By Linda Dillman
The first weekend of December is a busy time for Santa, his elves and residents in Lockbourne and Canal Winchester as Christmas arrives and celebrations begin.
Lockbourne’s Christmas Hop
On Dec. 4, Lockbourne rings in the holidays with a Christmas Hop from 4-7 p.m.
“Our village is going to have a busy holiday season this year,” said Lockbourne Deputy Administrator Kendall Collins. “We are kicking off the event with a horse drawn carriage ride for only $5. The carriage will tour our beautifully decorated village streets. We are also offering a complimentary hot chocolate bar with all the fixings—marshmallows, caramel, candy canes, everything.”
Santa is handing out gifts to children in the village’s Historical Hall, 206 Vause St., and three churches are opening their doors to visitors with free snacks or something unique to their space.
“We will have live music for the Spiritual Echoes, who will be performing during the event and helping with carols during the village Christmas Tree Lighting, which ends the night,” said Collins. “Kid’s crafts and other activities will also be available at no charge.”
Collins said the Christmas Hop is an annual event that brings the community together during the holiday season, along with improving the morale of residents and bringing new guests to Lockbourne.
The event is funded through donations from Rediscover Lockbourne and is held rain or shine. The only activity impacted by the weather is the wagon ride in the event of a heavy snow, which could injure the animals.
CW’s Christmas in the Village
In Canal Winchester, a new iceless skating rink greets visitors to Christmas in the Village on Dec. 2-3 from 6-9 p.m.
According to city spokesperson Hannah Woodruff, the rink will be located in the parking lot behind Canal Winchester City Hall and Shade’s. Skates will be provided and it is free to participate.
“Also new this year is Santa’s location – after lighting the tree each night, Santa will move into the Interurban Depot (16 Towing Path) to visit with kids,” said Woodruff. “Visitors can line up on the sidewalk that extends behind Barrel & Boar.”
The new community center is hosting an annual holiday bazaar and model train display that was previously located in the Frances Steube Community Center.
Santa’s reindeer are temporarily taking up residence in the green space while live ice sculpting sparkles in Stradley Park. Children are invited to ride the holiday trolley from the community center to downtown and the Historical Complex located at Oak and North High streets.
“The Brockstrong Light Up The Night Holiday Lights Parade will be Saturday evening,” said Woodruff. “Neighborhood floats, businesses, families, and even Santa will all make appearances. The parade departs at approximately 5:30 p.m. from X Church and will follow the same route as last year, passing through Cherry Landing, Winchester Village, and arriving downtown for the tree lighting at 6 p.m.”
Santa will also follow a short route Friday evening before arriving downtown to light the tree.
South High Street will be closed between Waterloo and Columbus streets during Christmas in the Village. Towing Path and Warehouse Alley will also be closed for safety reasons. Additional roadways will be closed temporarily during the parade.
Public parking lots are available near Stradley Park, the municipal pool, and behind city hall. Street parking is available throughout the downtown area.
The North Pole does not close when it snows and Woodruff pointed out neither does Christmas in the Village, which takes place rain, shine, or snow.
Lights will be glowing at the Canal Winchester Historical Complex as a Storybook Christmas is celebrated with a Polar Express theme.
“Each year we choose a different storybook theme, eventually rotating through then again,” said event organizer Jill Amos. “Polar Express allowed us to utilize the train and embrace that magic of believing.”
Forty volunteers help bring the theme to life with activities including a train display, hot chocolate bar, dance on the train, crafts at the schoolhouse, and an interactive photo booth.
Food and market vendors, tree presale and live wreath sale are also part of the holiday celebration. Society members gain early access at 5 p.m. to historical complex activities.
“Christmas in the Village has become a family tradition for so many visitors,” said Woodruff. “Although several of the activities can be found year after year, the city is excited to offer new attractions to keep visitors coming back for more. It is also a great opportunity for us to partner with other groups and organizations to provide a free, fun activity for the community. It’s not often you can do so much without paying a dollar, and we are happy to provide that to our residents.”