The cities of Canal Winchester and Groveport are ready to welcome the holiday season with two days of festivities and, of course, the arrival of Santa Claus.

Canal Winchester's free public event, Christmas in the Village, spans two days, from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 and from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7.

"This is one of our well-attended downtown events that is not a festival, per se," said Amanda Lemke, the city's events and communications coordinator. "The activities in Christmas in the Village couldn't happen without our local business partners and volunteers."

Planned events include Santa visits, a holiday craft bazaar, ice sculpting, a gingerbread house contest, hayrides, model train displays and more.

Activities will take place on the sidewalks and streets of downtown Canal Winchester as well as inside several businesses around the city's municipal office building, 36 S. High St.

"Many of our downtown businesses offer specials, certain attractions, and they stay open for extended hours for this particular event," Lemke said. "It's very family-oriented."

Santa will arrive each night to light the Christmas tree at Stradley Park, behind the municipal building.

A Christmas trolley will make its way through downtown during Christmas in the Village, making stops at Huntington Bank on South High Street, the Frances Steube Community Center and at the "Queen of the Line" railroad depot.

"In years past, we had a horse-drawn carriage," Lemke said. "We've just grown to the point where that's not necessarily feasible any more, but we wanted to make sure we had something that was traditional and also could ferry people to some of our larger attractions."

The BrockStrong Light Up the Night Holiday Lights Parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

For more information, visit cwholidaylightsparade.com for information.

"If you can drive it or ride it, you can decorate it with holiday lights," according to the parade website. "Christmas music, sure. Let your imagination 'Light up' our night. The only rule is No Fake Santas! We have the real deal in our parade!"

More information is available at destinationcw.org or canalwinchesterohio.gov.

Groveport's Holiday Heritage event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road.

Santa will arrive by fire truck Dec. 6, and children can visit with him in the Groveport Log House both days.

The event also features a tree-lighting Dec. 6, performances by the Groveport Community Choir, ice carving and more.

New this year is a trackless train ride around Palm's Pond at Heritage Park on Dec. 7.

Children also can have lunch with Santa at the Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15. The event also features holiday carols, story time, coloring contest and more. Tickets cost $6 per person and will be sold at the recreation center through Dec. 8.

Reindeer Run

A new Canal Winchester holiday event will help needy children in the community.

The Reindeer Run kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at four participating locations: Barrel & Boar, 10 S. High St.; Loose Rail Brewing, 37 W. Waterloo St.; Romans Pizza, 17 N. High St.; and Shade on the Canal, 19 S. High St.

Participants are encouraged to dress in a holiday-themed costumes for the run, walk or stroll through downtown. The participation fee is $20 per person.

Participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or book for children. Donations may be dropped off at Canal Winchester Human Services, 80 Covenant Way.

"This should be a great event for spectators and participants alike," Destination: Canal Winchester President Mike Coolman said.

Visit tinyurl.com/wmucecs to register and for more information.

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