GREENFIELD – Hancock County is definitely on Santa’s beautiful list this year with holiday festivities on the horizon.
With many events hanging in 2020, the lights are shining this year as communities get ready to celebrate the season. Here is a look at the local family events that will make your days happy and bright.
– Meet at the Riley Home on Saturday, December 4 for a tour, Christmas carols on a 1906 mechanical piano, and a tour with Mr. Riley himself. The family-friendly holiday event even includes a visit with Santa Claus dressed in Victorian clothing. Free fixed-time tickets are available for each hour of the Open House, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See facebook.com/RileyMuseumHome for a link to the tickets.
-The night in Bethlehem on Saturday, December 4 will include a walk through a recreated city and a live nativity scene. On your guided tour, you’ll encounter a census, an interactive marketplace, King Herod unleashed, and angels proclaiming the good news to the shepherds. The event, which ends with a hot chocolate, is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. December 4th at Brandywine Community Church, 1551 E. New Road, Greenfield. Tours take place every 15 minutes and last about an hour; reserve your time preference with free tickets at brandywinechurch.org/nib.
– âChristmas Lights Up Greenfieldâ is the theme of the Downtown Window Decor Parade and Contest hosted by the Riley Festival Committee. The parade, which begins at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, will begin on Depot Street and end at American Legion Place south of the courthouse annex, with a Christmas tree lighting. All parade entrances must have a minimum of 500 lights, and Santa rides a fire truck.
-Center Greenfield will remain busy throughout the season. As the lights adorn the courthouse plaza, kids can send a letter to Santa and get a response in their own mailbox. Flicks at the Ricks will present âWhite Christmasâ on December 4 and 5 at the historic HJ Ricks Theater; “Prancer” will play on December 18th and 19th. A Ho Ho Ho Holiday Breakfast with Santa is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on December 11, followed by a Hometown Holiday Market in downtown Greenfield from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The downtown vacation home businesses are also open throughout the season. For details and tickets (if applicable), visit greenfieldmainstreet.org/holiday.
-Visit the Twenty North Gallery in downtown Greenfield from December 4 to January 1 for the Christmas Tree Festival. About ten trees will be decorated by companies or associations; people can vote for their favorite tree by bringing an unwrapped gift for each tree’s favorite charity. The exhibition is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm; extended hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 11. The gallery will also feature a Santa Claus Workshop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 4, featuring Christmas birdhouse painting and decoration, pine cone bird treats and Christmas ornaments. A second artist reception Friday for Gale Sturm and a Christmas party will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 10. Visit facebook.com/HancockCountyArtsCouncil for more details and updates.
-A Holiday Bazaar will feature local boutiques, home artisans, baked goods and more from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 at Greenfield-Central High School. Sponsored by Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and the G-CS Theater Department, the event will include tours with Santa from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
– “Joy in Every Travel” will be celebrated by the Hancock County Children’s Choir at their 11th annual Christmas concert on Saturday December 4th. Greenfield. Visit hancockcountychildrenschoir.org for tickets and more details.
– Pet a live reindeer and say hello to “elf” Jingle John at the Hancock County Public Library. Outdoor events take place December 7 in Greenfield and December 15 in New Palestine. Visit hcplibrary.org and click on the Events tab to register for a time slot. The website also features details on several other free family events.
-Classes at the Greenfield Parks Department Art Studio will include events for children, teens and adults. From paint pouring to clay ornaments, lessons will motivate students to be creative and create holiday gifts. The studio will host a âSip and Paint Night: Treat Yo ‘Elfâ on December 3, where adult attendees design two wine glasses and enjoy sweet snacks and a drink at Lizabeth Ann’s Kitchen, 244 W. Main St. For dates and times and to register, visit parks.greenfieldin.org.
– Have your pet photo taken with Santa and help raise money for charity from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 19 at Shelter House in Riley Park. The $ 15 event includes a digital image and a cardboard frame; funds help benefit Partners for Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
-Hometown Winterfest and Lighting in New Palestine will be held on December 11 along Depot and Main streets and at City Hall. See reindeer, a parade of lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus, make ornaments and more. The festivities begin at 3 pm; visit facebook.com/NewPalestineMainStreet for details.
-Wear pajamas and bring pillows and blankets to a family movie night with “The Polar Express” on December 10th. The event takes place at 6 pm at the New Palestine Lions Club, 5242 W. US 52. The free movie, which will include popcorn and hot chocolate, is sponsored by the Lions Club, New Palestine Main Street and New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce.
-A Grinch Movie Night will feature activities and goodies for the whole family on December 14 at the Sugar Creek branch of the Hancock County Public Library. For more details and to register, click on the events tab on hcplibrary.org.
-Houses in New Palestine will be lit up for the third annual Bob Kingry Light the Night contest. The contest is presented by New Palestine Main Street and the New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, and participants must register by December 10 by sending an email to [email protected] The judgment will take place on December 18.
McCordsville / Fortville / Cumberland
-The McCordsville Christmas Tree Lighting will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1 at City Hall, 6280 W. 800N., McCordsville. The McCordsville Elementary School Choir and the Mt. Vernon Middle School Orchestra will perform in the park shelter. A special “elf” will flip the switch to light the tree. New this year will be a hot chocolate truck. Santa Claus will also make an appearance.
-Mt. Comfort Church’s annual holiday bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 and will feature craft stalls, vendors, food and a silent auction. The festivities will take place on the main campus, 3179 N. 600W., Greenfield. The church will also host a children’s pajama party with live animals on December 12 and several other Christmas events. See www.mtcomfortchurch.com for more information.
-Fortville Winterfest will be held from noon to 7 p.m. on December 4 on Main Street. A parade will take place at 1 p.m. and a children’s area and street market throughout the day. See facebook.com/fortvilleactioninc for more details.
-Cumberland’s Weihnachtsmarkt (life-noks-mart) is an annual event for families to celebrate the holidays and the town’s German heritage. Held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, the free event includes food, family entertainment like reindeer games for the kids, a horse-drawn carriage ride, tree lighting and a visit with Santa Claus. . Visit www.town.cumberland.in.us to learn more.
-Bring bells to greet Santa in the town of Shirley from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 27. The annual Downtown Christmas Walk encourages families to shop at local businesses by picking up a bingo card and strolling the streets of Shirley. Father Christmas will be greeted at 5.30 p.m.
-The annual Christmas Tree Walk at Shirley’s Octagon House will feature free tours and meals to buy, raising funds for the restoration of the historic home. Events are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 3 and 4, and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 10 and 11. Visit facebook.com/indianaoctagonhouse for more details.