West Jefferson’s Christmas in the Park Schedule of Events
Friday, Dec. 12
5 p.m.—Concessions open
5:30 p.m.—Opening ceremonies
High school Gold Choir performs
6 p.m.—Santa arrives
6:30-9:30 p.m.—Carriage rides
6-10 p.m.—Santa pictures
Saturday, Dec. 13
5:30 p.m.—Lighted parade begins
6-10 p.m.—Carriage rides
Sunday, Dec. 14
5:30 p.m.—Lights turned on
6-9 p.m.—Santa pictures
7-9:30 p.m.—Carriage rides begin
7:45 p.m.—Light contest winners announced
8 p.m.—Children’s gift giveaway
Monday, Dec. 15 to Thursday, Jan. 1
5 p.m.-midnight—Lights on
How to find the park: Journey to West Jefferson via Route 40. Once in downtown, turn south on Walnut Street, which runs straight into the park.
Parking: Available on surrounding streets. One option is the field behind the park. To get there, continue south on Walnut Street, which becomes Fellows Avenue, then look for the lot.
What’s new at this year’s event
When Santa flips the switch at 6 p.m. Dec. 12, West Jefferson’s two-acre Garrette Park will turn into a winter wonderland. This marks the 13th year for what has become a tradition not only for residents of West Jefferson but also for families from miles around who make the trip to drive by or walk through the lights.
"We now have people from across the state of Ohio and Kentucky driving to West Jefferson to look at our light display," said Cory Coburn, a member of the West Jefferson Community Association which sponsors Christmas in the Park.
AAA’s Home & Away magazine has even recognized Christmas in the Park as a holiday destination. One look at the park in December, and you’ll understand why. Lights adorn anything and everything, from the buildings to the trees to Christmas-themed cutouts of sleighs, snowmen, candy canes and elves. A total of 300,000 lights glow every night from approximately 5 p.m. to midnight until Jan. 1.
Ever year, the second weekend in December is set aside for a three-day celebration to kick off the light display. Horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, food and the chance to tell Santa your wish list are all part of the fun.
The Community Association finds ways to enhance the event from year to year. Blow-ups now dot the landscape along with the cutouts. A lighted parade was added in 2005.
This year, there’s a new gingerbread house which serves as the carriage ride ticket booth. There’s also a new theme for the Mrs. Claus suite, the warm room in which children wait in line to visit Santa.
Underground electric to light the trees, a fire ring to warm your hands, craft items in the warming tent to clear your shopping list and a fresh paint job in the Santa House and shelter house also are new.
As always, the Community Association has invited residents of West Jefferson and Jefferson Township to get into the fun by showing off their own home light displays. The judging will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 10-12. Winners will receive cash prizes. First place receives $100.
Between the park and the homes, West Jefferson absolutely glows in December.
For more information about any aspect of Christmas in the Park, call Cory Coburn at 614-560-9233 or visit www.wjcip.org.