Gahanna's "Winter Wonderland" will sparkle with an additional 10,000-bulb LED display in the lagoon at Creekside this holiday season.
Recreation specialist Zac Guthrie said Creekside would glow with more than 150,000 bulbs on display for visitors, after Holiday Lights! kicks off with the lighting of the grand holiday tree at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.
"With AEP Ohio's continued support to Winter Wonderland, along with the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau and the city of Gahanna Department of Parks & Recreation, we have been able to convert over 100,000 of the bulbs to LED," Guthrie said. "Each year, we've worked to add new features to the display. In 2011, with the help of Lincoln High School students, we were able to add the gristmill to the Mill Race area. For 2012, we added the lagoon feature."
Winter Wonderland also showcases 50 trees wrapped with 90,000 LEDs, five interactive houses made by Lincoln High School students and the lighted, working gristmill.
Guthrie said Gahanna's parks personnel are excited to continue the partnership with AEP Ohio and the GCVB for the holiday season, starting with the tree-lighting ceremony.
Local businesses and organizations also are getting into the spirit with various activities and specials throughout Holiday Lights! celebration, which runs through Jan. 4, 2013.
From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, the Ohio Herb Education Center will host an open house.
Visitors will be treated to free samples of fresh pumpkin-spice soup, peppermint hot chocolate and hot herbal tea to take away the chill of the evening.
Make and Take work stations will be open, with choices of Santa's favorite hot chocolate mix, Mrs. Claus holiday herbal tea or the house favorite -- cinnamon simmering potpourri ( $4 each or three for $10).
From 7:30 to 10 p.m., Wyandotte Winery will feature a "Whacked at the Winery Murder Mystery Dinner."
At Wyandotte, 4640 Wyandotte Drive, guests will be challenged to solve a murder mystery. Cost is $60 per person.
On Monday, Nov. 12, the Old Bag of Nails, 63 Mill St., will serve free appetizers for all customers who purchase at least $20 of food.
The Pour House Tavern, 57 Mill St., will feature any burger with fries and a pint of beer (including draft specials) for $10. The special will be available from 4 to 10 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday.
At Max & Erma's, 1317 N. Hamilton Road, any dine-in guest will receive two free cookies with the purchase of any entree Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Also on Nov. 21, Jewels & More, 122 Creekside Plaza, will offer five retiring patterns of Vera Bradley at 25 percent to 40 percent off.
Various businesses also are offering specials on the day of the Holiday Lights! parade Friday, Nov. 23.
Beginning at noon, a Toys for Tots kickoff will be held at Jewelry from Kesser, 94 Granville St. Anyone who brings in a new toy for donation will receive 25 percent off an item (exclusions apply).
Upscale Resale Furnishings, 57 Granville St., is inviting customers to enjoy a Holiday Sale-E-Bration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 10-percent discount.
At Cold Stone Creamery, 508 Creekside Plaza, children ages 12 and younger will receive a scoop of ice cream for 99 cents. Adults also will enjoy any warm dessert for $1 off the regular price.
The Chocolate Tree, 800 Mill St., will offer a quarter-pound of free fudge with a one-pound purchase anytime during business hours on parade day.
Koko Tea Salon and Bakery, 116 Mill St., will serve free mini cupcakes.
Wyandotte Winery will offer treats, including wine dips, wine cheese balls and gourmet wine cakes, during its "I'm Dreaming of a WINE Christmas" holiday open house from 1 to 7 p.m.
Mifflin Presbyterian Church, 123 Granville St., will host a hospitality center from 4 to 7 p.m. on parade day.
Visitors can warm up with coffee, hot chocolate and cookies. Donations of nonperishable food items, which will help the Gahanna Residents In Need organization, will be accepted.
The Ohio Herb Education Center will offer another open house from 4 to 8 p.m., with various free samples.
At 5 p.m., Mount Carmel will present its Healthy Holiday 5K. Runners will follow a portion of the Holiday Lights! parade route.
New this year will be a one-mile Healthy Holiday Family Fun Run, starting at 5:15 p.m. Registration will begin at 3:45 p.m. at Creekside.
When the sun sets, the Holiday Lights! parade will kick off with lighted entrants, including both community-designed and professionally constructed floats, marching bands, equestrian entries and a host of dazzling surprises.
Look inside your Nov. 8 ThisWeek Rocky Fork Enterprise for a special Holiday Lights! guide.