German Village once again will glow with candlelight during Village Lights from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.
The event, which will cap a weekend of activities in the historic Columbus neighborhood, offers luminaria-lined streets, live entertainment, vendors and special discounts at retailers in the community.
Other events planned for the weekend include the lighting of the neighborhood Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Frank Fetch Park on East Beck Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets.
The German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St., will be a hub of activity. It is the site for Striezelmarkt, which will have vendors from local businesses, ice sculptures, food and beer, wine and gluhwein, a type of mulled wine.
A scheduling error caused some initial confusion for this year's celebration. Village Lights is traditionally held the first Sunday in December.
However, a German Village Society worker who no longer is employed by the organization reportedly switched the date to Dec. 8 -- without authorizing it with Greg Gamier and Jeff Lowe, co-chairmen of the German Village Business Community organization that plans Village Lights -- because it was so close to this year's observance of the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 28.
Gamier said that, at the time, no advertising about Village Lights had started, so he and Lowe intended to switch it back Dec. 1, the original date.
However, Experience Columbus -- an agency whose mission is to sell, market and promote Columbus to visitors -- had scheduled a group of travel writers to visit the city weekend of Saturday, Dec. 7, ending with an excursion to Village Lights.
Several businesses on Kossuth Street already had lined up entertainment for Dec. 1. Those performances could not be rescheduled, Gamier said.
So the final call was to hold Village Lights on Dec. 8, with the small cluster of businesses on Kossuth holding their own party Dec. 1.
Schmidt's and the Red Stable, located on a portion of Kossuth Street, decided to hold a mini celebration Dec. 1, but they also will participate with the rest of the German Village community Sunday.
"You hate to dwell on that side of it," Gamier said of the mix-up. "I want to dwell on the fact that it's the best night in German Village."
It doesn't hurt that Experience Columbus invited a group of international travel writers to Columbus for the weekend, Gamier said.
"It's huge, the kind of exposure they're going to get that evening," Gamier said of local businesses.
The Schiller Community Center and Schiller Park, 1069 Jaeger St., also will be buzzing with energy.
Not Your Mama's Craft Market will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. and will feature arts-and-crafts booths and a market of "mini" makers, who are children who will be selling their work.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, courtesy of Actors' Theatre of Columbus, will recite stories starting at 5 p.m. at the Schiller Park amphitheater.
The German Village Maker's Market will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Flat 51 parking lot at 1108 City Park Ave., near the southwest corner of the park. It will feature many handmade items.
Luminaria kits, 10 for $10, will be sold at the Meeting Haus.
"We encourage neighbors to help out," and light the villages sidewalks and streets with luminarias, Lowe said.
Gamier said the event would not be canceled in the event of inclement weather.
"We've had freezing rain; we still had people come out," he said.
The weekend begins with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree Dec. 6.
The Village Singers will perform the group's 19th annual holiday concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Meeting Haus. Tickets to the show, "The Miracle at the Meeting Haus," are $10 and available at eventbrite.com or at the Meeting Haus.