The Old Worthington Partnership plans to help kick off the holiday season in Worthington with the Illuminated Shopping event Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Annina Parini, executive director of the volunteer-based, nonprofit partnership, said Illuminated Shopping has been an event for years, but this is the first time it is being incorporated into the Worthington First Wednesdays series.

"We've been doing this for years, and it's a really fun event," she said.

The monthly First Wednesdays events were launched in February to combine a service opportunity with family-friendly activities. The events take place from 5 to 8 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in Old Worthington; admission is free.

"We wanted to attract visitors to come down midweek and shop," Parini said.

For Illuminated Shopping, all the shops in Old Worthington will be open from 5 to 8 p.m., and Candle Lab, 646 N. High St., will donate luminarias to line the streets, Parini said.

Steve Weaver, owner of the Candle Lab, said the store has been donating candles to make the luminarias since it opened about 10 years ago. He said they donate candles retrieved from returns or candles that have been used as testers for scents or wick sizes at the shop.

"Every year there's about 300 to 400 candles," Weaver said. "With about 400 scented candles, it not only looks cool but smells great. It's something we look forward to every year."

Parini said Illuminated Shopping is a DORA event.

Worthington's DORA, which stands for Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, was approved in June 2017. It established boundaries for patrons to walk around with open containers of alcoholic beverages during specified times or events.

Parini said classic holiday records would be played on the Dewey's Pizza plaza at 640 High St., and an Amazing Giants stilt-walker dressed as a Christmas tree would roam around and entertain guests.

She said the service project for the Dec. 4 event would benefit Legacy, which works with survivors of human trafficking.

Mobi, which is a 1962 Airstream trailer that has been restored by startup coworking company COhatch for the purpose of "impacting local communities," according to COhatch spokeswoman Janet Brumfield, will feature Eleventh Candle Co. and sell its products.

Eleventh Candle is a social enterprise that partners with Legacy and operates out of COhatch's Madery, 752 High St. Parini said all sales proceeds from the evening would go to Legacy.

Parini said leaders of the partnership are proud of the First Wednesdays event series in its first year, and they plan to continue them in 2020. The organization also is working to build an audience for the events, she said.

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