Reynoldsburg's Christmas on the Towne celebration will not be held this year.

Reynoldsburg's Christmas on the Towne celebration will not be held this year.

For a number of years, the annual event had been scheduled for the first Saturday of December in the Old Town district to give businesses in the area a chance to kick off the holiday season.

Reynoldsburg Visitors and Activities Bureau executive director Mary Hudson said she is not sure why the event did not get organized this year but nobody officially canceled it.

She said Christmas on the Towne has been a collaborative effort on behalf of the businesses in the area.

"It's a merchants' event and it belongs to all the people that are down there and nobody organized it," Hudson said. "If they're the ones that want it - I mean, it's for the merchants it's to get people down into their area. Last year, some of them didn't even open up or they closed early.

"I just think it ran its course because the last couple of years, we didn't have as many people because the shops didn't all open up. There was not as much to do down there," she said.

In past years, the event featured horse-drawn carriage rides, visits from Santa Claus, a bake sale by the Reynoldsburg Band Boosters and performances by members of the RHS marching band.

Other participants included members of the Reynoldsburg Community Association, popping popcorn for everyone, Lions Club members selling food items and local Girl Scouts selling holiday trinkets and baked goods.

Hudson said by the time she started asking questions this year about Christmas on the Towne, it was already the middle of November and nobody had done anything. She said she is going to see what can be done to organize a holiday event for next year but it most likely will not be similar to Christmas on the Towne.

"We're thinking of some kind of a parade of lights that maybe goes into Old Reynoldsburg for a couple of hours, if the shops are open, and then turning back over to the tree-lighting at the municipal building," Hudson said.

"Something new - maybe just give it a new face. I think sometimes if you just let it go and then revise it, put a new spin on it, maybe something will happen," she said.

Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department director Jason Shamblin said city has been receiving calls from people wanting to know if Christmas on the Towne will be held this year.

"I don't know if something broke down or the event just ran its course, you know, and maybe it's time for a change or time to revamp it," he said.

Shamblin said having a parade of lights or similar event for next year is not a bad idea.

"It isn't a bad suggestion but there's a lot that goes into the logistics of a parade," he said. "I think some sort of an event or activities are important and we are 100-percent supportive of any event."

Barth Cotner, owner of the Cotner Funeral Home, said over the years, there has been a decline in participation from surrounding businesses.

"Christmas on the Towne years ago was started by the businesses in Old Reynoldsburg to try and bring interest in and recognition to the businesses down there," Cotner said.

"Unfortunately, over the years, we've seen just not as many of the businesses participating it just seems like there's been a lack of interest from businesses to keep making it happen," he said.

"There's potential it can maybe come back, or it will just take maybe a different form but it takes the majority of the businesses there to make it a good community event."