GREENFIELD –With a theme of “It’s a Greenfield Christmas,” Greenfield’s annual Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights on Saturday is sure to have the cozy look and feel of a small-town holiday celebration. Organized by the Riley Festival committee, many events are scheduled throughout the day and evening in locations throughout the downtown. Here’s what you need to know:
1) Where can I see Santa?
The Christmas festival kicks off with Santa’s Breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Greenfield Christian Church, 23 N. East St. Pancakes, sausage links, juice and milk will be served, and children will have the opportunity to sit on Santa Claus’ lap. The event also includes coloring activities, gift bags and door prizes. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased and printed off at rileyfestival.com. Children age 2 and younger are free.
Santa will arrive downtown by fire truck during the Parade of Lights, which starts at 5:45 p.m. Following the entertainment and tree-lighting ceremony at approximately 7 p.m., Santa can be found in his house on the Hancock County Courthouse Plaza, ready to entertain visitors.
2) What do I need to know about the parade?
Parade 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.
3) What’s available for children?
Santa’s Workshop, located in the Chamber of Commerce Building at 1 Courthouse Plaza, opens at 2 p.m. with make-and-take ornament and gift projects for the kids.
At 3 p.m., the first 25 registered entrants can compete for Little Miss Snowflake at the Greenfield Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 23 N. East St. This contest is limited to Hancock County residents between the ages of 3 and 5. Contestants should register online ahead of time at rileyfestival.org. The winner will have the honor of riding in the Christmas Festival Parade later in the evening.
4) Are there any events for adults?
Following the Little Miss Snowflake competition, adults age 18 and up can compete in the Illuminated Snow Queen pageant at 4 p.m., also at the Greenfield Christian Church. Competitors’ dresses must be illuminated with battery power. The winner will get to ride in the Parade of Lights.
The downtown will be lit up with luminaries. Festival attendees can enjoy shopping later hours as many of the merchants and restaurants will be open late to accommodate shoppers. The American Legion Plaza will also play host to vendors selling Christmas goodies from 4 to 9 p.m.
5) What if we’re coming downtown as a family?
In addition to the parade, the Tree Lighting Ceremony will feature Christmas carols with the Greenfield Community Choir. The mayor will be on hand to assist the winner of this year’s color contest in lighting the tree.
Families can shop and tour through the downtown, which is decorated for the holidays as merchants compete with one another to win a prize for the best window decorations. The winner will be announced at the tree-lighting ceremony.
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 at 250 W. Main Street and follow a 7-mile route through the historic downtown. 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 at greenfieldmainstreet.org.