The clip-clop of horses' hooves could be heard in Reynoldsburg during Christmas on the Town Dec. 2, as residents showed up in droves on a sunny 50-degree day that felt more like April than December.
The city event featured horse-drawn carriage rides, face-painting, magic trick displays and holiday music, along with treats from local merchants in the old Reynoldsburg area of town.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus also attended.
Zayla Mulkey walked down the sidewalk proudly carrying a balloon animal. She attends Slate Ridge kindergarten preschool.
"My favorite part was the balloons," Zayla said.
"Santa Claus wasn't your favorite?" asked her mother, Sara.
Zayla shook her head and smiled, playing with her balloon animal.
Mrs. Mulkey said her family has always attended Christmas on the Town.
"We go every year, rain or shine," she said. "My favorite part was Zayla sitting on Santa's lap. It's a fun event and we wouldn't miss it."
At Cotner Funeral Home, children and parents participated in holiday crafts, face-painting or watched the holiday movie "Elf," in elegant rooms that usually hold more solemn visitors.
Volunteer Evan Smith created the balloon animals inside Cotner's, as a long line of children waited with their requests.
Outside on the street, the Horseshoe Farm Carriage Service provided rides in a hay-wagon size vehicle that could accommodate several people.
People also gathered at the corner of East Main Street and Lancaster Avenue in front of the mural to hear the Simple Church Worship Band sing holiday favorites.
Derek Smith, creative director at the church, said parishioners from the church volunteer each year at Christmas on the Town.
"We were excited to be asked to perform this year, but we volunteer in some capacity every year," he said. "Our goal as a church is to be a part of what is going on in the community."
Aaron DeLong, lead pastor at the church, said, "We are always happy to be asked to be a part of this event - it's a beautiful day for it."
At Prost Restaurant, 7354 E. Main St., OhioHealth representatives were on hand to explain the difference between urgent care and emergency care as it prepares to open a new freestanding emergency department Dec. 13 at 6960 E. Main St.
Lewis Sanderow, senior director of marketing, said Christmas on the Town "is a great way to meet the community."
"We are hoping to educate the community about the differences in primary, urgent and emergency care so that they know where to seek assistance," he said.
Two interactive Smartboards were set up inside the restaurant, where symptoms could be listed and the board would determine whether patients should visit a primary physician, urgent care or an emergency room.
Prost opened in Reynoldsburg in 2015. Owner Derek Maklezow said he loves participating in community events.
"We have loved the support of this community," he said. "When people come in, for any reason, they learn what we are all about."
He said a new menu is coming out next week, along with new items, such as the "Baby Elvis" sandwich.
"It has peanut butter, jelly, banana and candied bacon," he said.
The Reynoldsburg Division of Police parked a cruiser to the left of Prost to collect toys for the Toys for Kids program organized by the Truro Township Fire Department.
Officer Tony Hines said he is always happy to show up at city events.
"I like the fact that residents can see police officers as people, not just someone that gives you a ticket for speeding," he said.
"You get to put a name to a face, so someone can see me and say, 'Hey, there is officer Hines.' "