Holiday parade to light up Worthington: Free cider, popcorn at Friday event
WORTHINGTON -- Hark, the annual Worthington holiday parade will herald the start of the most wonderful time of the year at 6:30 p.m. Friday. "It's a fun way to kick off the season, and everyone's always in a festive mood," said Darlene Macklin, e...
WORTHINGTON - Hark, the annual Worthington holiday parade will herald the start of the most wonderful time of the year at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
“It’s a fun way to kick off the season, and everyone’s always in a festive mood,” said Darlene Macklin, executive director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Plus, there’s light snow in the weather forecast for Friday; won’t it be great to have flurries?”
For a seventh year, the Chamber-organized parade will process down 10th Street from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue, with organizations and businesses of various types participating.
“We’re still accepting parade entries until noon on Thursday,” said Macklin, adding that the parade has grown annually, having featured only six floats its first time out.
“An entry doesn’t have to be elaborate, it just needs to have lights on it.”
Beginning at 5 p.m., horse-drawn carriage rides (originating near Wells Fargo Bank on 10th Street between First and Second Avenues) will be available, with Walgreen’s offering complimentary photos of the lucky passengers.
“And there will be free cider and popcorn, courtesy of Graham Tire, served near the corner of 10th Street and Third Avenue on the government center lawn,” Macklin said.
“For me, the parade highlight is the Worthington High School marching band.”
With most downtown stores open late to accommodate customers, Macklin hopes as many people will plan to turn out for the evening as have attended in past years.
“We’ve always had good crowds, even when it’s really cold,” said Macklin. “And we allow people to park along the street so they can sit in their cars and watch, if they need to.”
At Lit’l Wizards, Santa Claus will make his first appearance of the season immediately following the parade, with Ax Photo present to snap complimentary photos.
“And Santa will visit Lit’l Wizards each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Christmas,” said store proprietor Maria Thier, who has also scheduled a free children’s story and craft time from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
“It’s really exciting for the kids to hear Santa enter, jingling and smiling,” said Thier.
As she has done in past years, Thier is posting a North Pole mailbox for Santa letters just outside her business’ door.
“We let the kids know they can mail letters to Santa, because he likes to see their requests in writing,” Thier assured.
A Chamber of Commerce ambassador and member of two Chamber committees, Thier is delighted with how residents have embraced the holiday parade and its surrounding events.
“It’s so pretty to see the lighted floats, and it’s a good time to get everyone in the holiday mood,” said Thier.
“With the carriage rides, the hot chocolate and different things the businesses have to offer, this is a great community builder.”
The seventh annual Worthington Holiday Parade takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday on 10th Street in downtown Worthington. Parade entries are accepted until noon Thursday; call the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce at 372-2919 for more information.