Holiday lighting ceremony Friday
Get ready Fairfield, because Santa Claus is coming to town Friday, and Central Park will be illuminated once again during the Holiday Lighting Dedication ceremony.
The honor of turning on the lights will be given to the special person selected by the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Committee as the one who displayed the most Christmas spirit throughout 2016.
Festivities kick off early this year with SantaLand and the Festival of Trees at 10 a.m. right under the Elks Lodge on the west side of the square. The event is organized by a new nonprofit foundation called Little Superheroes.
SantaLand is an indoor carnival-style experience for children, featuring crafts, games and visits from Santa Claus.
The Festival of Trees is a new holiday-themed event aimed at raising funds for local families facing serious medical crises with a chronically ill child, as well as to raise funding for medical research for life threatening intestinal diseases.
The festival’s focus is the display and sale of holiday trees, wreaths, and window displays created by local designers, artists, florists, individuals, schools, and community groups. Items are for sale to the public, and proceeds benefit Little Superheroes.
From 5:30-5:50 p.m. next to the Ron Prill Bandstand in Central Park, the community will be regaled with Christmas carols by the Fairfield High School choir and alumni under the direction of Zach Reiter.
Community members will keep warm if the weather is chilly, thanks to the hot chocolate sponsored by Verizon Wireless, which is on the west side of the square.
“It’s just something that we like to do to give back to the community; everybody is welcome,” said Verizon Wireless manager Jessica Koontz.
At exactly 5:55 p.m., the lighting dedication recipient will be announced.
At 6 p.m., the lights will brighten up the evening by illuminating the entire park. Just after that, Santa will arrive in a horse-drawn wagon.
“It’s so nice to have all these wonderful events happening in conjunction with the lighting dedication,” said chamber director Detra Dettmann. “We’re particularly excited to have the Festival of Trees event starting earlier in the day and setting the stage for the magic that happens when the switch is flipped at 6 p.m. and park is awash is beautiful lights!”
From 6-8 p.m., Santa will be ready to visit with little girls and boys inside his Kandy Kane house in the northeast corner of the park.
He’ll also accept visitations in his house from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 2, 12-16 and 19-23.
After dropping Santa off at his house, Doug Smith will be offering horse-drawn wagon rides to the public from 6-8 p.m. The chamber is sponsoring the rides this holiday season.
Also, from 6-7:30 p.m., the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will present a live nativity scene in its gazebo adjacent to the church. A narration of the Christmas story, with music, animals and performers will be presented.
The church also will serve cookies, hot chocolate and other refreshments offering a time of fellowship while Christmas carols are played on the piano. Admission is free, and a complimentary shuttle service will be provided from the north side of the square in front of Henderson’s.
“This year one thing that’s new is that [The First Christian Church] is adding a shuttle bus,” said chamber administrator Lindsey Waugh.