The city administration of Hillsboro put on a series of successful Christmas events and activities last Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, the city presented an Uptown Christmas from 5-8 p.m. in the Hillsboro Historic District, and on Saturday the Country Cowboy Christmas Parade kicked off at 6 p.m.
As part of the Uptown Christmas events, the lighting of a recently planted Christmas tree purchased by the city took place on the south side of the city’s former firehouse.
“I want to point out this tree, now it’s small in size, but it’s huge in spirit,” said Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha before the lighting. “Every year when we come up here and have the annual Christmas lighting it’s going to be bigger and brighter just like our great city.”
Harsha’s children, Laylah and Guyton, along with Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott’s children, Marlee and Finley, assisted with the tree lighting.
“The tree lighting event was a success,” said Hillsboro Administrative Assistant Whitney Aliff. “Mayor Harsha wanted to plant the Christmas tree and watch the tree grow as the city does the same,” she said. “The tree will continue to grow, and the city will be able to utilize the tree for the tree lighting events in years to come. We hope the community enjoyed the activities provided by many local businesses.”
The city took over the Uptown Christmas events and Christmas parade, as well as the Jeepers Creepers jeeps cruise-in in September, at the request of the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association (HUBA), according to Aliff. She said Harsha did not want to see the events fade away.
The Uptown Christmas continued an event formerly presented by HUBA that was especially popular a year ago. It included free carriage rides and performances by the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church and Hillsboro High School choirs.
Kids activities included old-time photos with Santa at Merchants National Bank, Christmas crafts at From Me To You and Keller William Advisors, reindeer food at Cundiff’s, letters to Santa and pictures with Frosty the Snowman at Appearances Salon, free ice cream cones at 24 Deli & Pizza, Christmas bingo at White’s Bakery and Christmas activities at Twisted Violet.
In the old firehouse, there was a photo booth put on by People’s Bank and a local Lions Club, Christmas crafts by the Olde Cellar and kids face painting by the city of Hillsboro. A number of local vendors had items for sale at the firehouse.
Saturday’s Christmas parade began and ended at the end of the fairgrounds after passing through parts of the uptown area. Parade organizers said there were 40 entries in the parade, but some entries multiple vehicles.
Brian Vance, a longtime emcee for the parade, served as grand marshal of the parade, while Herb and Patty Day took over the emcee duties. First place in the parade was awarded to the Silver Spurs 4-H Club with second place going to the Samantha Freewill Baptist Church and third place to Bartley Off Road Trail Riders.
Aliff said HUBA may decide to continue to sponsor the event, but if the group decides they cannot continue with it, the city plans to keep it going.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.