A downtown Pickerington tradition will continue next month when the city, local businesses and local history buffs host the Olde Village Holiday.

A downtown Pickerington tradition will continue next month when the city, local businesses and local history buffs host the Olde Village Holiday.

For more than a decade, local officials and businesses have rung in the holiday season with a celebration in Olde Pickerington Village.

This year will be no different. The annual Olde Village Holiday will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 3.

"The businesses in the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association, the city of Pickerington and the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society get together and try to put together a whole bunch of things for families to celebrate the holidays," said Deblin Jennings, owner of Deblin Designs and co-chair of the Olde Village Holiday. "I believe the holiday season is a magical time, and this brings a sense of community and pride."

As in past years, this year's event will feature luminaries lining Columbus Street, free horsedrawn carriage rides and strolling carolers from Pickerington's Satellite Choir of the Columbus Children's Choir and the Pickerington Kiwanis Key Clubs.

There will also be an opportunity for children to meet and have their pictures taken with Santa Claus. Hair Boutique will provide free children's crafts while Deblin Designs hands out free antler headbands.

"The Olde Pickerington Village that evening, with the luminaries, the horsedrawn carriage, the people out and the kids with antlers on, is really cool," Jennings said. "It's just beautiful.

"With times the way they are, it's a way for families to celebrate, and it's all free."

This year, the Olde Village Holiday also will include a 7:30 p.m. lighting of the community holiday tree, sponsored by the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department. Activities will include an address by Pickerington Mayor Mitch O'Brien and caroling, and Jennings said rumor has it a Victorian St. Nicholas is expected to make an appearance.

"It's just part of this concentration on coordinating with other groups," said Don Ross, Pickerington recreation coordinator.

Additionally, the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society will sponsor storytelling at its 15 E. Columbus St. museum. The event will serve as a kick-off for the PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington's annual "Strand of Light" fundraiser.

Through the fundraiser, the food pantry solicits monetary donations to help buy food for people in need during the holiday season. For each donation, the food pantry hangs a strand of lights in Olde Pickerington Village.

"The shops and businesses in the Olde Village will be open for strolling, too," Jennings said. "Without the help of the businesses, the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department and the historical society, we certainly wouldn't be able to pull all this off."

Additional information is available from Jennings at (614) 833-3803.

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