(Posted Oct. 30, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Don’t let the name fool you. Plenty is new when it comes to this year’s Olde Fashioned Christmas in London.
A pet parade, wreath sale, and tribute to veterans are among the new features of the annual event, which takes place the first Monday after Thanksgiving on and around Main Street in downtown London. The date this year is Nov. 26.
“We’ll get the night started with a pet parade at 4:30. Any kind of pet is welcome. You could even bring your goldfish!” said Dr. Jack Starr, who is heading up this year’s Olde Fashioned Christmas as a member of the Downtown London Association (DLA).
Parade participants are asked to dress up their pets in holiday attire. The parade will march from Revive Baptist Church, 61 S. Main St., to the parking lot at Dwyer Chiropractic, 139 S. Main St. Ribbons will go to all participants. Trophies will go to the winners.
The wreath sale will take place in the parking lot at Huntington Bank, 2 E. High St. Participants will place bids in sealed boxes. The wreaths, all decorated in Christmas themes, will go to the highest bidders.
The weekend before Olde Fashioned Christmas, DLA plans to place a large Christmas tree at the veterans monument on the Madison County Courthouse lawn at North Main and West High streets. Anyone is welcome to pay tribute to a veteran by writing the veteran’s name on a ribbon to be placed on the tree. The ribbons will be available at the site throughout the holiday season.
Additionally, a ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. the night of Olde Fashioned Christmas during which decorated veterans will read the names of all Madison County residents who have died in war. The names are engraved on the monument.
Also new this year is Santa’s location. Instead of setting up in one of the storefronts, he will greet children with Christmas wishes in the McDonald’s parking lot, near the live reindeer display. In case of bad weather, he will move inside to nearby Trinity Episcopal Church, 10 E. Fourth St. Visitors also can expect to see costumed characters strolling up and down Main Street passing out candy.
Of course, many of the traditions of Olde Fashioned Christmas remain part of the evening’s fun, including horse-drawn wagon rides up and down Main Street, live musical performances at various locations, and sales, food, crafts, and other goodies and entertainment at London Public Library, churches, and businesses.
“We’re making a streetscape map that people will be able to pick up soon at locations around downtown. It’ll show what’s happening that night and where,’ Starr said. “The whole purpose of Olde Fashioned Christmas is to get people downtown. It’s going to be a good night.”