Organizations and businesses around the county are gearing up for the holidays.
A Christmas tree at the corner of North High Street and Governor Trimble Place, to be used in a tree lighting ceremony as part of the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association (HUBA) and city of Hillsboro Uptown Christmas celebration, was erected and decorated Tuesday.
This year’s tree was donated by Rhoades Ridge Farm and was set up with the assistance of personnel from the city of Hillsboro.
The Uptown Christmas tree lighting will happen Friday at 6 p.m. with free carriage rides and other attractions at local businesses and the old firehouse throughout the evening from 5 to 8 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to everyone coming out to the event, and it was such a huge hit last year that we definitely had to make it bigger and better,” said Hillsboro Economic Development Assistant Lauren Walker, who helps coordinate the event.
She said the firehouse will be full of vendors and will include Christmas tree sales along with activities for children.
This year’s carriage rides will differ from last year’s event. “We’re going to have two carriages this year,” said Walker. “Last year we only had one, but it was such a massive line that we decided to do two this year.”
The route will also change slightly. “I think this year they are going to make it a little bit longer, and I think it will come up the other way so we’re not affecting the uptown traffic, and with two carriages we should be able to get a lot of kids through because it was packed last year,” said Walker.
Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha will be lighting the tree, and members of the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church will sing prior to the lighting.
“There are a lot of businesses involved with all of the goody bags and activities and free giveaways and, of course, Santa at Merchants National Bank,” said Walker. “We’re happy to be part of it.”
The Uptown Christmas festivities will be followed a week later with the Hillsboro Lighted Christmas parade Saturday, Dec. 11 beginning at 6 p.m.
But there will be two other holiday parades in Highland County this week — one in Mowrystown on Saturday afternoon and one in Greenfield on Saturday evening. will host its annual Christmas parade along Jefferson Street held by the Greenfield Fraternal Order of Eagles this Saturday, Dec. 4 beginning at 6 p.m.
Events in Mowrystown will start with the annual Mowrystown Holiday Craft Fair & Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at Whiteoak High School, where Santa will make a stop following the parade. Lunch will be available.
The annual Mowrystown Christmas Parade will start with line-up at Nutrien Ag Solutions at 1 p.m. Judging will start at 1:30 p.m. and the parade will start at 2 p.m. The parade theme is Small Town Christmas.
In Greenfield, the 40th version of the Eagles Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m.
“We’re going to have floats and Santa Clause and cookies and hot chocolate downtown after it’s over like it has always been,” said Greenfield FOE Treasurer Jim Wilson.
Anyone who wants to participate by having a float in the parade or walking or riding some other vehicle in the parade is encouraged to be at the traditional meeting spot at the parking lot by the old shoe factory between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. No registration is required.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the old Castle Hallmark store after the parade where children will be able to visit with them and their crew.
In Bainbridge, there will be a Breakfast at the Manger, a special celebration just for preschool and elementary age children (and their parents), Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Bainbridge Church of Christ. It includes seeing and hearing the real Christmas story; creating your own pancakes with toppings like gummy worms, Sweet Tarts, marshmallows, etc.; making your own Christmas ornament; decorating your own Christmas cookie; and petting barn animals. There is no cost to attend and reservations are not required.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.