Canal Winchester’s historic downtown will be alive with the sights and sounds of the season as the village kicks off the holidays with its annual "Christmas in the Village" on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Activities will line the streets, fill storefronts, and occupy historical buildings throughout the village as visitors take a horse drawn carriage ride or an antique tractor hayride; munch on a candy cane, sip a cup of hot cocoa, and crack open a freshly-roasted chestnut; or sit on Santa’s lap and whisper childhood wishes. Visitors can also enjoy the glistening work of an ice sculptor, sponsored by the Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce, Anthem Insurance, Comp Management, Wal-mart, Chase Bank Downtown, and Dill’s Greenhouse.
Kids can create a decoration for their tree at craft stations in Town Hall, 10 N. High St. Children’s carnival games at Chase Bank, brought to you By Crossroads Christian Life Church, and roving carolers are also part of the annual holiday celebration.
The village is sponsoring its first-ever gingerbread house contest during the event. All gingerbread houses will be on display in the front room of the village administration building at 36 S. High St. All gingerbread houses must be homemade. Entries should be dropped off at 36 S. High St. between 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 30 and will be divided into two categories: Adults (ages 13 and older) and Children (ages 12 and under). Judging by local restaurateurs, Butch Zurbriggen from Butch’s Italian Café and Kim Eccard from Cool Cravings, will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1. All participants will be awarded a certificate.
A Santa parade will be held on both nights of the celebration. It starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Fire Station on Gender Road on Nov. 30 and at 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 1 in downtown Canal Winchester. A tree lighting ceremony will be held each night following the parade and features the Canal Winchester High School Choir on Friday and World Harvest Church Choir on Saturday.
The Labor Day Festival queen and her court will take pictures of children as they visit Santa at the Huntington Bank building. The cost for the photo is a food donation to a local pantry. The interurban station, once a hub of local transportation, is the new host for a model train display previously housed in the iBeam building.
"We were really excited about moving into the interurban station," said Canal Winchester Historical Society President Mike Ippoliti. "The layout will be larger and we’ll have more scenery, all the way from mountains to villages. We’ll still run three trains, but we’ll be able to run longer trains and have more in the train yard. It’s basically the same display as we had at the Ohio fairgrounds. The historical society will still have a table set up in the iBeam conference room with items for sale and free cookies and candy canes for visitors. Last year we had around 750 come through the display over two nights. There was a ton of people."
A business bazaar will be held in the Pine Room at Shade on the Canal.
"It’s a new venue for an old event that’s been going on at least five years," said organizer Gaynell Garrett. "The business bazaar is a place where sponsor members are displaying their products or services. Most are home-based businesses and while some will only have information about their service, others will have products for sale.
"Each participating business is donating to a gift basket and people attending the bazaar can put their name in drawing to win the basket, which is sometimes worth hundreds of dollars."