Daily Reporter staff reports

HANCOCK COUNTY — The holidays are here, and communities across Hancock County are planning their celebrations. Parades, cookies, carriage rides and more. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this December.

keeping seasons bright

Greenfield’s traditional Christmas Festival Parade of Lights will shine through the historic downtown starting at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. The parade route will follow Depot Street north to Main Street, turn right on Main and right again on American Legion Plaza to deliver Santa — arriving via fire truck — to his house on the courthouse plaza.

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The tree-lighting ceremony takes place immediately following the parade. The Greenfield Community Choir, under the direction of Shockley Flick, will serenade the crowd with holiday music, and Santa will be in his house on the plaza to visit with children until 9 p.m.

main events

Greenfield Main Street offers horse-drawn carriage rides from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 9, departing from the back of the Riley Boyhood Home at 250 W. Main St. and traversing downtown Greenfield before returning to the Riley Home, where visitors can purchase cookies, hot cocoa and other goodies from ’Lizabuth Ann’s Kitchen.

Tickets for the carriage rides are $10 per person and can be purchased online at greenfieldmainstreet.org. Carriages, depending on the size, can seat two to six people.

For more holiday fun, Greenfield Main Street presents Christmas Movie Classics at the H. J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — the live action version starring Jim Carrey — shows Dec. 6 at 1 and 7 p.m. with a pre-show appearance from Santa Claus. At 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 13, the Ricks screens “It’s a Wonderful Life.”. Come early to enjoy a holiday singalong before the movie. Tickets can be purchased at greenfieldmainstreet.org or at the door for $5.

frosty fun

The seventh-annual Fortville Winter Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday in downtown Fortville. The event is put together each year by the Fortville Action Inc., an Indiana Main Street organization. Visitors can enjoy activities in the kids zone, watch a parade, check out ice sculptures and see the Main Street Lighting Spectacular at 6 p.m.

delicious delights

Mt. Vernon Optimist Club, Fortville Lions Club and Fortville Psi Iota Xi are sponsoring their annual holiday Breakfast with Santa from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Vernon High School, 8112 N. 200W, Fortville. Santa arrives at 8:30 a.m. to greet the children. Storytime, hosted by the Fortville-Vernon Township Public Library, begins at 9 a.m. Pricing is $5 for people 13 and older and $3 for ages 5 to 12. Children 4 and younger eat free. Fortville Lions Club will collect non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

seasonal stroll

The New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual Christmas Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — rain, shine or snow — Saturday along Main Street.

Chamber officials, who put this event together each year in conjunction with officials from the Town of New Palestine, always are looking for ways to get the community to come out and visit area businesses. Patrons can purchase a punch card for $5 and then visit all the businesses taking part, picking up a treat from each location as they enter.

The event starts and ends at the New Palestine Town Hall community room, where Santa and his elves will be stationed from noon to 2 p.m. with a photo booth, cookies and more for the family-friendly event.

Organizers will be giving away a variety of movie, restaurant and other gift cards.

tree-toppers

McCordsville kicks off the holiday season with its annual Christmas tree lighting event from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The event includes music in addition to crafts, ornament-making, an opportunity to write a letter to Santa and hot chocolate, cookies and popcorn.

Santa will pay a visit and preside over the tree-lighting ceremony as McCordsville Elementary fifth-grader Lillian Townsend flips the switch.

foreign festivities

Cumberland’s annual Weihnachtsmarkt, a re-creation of a German holiday market, is planned for Saturday. Started in 2011 as a way to celebrate the town’s German heritage and the holidays, Weihnachtsmarkt features children’s activities, a holiday gift market, food and beer.

The event closes U.S. 40 from Muessing Street to Carroll Road from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Santa and a few of his reindeer will arrive at the Gap Meeting House and visit with children throughout the day. Children also can participate in the Weihnachtsmarkt Scavenger Hunt, getting their event passports stamped to receive small prizes for completing each stop.

Events include carriage rides, food vendors, children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visits with Santa from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., a vendors tent for shopping, a visit with one of Santa’s reindeer-in-training from 3 to 5 p.m., Anita Hill in concert in the big tent at 3 p.m., a tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. and the Flying Toasters in concert at 7 p.m. in the big tent.