The Commons will transform into a festive Christmas Village on Saturday, December 7th, offering families a full afternoon of free holiday entertainment and activities leading up to the annual Festival of Lights Parade.
The Christmas Village will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and will feature a variety of fun holiday activities that appeal to everyone. Children can decorate a spectacular gingerbread village and make keepsake ornaments, and everyone can check out holiday model train displays, sweet treats from local bakeries and performances by storytellers, carolers, musicians, dancers and magicians.
This year marks the first time The Commons will host a holiday celebration open to the entire community. In previous years, The Commons was rented for private parties and much of it was closed off to the public during the Festival of Lights Parade.
Mayor Kristen Brown wanted to create a free community event to complement the parade and keep the public building open to the community during one of the most festive days of the year in Columbus. The Clarence E. and Inez R. Custer Foundation provided funding to help support the Christmas Village.
“We welcome the community to celebrate this festive time of year with us in the heart of our Columbus Arts District,” Mayor Kristen Brown said. “The Christmas Village showcases all the qualities that make the Columbus Arts District our city’s central core. It offers families a variety of appealing and welcoming experiences, including culinary treats, live performances and participatory art, and strengthens our sense of community.”
Baked goods, warm winter drinks, and handmade arts and crafts will be available for purchase from local vendors. Activities and entertainment will include:
- A gingerbread village that children can help decorate hosted by Sweet Rose Bakehouse;
- Holiday model train displays presented by the Columbus Area Railroad Club;
- Keepsake ornament activities provided by kidscommons;
- Children’s activities offered by the City of Columbus Parks & Recreation Department and Foundation for Youth; and
The entertainment schedule is as follows:
- 1:00-1:30 p.m. — First Baptist Church Hand Bell Quartet (Performance Hall stage)
- 1:30-2:00 p.m. — Bartholomew County Library Storyteller (Miller-Tangeman Lobby stage)
- 2:00-2:30 p.m. — Sine Nomine Carolers (Miller-Tangeman Lobby stage)
- 2:30-3:00 p.m. — Three Handsome Gentlemen Men’s Quartet (Performance Hall Stage)
- 3:00-3:30 p.m. — Dance Street, Performance/ Interactive dance lesson (Performance Hall stage)
- 3:30-4:00 p.m. — Kristen Wright, Soloist/Guitarist (Miller-Tangeman Lobby stage)
- 4:00-5:00 p.m. — Magic Show with Travis Easterling (James A. Henderson Playground)
Santa Claus will make a special appearance as part of the Travis Easterling magic show.
The Festival of Lights Parade begins at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, December 7th, followed by the QMIX Musical Fireworks. The public will have full access to The Commons during the parade.