Santa Claus is coming to townAnnual lighted parade is scheduled for Friday evening on the square
Over 1,000 lights will cut through the darkness, a feast of snacks will be given to ward off the winter cold, and dozens of decorated vehicles will parade around the square to hundreds of fans along the route. It all happens Friday evening in downtown Washington.
The center of Washington will be full of events to ring in the holiday season, beginning at 4 p.m. with carolers strolling through the lighted shops and various service clubs giving hot dogs, popcorn and hot chocolate to ward off the winter chill. Hayrack rides begin at about 5 p.m. Then, after a brief celebration on the band shell to honor Relay for Life members, the downtown skyline will be lighted. Luminaries to honor cancer patient will also be part of the lighted parade. Main Street board member Don Kline said that this year’s lighting of the square is going to be special.
“We’re trying to make the lighting of the buildings a bigger deal, so people will come down just for that,” Kline said. “It’s going to be more of an event than it has been in the past.”
Washington Chamber of Commerce director Michelle Peiffer said that the chamber maintains and purchases the bulbs for the lighting. She also said that every year the city’s parks department workers have to go through the strings, bulb by bulb, to make sure they are in working order.
The 16th annual lighted parade kicks off at 6 p.m. Main Street Washington director Sarah Sadrakula said that the group is asking people with entries to sign up on Friday before the parade. Line up will be along West Washington Boulevard. The parade will travel north on B Avenue, turn east onto Main Street and then south down Marion Avenue. The route then heads east along Washington, turning north at Iowa Avenue. The final leg of the parade finishes on Main Street.
Kline said that the parade includes the entry of Santa into Washington. Each year Santa enters Washington in a new form of conveyance.
“I think the parade will be bigger and better than ever,” Kline said. “Main Street will have a special float. It will be one to look for. In the past we had a little thing, but this year we have someone who made us a float. This year it will be special.”
Sadrakula said that over 100 parade registration forms have been handed out.
Kline said that he has heard that a tour bus from out of town is coming to town for the lighted parade.
At 7 p.m. Santa’s House will open in the former Washington Public Library. Santa’s House will be open at various times until Christmas.
Small business Saturday will be held Nov. 24. It kicks off at 8 a.m. with breakfast with Santa, which will be held in the United Presbyterian Church. The Jingle Bell 5K Run will be held at 9 a.m. Runners will start on the east side of the square.