ST. PARIS – When Santa Claus descends upon St. Paris Saturday afternoon, he’ll certainly remember the Christmas festivals of old.
Christmas in the Village kicks off at 1 p.m. on South Springfield Street with Santa’s arrival. He will greet children and their parents and invite them to remember the moment with their own cell phone photos.
The Champaign County Youth Choir and Graham Elementary Choir will perform at 2 p.m.
The event will culminate at 6 p.m. with a Christmas tree-lighting followed by a lighted parade featuring Santa and the Graham Marching Band, and then a holiday movie inside the municipal building.
Other activities include:
– a Christmas cookie bake-off from 3 to 5 p.m.
– 12 craft vendors, who will set up their displays inside downtown businesses which will remain open for the duration of the festival
– a live nativity display from 2 to 4 p.m.
– ornament-making in the St. Paris Library from 1 to 4 p.m.
– a silent auction of Christmas items from 1 to 5 p.m.
– carriage rides from 3 to 6 p.m.
– wreath-making alongside a hot-chocolate stand
– a gingerbread house-making contest on display in the window of the bank
– games sponsored by the Graham Elementary Lighthouse Team
– a barrel-decorating contest (Event organizers say there’s room for more entrants)
– two food trucks
The village Christmas tree will be lighted by Bradon Trace and Abby Crisler, the Graham Homecoming king and queen.
The tree-lighting will be followed by the lighted parade, starting and ending on Jefferson Street north of Harmon Park.
Saturday’s event is sponsored by Our Town St. Paris and organized again this year by the group’s secretary, LaTasha Hackley, who emphasized the “lighted” aspect of the evening parade.
“Anything with lights. That means light up your kids, dogs, horses, golf carts and bikes, and join us in the parade,” Hackley said.
Members of the Graham band will be adorned with lights.
And, of course, the parade will be trailed by Santa Claus on his sleigh.
According to Hackley, the holiday movie will be the one that was scheduled to be shown during the summer “Christmas in July” event that was rained out. She reminds everyone that for a more comfortable experience, participants should bring their own seating for the parade and indoor movie.