Forget those woefully premature decorations you started seeing in September. It is now officially the season to be jolly. And to celebrate the occasion, some of the area’s most holiday-spirited merchants, organizations and civil servants are banding together to light up your life.
Friday, Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m., the Swiss Village’s 22nd Annual Lighting Festival will begin illuminating the north end of the Beeline Highway. The program will be launched by community carolers from all of the local grade schools who’ll meander through the village and probably ask you to join in on one beloved holiday tune or another.
At 7 p.m., Santa Claus will arrive on his fire engine and he’ll take your child’s Christmas-gift orders from his base at the north end of the village near First Class Hair and Nails. Santa will have treats for his younger visitors, and he’ll pose with anyone who’d like to have their photograph taken with him.
Hot chocolate will be on sale at a booth operated by Santa’s elves, who will turn over a portion of the funds they collect to the Santa’s List’s Angel Tree program.
Many of the Swiss Village shops will be open late for shopping and refreshment-and-goodie sales, while the staff of Cucina Paradiso will be serving treats on their patio.
Both Friday and Saturday evenings, Larry Hinds will be at the south side of the village with a tasty load of Original Kettle Korn, and Joel Purcell will be nearby with his original wood carvings and gifts.
Saturday only, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. weather permitting you’ll find complimentary carriage rides and a mini-petting zoo populated by llamas and goats. And from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., KMOG will broadcast live from the Swiss Village and hand out door prizes.