New Palestine to host Winter Fest, parade


NEW PALESTINE — Anyone looking for a “Whoville Holiday” needs to stop by the Town of New Palestine in early December. That’s when two community groups plan to light the night with holiday cheer complete with a visit from Santa Claus, a “Grinchmas” parade, a Christmas tree lighting and more.

The Second Annual Winter Fest 2022 is slated for 3-8 p.m. throughout New Palestine on Saturday, Dec. 10. Town officials have held a Christmas Walk, tree lighting and light decorating contest in the past and each year try to build on the holiday cheer. This year, officials from New Palestine Main Street and the New Palestine Chamber of Commerce received permission from the town’s council to close Main Street for a few minutes on Dec. 10 to host a first ever “Grinchmas” Parade at 4 p.m.

“We found a local artist. So, for the businesses along Main Street, if they want, they can have their windows painted in the “Whoville” theme, so it will be fun to see that when people travel up and down U.S. 52,” NP Main Street organizer Julie Lucas said.

The Winter Fest Walk has been going on for years in New Palestine. It’s something the NP Chamber of Commerce designed to support local businesses. The goal is to get people to come to town, visit retailers.

“In the past we have given away gift cards, but we’re thinking about having a scavenger hunt this year,” Lucas said. “We’ve also added a Christmas coloring contest this year for the elementary kids.”

As for the parade, Christmas lighting and more, it’s all been added to help the holiday cheer grow over the years and the Winter Fest name has been added to mark the official event to indicate it is more than a Christmas walk for businesses.

Organizers say anyone who wants to be in the “Grinchmas” parade can join in on the holiday fun. They’re looking for people with golf carts, tractors, fun cars and even walkers, with the only qualification — be sure to decorate your vehicle and dress up in Christmas cheer.

The parade route will starts behind New Palestine High School, travel from Bittner Road to U.S. 52 heading west with a turn south onto Gem Road and will end by New Palestine Elementary School. Officials say U.S. 52 will only close for a few minutes while the parade passes through town shortly after 4 p.m.

Officials say they plan to bring in vendors, food, lots of hot chocolate and more, just whatever is needed to create a blissful, picture perfect, Christmas town. About the only thing they can’t guarantee is snow.

Organizers plan to kick things off at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 when they host a holiday movie night at the New Palestine Lions Club, 5254 West U.S. 52, New Palestine. They plan to show “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The movie is free to the public and popcorn, hot chocolate and other goodies will be served. Plus, organizers say they’ll have some fun activities for the kids. The movie is sponsored by Erin Garvey of Cooper Real Estate.

In connection with the Christmas spirit, officials are also hosting the 4th Annual Bob Kingry Light the Night Tour of Lights. Kingry is the Hancock County man who used to decorate his home like no other each Christmas attacking thousands of visitors every holiday. He passed a few years ago, but his spirit lives on. Officials with the Chamber and Main Street started a contest four years ago encouraging neighbors to keep the Kingry holiday cheer alive.

This is the 4th year for the Bob Kingry Light the Night Event and this year organizers are asking for participants to respond no later than Dec. 5 so they can get a list of participants, homeowners as well as retailers, together to hand out during Winter Fest 2022 so folks can drive by. Those wishing to participate should call 317-861-2345, or email [email protected].

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