sixth year next week, and it will include a host of activities over a five-day span beginning Friday, Dec. 2.
The festivities will begin with the Friday community tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the main stage, which will be located at the corner of William and Sandusky streets. Carolers and musical acts will also perform on the stage.
A synthetic ice skating rink will be set up from 5-9 p.m. outside Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU)’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, which is located at 40 Rowland Ave. The rink, which is sponsored by Snappy’s Automotive and The Mason Foundation, will be free to everyone.
A Schmidt’s Sausage Haus food truck will be located near the rink, and proceeds from food sales will be donated to The Mason Foundation, which awards annual scholarships to local youth.
Other Friday festivities include the opportunity to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through Delaware and, of course, to meet with Santa. The carriage rides will begin from the Strand Theatre and will cost $2 per person; children under 5 years old will be free. Santa will be available from 7-9 p.m. inside the Main Street Delaware Welcome Center, located at 20 E. William St.
Professional photos with Santa are available from For His Glory photography for $10, which will include a print and digital copy.
Santa will be at the Welcome Center each Friday and Saturday through Dec. 17., and reservations are required for most times. For a complete list of Santa House times and to reserve space, visit www.mainstreetdelaware.com/christmas-in-downtown.
Delaware County Transit will provide free shuttles from 5:30-9:30 p.m. for the Friday events. Shuttles will run every 15 minutes between downtown and the Hayes Building at 145 Union St.
More fun continues on Saturday, Dec. 3, with the annual “Dash for Dasher” scavenger hunt from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. downtown. The hunt is free, although boxes of cereal and monetary donations will be accepted to benefit local food pantries. Santa will be available from 12-3 p.m. at the Main Street Delaware Welcome Center. Walk-ins are welcome from 12-1 p.m., and appointments are required for visits between 1-3 p.m.
The synthetic ice skating rink will return on Saturday and will be open to all from 3-9 p.m. From 1-3 p.m., children 10 and under can interact with members of the Westerville Warcats high school club hockey team to learn basic skating and hockey skills.
The Funnel Cake Station food truck will be stationed on Sandusky Street from 2-7 p.m., and proceeds from food sales will again benefit The Mason Foundation.
On Sunday, Main Street Delaware’s annual Christmas Parade will be held, with OWU President Rock Jones serving as the grand marshal. The parade will kick off from Mingo Park at 3 p.m. and travel south through downtown to Wilmer Street. The United States Post Office will collect letters to Santa at the start of the route to help ensure they reach the North Pole safely. Children can include a return address on their letters for a response from Santa.
Finally, the Home for the Holidays festivities will wrap up on Tuesday, Dec. 6, with a ticketed bus tour of holiday lights in Delaware’s northwest neighborhood. The narrated tours depart every hour from 6-8 p.m. from Boardman Arts Park, located at 154 W. William St. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at the Main Street Delaware website.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.