Washington prepares for the holidays

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While Christmas still is more than a month away, Washington is preparing to get into the monthlong holiday spirit with the annual Showcasing Nights of Washington (SNOW) events that have been planned to begin later this week.

Main Street Washington director Sarah Grunewaldt said all the traditional events that the people of Washington have come to know as the holiday celebration are returning this year. For the second year, the events will all be on Saturday instead of beginning Friday night and running through Saturday. SNOW begins this Friday with a Shop and Stroll event from 5 to 8 p.m.

?We have all of your favorite downtown retailers plus some new ones this year,? Grunewaldt said. ?Art Domestique is going to join us this year; the Mills Seed Building; Needles and Thread; and Relay for Life has their festival of trees going on that night.?

Other businesses involved are: J.P.?s 207, Jazz It Up, Earthly Blessings, Don?s Jewelry, Brown?s Shoe Fit, the Village, Wolf Floral, Repurpose It, and Dodici?s Shop.

On Nov. 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the area will have its Holiday Blitz with back-to-back activities. While in the past SNOW was held Friday night and continued through Saturday morning, the event was changed last year so all the events were held Saturday.

?We did it last year that way and it was really nice,? Grunewaldt said. ?It allowed for one full day of activities. it is also Small Business Saturday. It just made things more streamlined.?

The morning begins at 8 a.m. with Breakfast with Santa in the United Presbyterian Church. Also at 8 a.m. the annual Jingle Bell Run begins from the Washington Square. Santa?s House opens at 4 p.m. With the sale of the former library building, Santa?s House is now located at the iTech building.

The Washington Community Theater will have a live broadcast of ?Miracle on 34th Street? at the library from 6 to 7 p.m.

?You watch how they?re making the sound effects and the people performing it and listen to it from Washington Street looking through the big windows of the library on the first floor,? Grunewaldt said.

At 7 p.m., the lighting ceremony will be done on the bandshell with the parade following immediately after, she added. Santa?s House also will be opened for visitors for about an hour and a half after the parade.

Santa?s House also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 26. The Washington Chamber of Commerce also will hold its tour of homes on Dec. 2.

Main Street Washington is also offering 6-foot cut Christmas trees to be displayed in Central Park from Thanksgiving to New Year?s in memory of a loved one. The trees can be purchased for $100, which includes the tree, a string of lights, a ribbon and a laminated sign honoring the person the tree commemorates. Proceeds from the event go to fund the Main Street program. The trees can be purchased through Friday.