(Posted Nov. 29, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The lights are on at Garrette Park. Next up: Christmas in the Park on Dec. 11.
West Jefferson’s holiday tradition is back. Last year, organizers lit and decorated the park but cancelled the celebratory gathering due to the pandemic. This year, the gathering will take place but will be one day instead of the traditional three days, and a portion of the park will be off-limits due to playground construction.
The celebration will take place Dec. 11 from 5 to 10 p.m. Santa will arrive as part of the lighted parade which lines up at 4:30 at American Legion Post 201, 9701 W. Broad St., and steps off at 5:30. The parade will travel west on Main Street, left onto Twin Street, and end at the intersection of Twin Street and Fellows Avenue. Anyone who would like to participate in the parade can contact Sandy Boucher at (614) 879-9662 or (614) 632-5943.
Immediately following the parade, Santa will be available to meet with children in the Santa House. Parents are welcome to bring their own cameras to take photos. Reservations are required to visit Santa. Leave your name and number at the Santa House, then receive a text when it’s your turn.
The same reservation procedure applies to the carriage rides. Rides are free. Donations are welcome.
Goodies will be available for donations at food stations featuring hot chocolate, cookies and hotdogs. West Jefferson High School’s jazz band and show choir will perform periodically over the course of the evening. There is no toy giveaway this year.
Winners of the house decorating contest will be announced during the celebration. Entrants do not need to be present to win. The contest is open to residents of the village of West Jefferson and Jefferson Township. To enter or nominate a home, leave a message with the homeowner’s name, address and phone number at (614) 879-8818. Judging will take place Dec. 8-10, 6-10 p.m. each night. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Norman Rockwell (traditional) and Clark Grizwold (over-the-top). Prizes in each category are: first place, $100 cash; second place, $50 cash; and honorable mention, $25 gift card.
Carol Beachy, a West Jefferson Christmas in the Park volunteer, suggests that visitors be prepared for the possibility of mud due to construction work related to installation of new playground equipment at the park. The playground section of the park will be off-limits for safety reasons.
Volunteers have hung approximately 200,000 lights in trees and on structures in the park. Several holiday-themed decorations dot the grounds. The display will be lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1.
Monetary donations to help offset costs associated with the celebration and display can be made out to “Christmas in the Park” and mailed to P.O. Box 292, West Jefferson, OH 43162.