HANCOCK COUNTY — The Christmas season is kicking off across Hancock County with a series of tree lightings and holiday festivities planned alongside activities for the whole family. Groups in McCordsville, Greenfield and Fortville have celebrations planned over the next week to get residents into the spirit.
Here’s what you need to know to attend:
McCordsville Christmas Tree Lighting
» When: 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. Wednesday» Where: McCordsville Town Hall, 6280 W. County Road 800N.
» What: Musical entertainment, crafts and face painting all lead up to Santa’s arrival at the 4th annual town tree lighting, organizers said.
Christmas carolers will begin performing at 5:15 p.m. outside town hall to welcome visitors. Inside, children can complete an array of arts and crafts, write letters to Santa Claus and hear the Mt. Vernon Middle School band play before Santa arrives.
McCordsville Elementary School student Carmen Lugo has been granted the honor of flipping the switch to light the town’s Christmas tree minutes before Santa’s arrival at about 7:25 p.m.
Crowds can finish their evening with hot chocolate and cookies served inside town hall to conclude the program.
Organizers are asking attendees to bring canned or boxed food items to be donated to local food pantries.
Greenfield Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights
When: All day Dec. 3Where: Various locations in downtown Greenfield
What: Greenfield’s annual Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights, hosted by the Riley Festival committee, is a day’s worth of celebrations all around town, organizers said.
Festivities begin with Santa’s Breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Greenfield Christian Church, 23 N. East St., where pancakes, sausage links, juice and milk will be served. Santa will be on hand to hear children’s holiday wish lists. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased and printed off from rileyfestival.com. Children age 2 and younger are admitted free.
Santa’s Workshop, located in the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce Building at 1 Courthouse Plaza, opens at 2 p.m. with make-and-take ornament and gift projects for kids.
The annual Parade of Lights begins at 5:45 p.m. Participants will line up on Center Street facing Riley Avenue. The parade of more than 15 floats will advance down Riley Avenue to Main Street to American Legion Place and back to Center Street. This after-dark parade will be well-lit as all entries in the parade are required to have at least 500 lights.
Santa will arrive downtown by fire truck at the parade’s conclusion. Immediately following will be the tree-lighting ceremony at approximately 7 p.m. Afterward, Santa can be found in his house on the Hancock County Courthouse Plaza, ready to entertain visitors.
For revelers who prefer to be on the move, Greenfield Main Street offers horse-drawn carriage rides for $10 per rider from 6 to 9 p.m. The rides depart from North Street behind the Riley Home, 250 W. Main St., and follow a 7-mile route through the historic downtown area. Hot chocolate, cookies and other concessions from Elizabeth Ann’s Kitchen are available for purchase on site. Tickets for the carriage rides can be purchased in advance at greenfieldmainstreet.org.
Fortville Winter Festival and Lights on Main
When: 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3Where: Downtown Fortville
What: Fortville’s annual holiday parade begins at 3 p.m., running along Main Street from Broadway to Staat streets. Choirs and carolers will line the roadway and greet visitors.
The parade begins with a brigade of decorated wagons and strollers. All local preschoolers and their families are invited to participate.
Girls in kindergarten through fifth grade can register before the parade to walk with the snowflake princesses. For more information, visit fortvilleaction.com.
Santa will visit with attendees inside the Indulge Cafe, 10 S. Main St., Fortville, after the parade.
At 6 p.m., children will work together to light the town’s Christmas tree outside the Fortville Post Office, 101 S. Main St.