West Jefferson’s Christmas in the Park

Ava Whitt of Galloway tells Santa her gift wishes during last year’s Christmas in the Park.
Ava Whitt of Galloway tells Santa her gift wishes during last year’s Christmas in the Park.

(Posted Dec. 4, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

West Jefferson is lighting the way to a cheerful holiday season.

Starting this weekend, Garrette Park will be lit with 400,000 lights for the annual Christmas in the Park. The lights cover everything, from trees to buildings. Santa will officially flip the switch to turn on the display during opening weekend festivities set for Dec. 12-14, after which the park will remain lit at night through Jan. 1.

Highlights of opening weekend include:

Parade of Lights

Anyone can participate in the Parade of Lights set for Dec. 13. All participants are requested to have lighting of some sort. Line-up starts at 4:30 p.m. in the American Legion parking lot, 9701 W. Broad St. The parade steps off at 5:30 and travels into West Jefferson, continuing on Main Street to South Twin Street, then left onto Fellows Avenue and right into Garrette Park. Anyone interested in having a Christmas or winter-themed float in the parade, or simply walking in the parade, should contact Sandy Boucher at (614) 879-9662.

Pictures with Santa and Toy Giveaway

Santa will be available all weekend to hear children’s Christmas wishes in the Santa House and pose for pictures. Bring your own camera or, for $1, have your picture taken.

Additionally, every child who visits Santa will receive a ticket for the toy giveaway, which will take place at 8 p.m. Dec. 14. Entrants must be present at the drawing to win.

Craft Station and Kids’ Activities

Each night of opening weekend, volunteers will offer children’s craft activities as part of Santa’s Workshop.

Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library is back with a variety of Christmas-themed games, including a wreath toss and present stacking. Library staffers also will read Christmas-themed stories from 6 to 8 p.m. each night in the Santa House.

Home Decorating Contest

In conjunction with Christmas in the Park, the West Jefferson Community Association holds a home decorating contest. Residents in the village of West Jefferson and Jefferson Township are eligible to enter.

Judging will take place the week of Dec. 8-12. Entrants should leave their lights on from 6 to 10 p.m. those evenings. To have your home judged, call (614) 879-8818 and leave a message with your name, address and phone number.

Winners will be recognized at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at Garrette Park. Prizes are $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place. Honorable mention prizes also will be awarded.

Christmas in the Park Schedule

Friday, Dec. 12

5 p.m.             Concessions open

5:30 p.m.            Opening ceremonies; Santa arrives; lighting of the park; West Jefferson High School Choir and Jazz Band perform

6-9 p.m.            Santa’s workshop and carriage rides

6-10 p.m.         Visit with Santa

11 p.m.              Lights off

Saturday, Dec. 13

4:30 p.m.             Parade line-up

5:30 p.m.             Parade of lights

5:30                       Concessions open

6-8 p.m.               Entertainment

6-9 p.m.               Santa’s workshop and carriage rides

6-10 p.m.             Visit with Santa

11 p.m.                 Lights off

Sunday, Dec. 14

5:30 p.m.             Lights on

5-8 p.m.               Concessions

6-8 p.m.               West Jefferson High School Alumni Singers

6-9 p.m.               Visit with Santa, Santa’s workshop and carriage rides

8 p.m.                   Winners announced for house lighting contest; children’s toy giveaway (must be present to win)

11 p.m.            Lights off

Dec. 15-Jan. 1

5-11 p.m.        Lights on at the park!

Directions to Garrette Park

Take Route 40 to West Jefferson. Once in downtown, turn south on Walnut Street, which runs into the park.

Parking

Parking is 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.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Carol Beachy at (614) 879-9036; stop by West Jefferson Hardware, 228 E. Main St.; or visit www.wjchristmaspark.org

Volunteers

Christmas in the Park is organized as an extension of the West Jefferson Community Association, a not-for-profit corporation. Volunteer citizens donate their time and energy to make the exhibit a reality year after year.

Volunteers are needed on a nightly basis to help decorate and hang lights. Each strand of lights is hand tested to assure proper functionality.

Volunteers are needed starting Dec. 8 through the final hours before the lighting ceremony on Dec. 12.

Volunteers are also needed in January to take the displays and lights down and put them in storage.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Carol Beachy at (614) 879-9036.

Donations

Donations to help offset expenses, such as lights and electricity, may be sent to “Christmas in the Park,” P.O. Box 262, West Jefferson, OH 43162.

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