GREENFIELD — Greenfield will be lit with excitement with the arrival of Santa Saturday and plenty of downtown events and activities.
After many festivities were scaled back or canceled entirely in 2020, local event planners are eager to bring the community back together to celebrate the holidays.
“Christmas Lights Up Greenfield” is the theme of the parade and downtown window decorating contest hosted by the Riley Festival Committee. While the parade starts at 5:45 p.m. and concludes with a party and music, there’s even more to do before and after the event in downtown Greenfield. Here’s a look at what to expect:
-All parade entries must be adorned with at least 500 lights, and Santa will roll in on a firetruck. The parade, hosted by the Riley Festival Committee, will conclude with a tree lighting ceremony with remarks by Mayor Chuck Fewell and the lighting honor by one special Greenfield-Central student (to be announced later). Coordinator Nancy Alldredge said just like with the Riley Festival itself, the committee was excited to bring back the community tradition.
“We just felt like we had to keep that tradition going,” she said. “I have no idea how many people will come but everyone is invited and I hope that they show up for the parade.”
Tony Seiler, also a Riley Festival board member and owner of Greenfield Music Center, will DJ activities after the parade with Christmas music, kids games and a few vocalists performing. Free hot chocolate will be available, and the winner of the downtown window decorating contest will be announced.
Kids can event drop off a letter to Santa in the marked mailbox on the courthouse plaza and — if they include a self-addressed stamped envelope — get a resopnse in their own mailbox.
-Take an art class or enjoy festive trees designed for the giving season at Twenty North Gallery’s Christmas Tree Festival. The gallery, 20 N. State St., is home to the Hancock County Arts Council and will feature Santa’s Workshop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with pinecone bird treats, paint pouring Christmas ornaments, and decorating Christmas bird houses. About a dozen trees will be on display, decorated by various organizations and businesses. People may vote for their favorite tree by bringing an unwrapped gift for each tree’s favorite charity. The exhibit is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; extended hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.
-Downtown’s historic H.J. Ricks Theater will show “White Christmas” Dec. 4 and 5, and several other community events are also planned. Greenfield Main Street Director Debra Smith said the weekend is the perfect time to shop and eat downtown, and also enjoy some entertainment.
Also on the horizon is the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Breakfast with Santa Dec. 11, followed by the Hometown Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 11. “Prancer” will play at the Ricks Dec. 18 and 19; visit greenfieldmainstreet.org/holiday for tickets and times of events; movie tickets are also available at the door.
“I think this year especially it’s great to finally feel that holiday spirit and get everybody back together again,” Smith said. “We’ve had a great response, especially to Breakfast with Santa and the vendor applications at the market.”