Reynoldsburg will welcome the most wonderful time of the year with additions to Christmas on the Towne and a new Christmas parade down Main Street.

The city and the Reynoldsburg Community Association will combine two events -- the city's tree-lighting ceremony and the annual holiday event in Olde Reynoldsburg -- into one day of celebration Dec. 7 that includes everything from a 5K to a visit from Santa Claus.

"This year we've partnered with the city of Reynoldsburg. Typically, in years past, those have been two separate events, but this year we have combined them to make a nice day of holiday events," said Chuck Cochran, president of the Reynoldsburg Community Association. "We're excited to make it an all-day celebration."

Christmas on the Towne will be held on Main Street between Lancaster Avenue and Graham/Waggoner roads and on Broadwyn Drive between Lancaster Avenue and Jackson Street.

A treasure map with 25 area businesses and points of interest will be distributed.

"If you stop at all 25, then we'll put your name in for a prize," Cochran said.

The event's popular carriage rides along Main Street again will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cochran said. The carriage rides are free, but riders are asked to bring a canned-goods donation to benefit Reynoldsburg Helping Hands, he said.

Christmas on the Towne will step off earlier, with the addition of the Reindeer Run, a 5K run/walk and kids fun run, with proceeds benefiting the Columbus nonprofit cancer charity, Nellie's Champions 4 Kids (NC4K).

The kid's fun run is free, but the 5K requires a $35 registration fee by Dec. 5. Online sign-ups are at runsignup.com/Race/OH/Reynoldsburg/NC4KReindeerRun5k.

The Reindeer Run starts at 8:45 a.m., with the other Christmas on the Towne events scheduled 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children looking to get a jump on shopping for family members are encouraged to visit the "Secret Santa" at New Antioch Bible Fellowship Church, 1415 Lancaster Ave. Donated items, most priced at just a few dollars, will be available for sale during the Christmas on the Towne event.

"The parents give their children a limit and we take them downstairs into the fellowship hall and they get to buy Christmas presents for mom and dad," Cochran said. "It's an opportunity for the little ones to shop for their parents and we wrap the gifts for the kids."

At 4 p.m., the city takes over the show, holding its Christmas parade.

"Several city departments have been talking about holding a Christmas parade and the Reynoldsburg Community Association was willing to assist with logistics and altering their time so we could wrap everything into one fun-filled day of Christmas cheer," said Donna Bauman, parks and recreation director. "Our goal is to bring the community out for a day of fun activities sponsored by RCA and culminate with a parade leading to City Hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree."

The parade steps off at 4:15 p.m. from Cypress Alley, heads west along Main Street and ends at Huber Park with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. School and community groups and the Tomato Festival queens will help usher in Santa's arrival.

Because of the parade, the following roads will be closed from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7:

* East Main Street between Waggoner/Graham roads and Haft Drive

* State Route 256 north of the 5-way intersection to East Main Street

* Lancaster Avenue, south of French Drive

* Davidson Drive between East Main Street and Haft Drive

* Jackson Street between Broad Alley and East Main Street

School choirs will perform as the city officially flips the switch on its Christmas lights at 6 p.m.

Other activities planned throughout the day include caroling, crafts, a coloring contest and photos with Santa at City Hall.

For more information, go to reynca.org.

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