WARSAW — For the better part of the evening Friday, Dec. 6, the city of Warsaw will provide a winter wonderland to Yuletide revelers, courtesy of the city’s First Friday celebration.
The event, dubbed “Hometown Holly Days,” will run from 5 to 9 p.m. and will feature a variety of seasonal activities in Central Park and at various downtown venues.
For the duration of the event, Santa’s House will welcome visitors on the courthouse square where folks can have their photos taken with Santa. The house, sponsored by the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, will move to Central Park Saturday, Dec. 7, and will be open until Christmas.
Horse-drawn carriage rides, “decked out in twinkle lights,” according to Paula Bowman, First Friday coordinator, will be available from 5 to 9 p.m.
Passengers will board at City Hall on the corner of Center and Buffalo streets. The ride will proceed east on Center Street, turn north on Indiana Street and proceed through Central Park and west on Main Street back to City Hall.
The fare for the carriage ride: donation of a canned good, dry good, unwrapped toy for the Angel Tree charity or cash to be given to the local Salvation Army.
All other events are free to the public.
The carriage will be commandeered at 6 p.m. to convey Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Twinkle Light Parade, which starts in the old Owens parking lot and proceeds east on Center Street to Indiana Street and into Central Park on Center Lake.
“Light Up the Night at Central Park,” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. “mostly in the big part of the park with activities at and around the pavilion,” Bowman said.
Half a dozen members of Michiana Ice Carvers will ply their artistry in front of sponsoring downtown businesses. Some downtown shops will offer hot chocolate to warm up patrons.
Angel Tree collection boxes will be set up in Alderfer Bergen & Company retirement planning consultants, Buffalo Street Emporium & Books, Mad Anthony’s Lake City Tap House, Latte Lounge, The Cave On The Square medical spa and the Warsaw Community Public Library.
“Thousands of people” have visited the city’s Christmastime centerpiece, now in its second decade.
“There’s nothing you can’t find here in Warsaw,” said Bowman, “great shopping, great restaurants and great attractions, all with a hometown touch.”
“Everyone is welcome to come and share the start of the holiday season. It is a lovely evening and all within walking distance.”
Bowman also welcomed donations to the city’s first responders of home goods, bedding, adult and children’s clothing, winter outdoor wear, pantry items and toys for families victimized by house fires.
“We are always looking for volunteers for First Fridays,” said Bowman.
The next First Friday will be April 3, 2020. The events are sponsored by the Dr. Dane & Mary Louise Miller Foundation, city of Warsaw and Warsaw Community Development Corp.
For more information or to volunteer, call Bowman at (574) 376-0233, visit www.facebook.com/pg/firstfridaywarsaw or stop by the chamber office at 523 S. Buffalo St.