When Santa comes to Powell to ring in the holiday season next weekend, he'll be sure to bring his reindeer.
Two of the magical reindeer who carry his sleigh will be in attendance for the first time at the annual Holidays in Powell celebration, set from noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the city's Municipal Building, 47 Hall St.
Since the reindeer will be in their pen being fed by visitors from noon to 3 p.m., a Liberty Township fire truck and Powell police cruisers will take over as the escorts for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will arrive at noon.
The jolly couple will take pictures with children and hand out small gifts until 5 p.m., when Mayor Rich Cline will escort them outside for a tree-lighting ceremony on the Village Green.
"He's going to use some of his Santa magic to light up the tree and kick off the holiday in Powell," said Erin Haar, program manager for Historic Downtown Powell Inc. The nonprofit organization has hosted the Christmas event for the last seven years.
In addition to Kemba Financial, which is sponsoring the reindeer visit, 10 local businesses and organizations have pitched in to make the event possible and will set up booths inside the Municipal Building. They'll offer face painting and holiday crafts that allow children to make their own gift bags, ornaments, brace-lets, buttons, paper chains and holiday cards. Cosmic Kettle Corn will be on hand popping fresh snacks.
Also throughout the day, the sound of Christmas carols will fill the city as the Village Academy choir and brass brand make the rounds.
"Even if you're not at the Village Green and you're just enjoying downtown," Haar said, "you still might catch a little holiday spirit."
HDPI also will host this weekend's Shop Local, Shop Powell event. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30, downtown shops will stay open late and the sidewalks will glow in the light of more than 1,000 candle luminarias.
Those who shop at a downtown retailer will receive a free reusable tote with the Shop Local, Shop Powell emblem, which now graces all store windows.
The two-day event is the kickoff to the campaign that encourages residents to shop local year round.