Tree lighting Friday

By Matthew Saari

Granville will be overtaken with holiday cheer Friday as the annual tree-lighting ceremony, holiday parade, Festival of Trees and Festival of Wreaths and Centerpieces take place.

Holiday parade

Kicking off the evening will be a parade that will start at Great Meadow Federal Credit Union on East Main Street at 5:45 p.m.

Santa Claus, local law enforcement officials and firemen will process down Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park on Quaker Street. The group will be accompanied by Santa’s Helpers, a group of nine second- and third-graders from Mary J. Tanner School.

The students were chosen to ride along with the parade after exhibiting good behavior.

Tree lighting

Once at the park, at about 6 p.m., one of Santa’s Helpers will have the important responsibility of waving a magic wand to illuminate the park lights and start the music.

“It would be just a little more than 50,000 lights in the park,” said Rick Roberts, Granville village clerk and member of the holiday decorating committee.

The theme of this year’s tree lighting is “Granville’s Grinchmas.” The annual holiday celebration and tree-lighting will focus on the kids this year, with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Sarajevo” at the center of it all.

Holiday decorations, lights and more in the park will dance along with the music after Austin Campbell, one of Santa’s Helpers, waves the magic wand and gives the queue.

Also available in the park, unitl 9 p.m., will be goodies and treats from area businesses, fire pits to roast s’mores, live reindeer, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

Santa visits

Children will have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and receive an early holiday present.

At 4:30 p.m., a ticket booth will open for area youngsters to sign up for a time to visit Santa. Santa’s Helpers get to meet the jolly red-clad man first, but regular visits start at about 6:30 p.m. Nearly 500 children meet Santa in the park each year.

Festival of Trees

The evening also features a pair of festivals running from 4 to 9 p.m.: The Festival of Trees at the Slate Valley Museum and the Festival of Wreaths and Centerpieces at the Pember Library and Museum.

At the Slate Valley Museum, the eighth annual Festival of Trees will feature a display of decorated trees, carolers, snacks and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

There will even be a tree with hats and mittens available for free to anyone who needs them.

Several of the 40 or so trees, which have been decorated and donated to the museum by local organizations, businesses and crafty individuals, will be sold in a silent auction, which runs from Dec. 6-20. At exactly 1 p.m. on Dec. 20, the bids will be collected and the winners announced.

Proceeds from the auction benefit the Slate Valley Museum.

Festival of Wreaths and Centerpieces

Across the Mettowee River footbridge, the Pember Library and Museum’s sixth annual Festival of Wreaths and Centerpieces will run simultaneously.

At the Pember, wreaths and centerpieces will be available for purchase in a silent auction, carolers will sing and snacks will be available.

Bidding on wreaths will start Dec. 6 and close on Dec. 14. Winning bidders will be announced on Dec. 14. Proceeds from the wreath and centerpiece auction benefit the Pember Library and Museum.

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