Live reindeer, chainsaw-wielding ice-sculptors and Santa himself will be on hand this year for Upper Arlington's winter festival.

Live reindeer, chainsaw-wielding ice-sculptors and Santa himself will be on hand this year for Upper Arlington’s winter festival.

Residents will be welcomed to Mallway Park from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a number of events planned by the city’s parks and recreation department and the Mallway merchants.

The winter festival will kick off with caroling by the Windermere Elementary School fourth-graders, along with the Amabile choir, Bel Canto choir, and the Littlers, a group of young fiddle players, according to program assistant Cheryl Hyatt.

The city’s Christmas tree will be lit by Mayor Frank Ciotola at 7:30.

Upper Arlington’s Christmas tree, a live blue spruce, is planted in front of fire station 71, just across Arlington Avenue from the park.

The festival will also include ice sculpting demonstrations, children’s activities, visits with Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a bonfire for roasting s’mores. Coffee and hot chocolate will also be provided for the festival.

Hyatt said the fire department will be on hand to keep an eye on the decorated metal drums used for marshmallow roasting, and that WBNS 10TV anchor Kurt Ludlow will emcee the event.

Santa can be found at a storefront at 2132 Arlington Ave. to hear the children’s wish lists, and activities are planned for those waiting in line.

The horse-drawn carriages will pick up festival goers on S. Mallway Drive take them on a loop to Devon Road, Coventry Road and Arlington Avenue.

The Upper Arlington Public Library will host a day of activities the next day to welcome the holidays. Library activities on Dec. 3 will begin with a musical performance by Mark Reinhart from 10 to 11 a.m. A free children’s make-it-and-take-it crafting session will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Vaughn Family train display will also be available from 10 to 4:30.

A holiday gift-giving book suggestion session will take place from 10:30 to 11 a.m., followed by adult crafts from 11:30 to 12:30.

A visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus will follow from noon to 2 p.m., and will be accompanied by a performance by the Markley Ensemble from 1 to 2.

Residents can also eat brunch with Santa on Saturday at the Amelita Mirolo Barn. Reservations are available three separate brunch seatings — from 9 to 10:15 a.m., from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m., and from 11:30 to 12:45 p.m.. Reservations can be made online at The cost is $15.95 for adults and $8.95 for children. Brunch is free for children younger than 2.

Upper Arlington kids can also deliver letters to Santa through a special city mailbox, which can be found in the Kenny Road parking lot at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. Children who send a letter through the mailbox will receive their own return letter from Santa Claus. To guarantee delivery, parents must include the child’s full name, complete address with ZIP code, and a loose 44-cent stamp.