Dec. 3 Light Up Sugarcreek welcomes Christmas season

Dec. 3 Light Up Sugarcreek welcomes Christmas season

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As holiday lights begin cropping up all over Amish Country and Yule Tide offerings fill the air with the sounds of Christmas, one area village is inviting visitors to experience small-town Christmas at its finest.

The Village of Sugarcreek is gearing up for Light Up Sugarcreek, one of its most anticipated events of the year. It draws people from near and far to celebrate the holidays.

This year Light Up Sugarcreek will take place Saturday, Dec. 3 from 4-7 p.m., and Sugarcreek will present a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus and will feature all the favorites of Christmas including roasting chestnuts, sleigh rides, live Christmas music, cocoa, cookies and more.

Village of Sugarcreek marketing administrator Christine Quickel said the free outdoor event will take place in front of the cuckoo clock along Main Street, weather permitting, with the event being co-hosted by the Village of Sugarcreek and the Sugarcreek Business Association.

“Everything about this paints a heartwarming Christmas picture,” Quickel said. “We’ve had people say it reminds them of a Hallmark card.”

Festivities are set to begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday when Santa and Mrs. Claus make their arrival via sleigh, accompanied by live holiday music. Children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, with the first 100 children receiving a personalized Christmas ornament.

Horse-drawn sleigh rides will be available from 4-7 p.m., and people are invited to walk about town, visiting the shops, which stay open late.

“We offer so much, and it’s almost all free,” Quickel said. “We have someone roasting chestnuts. The library will be there, and they usually offer free pins for the kids. The train depot will be open and will have cookies and hot cocoa. Kids can blow the train whistle.”

She said families can head to Sweetwater Farm to view the live nativity and engage in the making of s’mores, and in addition, she guaranteed a white Christmas, one way or another.

“We have someone providing a snow machine, so whether we have snow or make snow, it’s going to be snowing,” Quickel said.

At 5:30 p.m. Sugarcreek Mayor Jeff Stutzman will do the honor of pulling the switch and officially kicking off the Christmas season with the holiday lighting ceremony.

“As part of the ceremony, we will honor our Business of the Year and name a local resident as candle lighter,” Quickel said. “But we like to keep that a secret until the big reveal.”

In addition, people are invited to keep an eye open for The Grinch, who will be on hand after his heart grew three times its size, so he will be in a festive mood.

Throughout the three-hour event, there will be caroling, and in case visitors get hungry for a snack or catch a chill and want to warm up, Quickel said there will be plenty of free hot chocolate, cookies and hot dogs offered, thanks to local organizations and businesses.

In addition, the Alpine Hills Museum will be open for tours, where storytellers will read holiday classics.

Quickel said Light Up Sugarcreek is a true community event, one that happens because of a small committee and a large group of volunteers who work countless hours to ensure a successful event each year.

“Light Up Sugarcreek is only possible thanks to our incredible group of dedicated volunteers, who begin planning for the event months in advance,” Quickel said. “A lot of hard work goes into setting up an event like this, and we depend on a lot of community support to make it happen. We depend so much on our local businesses, who help us out so much that it wouldn’t be possible without them, our Sugarcreek Business Association and our village employees.

“Our street department hangs thousands of lights, local businesses and organizations provide donations of food and drinks, and residents of the village help with set-up and clean-up. We want to express our thanks to everyone who makes this such a special evening as we head into the holiday season.”

Free community parking will be available in the Factory Street lot.

The only thing that could put a damper on the event is inclement weather, and Quickel said if bad weather does arise, people can check out Light Up Sugarcreek on Facebook for cancellations.