(Posted Nov. 22, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
In a change from years past, London’s Olde Fashioned Christmas celebration will take place on a Sunday afternoon, rather than a Monday night. The festivities are scheduled for Nov. 28 from 2 to 6 p.m. in downtown London.
The Downtown London Association organizes the event. Dr. Jack Starr, president, said the group wants to take advantage of daylight hours so visitors can better see the parade and other activities and so families can get their children home at an earlier hour on a school night. Daytime hours also should provide warmer temperatures.
The celebration kicks off with a parade at 2 p.m. Lineup starts at 1:30 p.m. at Cowling Park. The parade route runs down Main Street then left on First Street where it will end one block later. Anyone who would like to participate in the parade can call Starr for details, (740) 506-0910.
A second parade focused on pets is set for 3 p.m. at Bicentennial Park on High Street. Any kind of pets are welcome. Participants can dress up their pets, if they like; it is not required. Veterinarian Dr. J.J. Coate will be the judge. Prizes will be awarded.
Horse-drawn wagons will carry passengers between Cowling Park and the railroad tracks on Main Street. Sponsors are Madison Health and BST. A dozen decorated wreaths will be raffled off in the Huntington Bank parking lot. There is no cost to enter. Peters Photography is setting up a backdrop where visitors can take their own photos; look for the setup between Starr Trophy and Fine Designs & Interiors. Holiday- and movie-themed characters will participate in the parade and stroll around downtown passing out candy.
In addition to riding in the kickoff parade, Santa will be available for photos and to visit with children at McDonald’s. The restaurant also has arranged for a live reindeer display in the restaurant parking lot.
Music Men & Jen, a barbershop quartet, will stroll through the downtown, singing holiday tunes. Various churches are planning to offer music and refreshments. St. Patrick Catholic Church will have a live nativity scene in the parade, as well as bless their outdoor nativity scene at the church at 5:30 p.m.
Several organizations will be set up at various locations downtown. Among them are Merri Mac Park Miracle and the Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails. The Friends welcome anyone who would like to ride bicycles with them in the parade.
Throughout the afternoon, downtown businesses will hold open houses and offer refreshments and sales specials. One example is e-Merge Real Estate which is offering a Santa letter box. Children can bring letters from home or write them on the spot. The real estate company also will offer facepainting, grilled hotdogs and bratwurst, hot chocolate and coffee, and a raffle featuring bowling, movie theatre, and home pizza-and-game party packages.
The Downtown London Association had to cancel last year’s Olde Fashioned Christmas due to the pandemic. Starr said they are glad to be back.
“We’re excited about being able to do this for the community,” he said. “And we want to highlight downtown to let people know they don’t need to go to Columbus to do their shopping. There’s plenty of stuff here.”
The Downtown London Association meets the second Tuesday of each month, typically at 5 p.m. at Relevant Co. Anyone is welcome to attend.