SUNBURY — Christmas on the Square takes place in the town square from 4-8 p.m. Saturday.
One of the highlights of the annual event is the lighted parade at 5:30 p.m., which culminates with an appearance by a special guest from the North Pole. The parade starts at Burrer Drive (near the Community Library), travels up Cherry Street/state Route 37, turns right on Vernon Street, right on Granville Street, and back to Burrer. The lineup begins at 5 p.m. Area resident Dave Mazza, of WCMH-TV, will be the parade announcer.
The event will include horse and carriage rides, holiday music from DJ Meeko, ice sculpting, holiday treats at the Sunbury Municipal Building, food vendors on Granville Street, a donut-eating contest, ornament-making by the Kiwanis Club, and visits with Santa (after the parade) in the Sunbury Town Hall (bring your own camera). The nativity scene is provided by St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
There is also a craft and gift fair on the square between the Town Hall and Vernon Street. Also, the Sunbury Lions Club will have its Christmas tree sale active during the day.
New this year is a Santa Dog Costume Contest, sponsored by the Sunbury Fraternal Order of Eagles. It will take place following the parade at the northwest quadrant of the square. The top dogs will get a doggie basket with goodies.
Look for local businesses to have holiday-themed promotions on Saturday, too. A dog-related pet food drive is at Bubbles and Bows Dog Grooming, 28 N. Vernon St. Unopened food and treats will be collected through Saturday.
“We’ll be there 5 p.m.-8 p.m.,” the shop said on Facebook. “There will be face painting by April Smith of Fun Paint With Me, hot chocolate, goodie bags for the kiddos and pups, plus a selfie station.”
The tree lighting ceremony with Mayor Joe St. John will be around 7 p.m.
Christmas on the Square is presented by the Sunbury Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s hard to believe Christmas on the Square is right around the corner, but it is!” said the chamber on Facebook.
Also in the square, Table Rock Construction is holding its annual sock drive. New socks can be dropped off at Table Rock, 28 E. Cherry St., until 5 p.m., or at the Chamber office, 39 E. Granville St., through Christmas on the Square.
For those in the community unable to attend Christmas on the Square, the Community Library will hold Christmas at the Libraryon Saturday, Dec. 10, from 6-8 p.m. Kids can build their own stuffed animal (registration and fee required), and there will be free games at the festive celebration. For more information, visit www.yourcl.org.
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at the above email address.