‘TIS THE SEASON: Crafts, cookies & Claus headline Greenfield’s holiday festivities

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Santa along with Greenfield mayor Chuck Fewell light the Christmas tree at Depot Street Park last year. Greenfield’s annual Christmas parade and tree lighting return on Saturday, Dec. 2, along with a long list of other holiday events taking place throughout the month.

GREENFIELD — This week kicks off a ho-ho-host of holiday events in downtown Greenfield, starting with the annual Turkey Day 5K on Thanksgiving Day.

Shop Small Saturday takes place two days later on Nov. 25.

The bulk of the city’s celebrations are scheduled for Dec. 2, including the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting and a number of other events, including an ugly sweater decorating workshop.

But first, Greenfield Main Street is encouraging everyone to get a jump start on holiday shopping with its Downtown Dollars campaign, which kicks off this weekend on Nov. 25.

Shop Small Saturday, a nationwide marketing initiative created and promoted by American Express, encourages shoppers to patronize small businesses for holiday shopping the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Shop owners note it’s one of their most profitable and essential days of the year.

Through the Downtown Dollars campaign, shoppers can receive $10 in free Downtown Dollars for every $25 spent at 16 participating downtown Greenfield shops, which includes boutiques, salons, restaurants and specialty stores.

The offer is limited to four per customer, which means each person can spend $140 for just $100. Dollars must be spent between Nov.25 and Dec. 31.

Downtown Dollars can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Bradley Events Center, 2 W. Main St., where shoppers can also peruse a Small Business Saturday Artisan Market, featuring locally handmade gifts and goodies.

The first Saturday in December brings the return of the much anticipated Christmas parade and tree lighting.

The parade, hosted by Riley Festival organizers, starts at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Floats aglow in holiday lights will make their way down Main Street, starting at the Hancock County Annex at 111 American Legion Place, then heading north before heading west down Main Street. The parade then turns south on Pennsylvania Street before ending at Depot Street Park, where the public is invited to attend the tree lighting immediately after the parade.

The adjacent restaurant, The Depot, will provide free chili and hot chocolate for guests, while the Riley Festival and Greenfield Parks Department will provide games and activities for kids.

“This year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever before,” said Tony Seiler, who coordinates local concerts for both Riley Festival and the parks department.

“We’ll be playing some great Christmas music at the tree lighting and hope that everyone will come out and have a good time,” said Seiler, who said a couple of local musicians will perform acoustic acts as well.

The Santa House will also be open for business, with St. Nick greeting little ones in his little red workshop on the Depot Street Park stage.

Riley Festival will also announce the winners of the annual downtown merchant window decorating contest that night.

“The beautifully decorated windows really bright up the downtown,” said Anita Turner, Riley Festival board president.

She commends city employees for getting the Christmas decorations up and local merchants for making their stores so warm and inviting each holiday season.

“It all adds to the community feel of a hometown Christmas, and that’s what Riley Festival is all about,” said Turner.

After the tree lighting Dec. 2, downtown guests can head to the nearby H.J. Ricks Center to enjoy a “Blue Suede Christmas with the King” show performed by Elvis impersonator Brooke Wright, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 apiece online or at the door.

Also on Dec. 2, Greenfield Main Street hosts its annual Ho Ho Ho Holiday Breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon at the Bradley Events Center. Seating is limited. Visit Greenfield Main Street’s page on Facebook for more details.

The GCHS Holiday Bazaar also takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day at Greenfield-Central High School. The event features vendors and visits with Santa, and benefits the school’s Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America program.

An ugly sweater decorating workshop also takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 2 at the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Art Studio, in the Patricia Elmore Center at 280 N. Apple St. Visit Facebook.com/greenfieldparksart for details or register at parks.greenfieldin.org.

The Greenfield Elks are hosting a Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon that day at the Elks lodge, at 820 S. State St. That event features food, games and prizes, as well as Santa arriving on a fire truck.

The Greenfield Fire Territory Holiday will also host an open house Dec. 2 from 3-5:30 p.m., in the downtown Greenfield firehouse, at 17 W. South St. Families can stop by to meet Santa, decorate cookies, drink hot chocolate and learn fire prevention tips for the holidays. A donation box for Toys for Tots will be on site.

On Friday, Dec. 15, Greenfield Parks will kick off a new event by offering wagon rides along a portion of the Pennsy Trail, which is all lit up for the holidays.

The Pennsy Trail of Lights takes place from 6-8:30 p.m., with free wagon rides and cookie decorating. To secure a spot, visit ParksinGreenfield.com

On Saturday, Dec. 16, Greenfield Main Street will host a Reindeer on Main from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the alley next to Griggsby’s Station, at 101 W. Main St. The free event coincides with the BOHO Holiday Artisan Market at Bradley Events Center lobby at 2 W. Main St..

The annual Christmas at the Ricks talent show takes place later that day, starting at 7 p.m. at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts. Hosted by Friends of the Theater, the Dec. 16 fundraiser features local performing artists. Visit hctheaterfriends.org for details and ticket information.