According to event organizers, last Saturday’s (Dec. 3) Village of Sunbury Christmas on the Square Celebration, held to kick off the Big Walnut-area Christmas season, drew a larger crowd than most years because of mild weather.
Temperatures were cold, the air a bit damp, but without the wind that made the 2015 event seem more frigid.
The 2016 Lighted Christmas Parade announcer was WCMH-TV’s Weatherman Dave Mazza. Parade participants ranged from local scout troops to BST&G Fire District fire engines. Sunbury Halter & Saddle 4-H Club was there, Molly’s Flowers, Sunbury Subway, Table Rock Construction, and a whole host of other local businesses and organizations.
Following the parade the Myers Inn Museum welcomed visitors, many folks attended the Forman Realtors 50th Anniversary Celebration on the second floor of town hall, where the judging took place for the Beard Contest and Cookie and Candy Contest.
Local merchants around the square welcomed guests, Firehouse Tavern and Longbranch Pizza were open and serving hungry (and thirsty) customers. Ice-and-chainsaw-carving demonstrations were on the square; and Sunbury Lions Club members were doing a brisk business as area residents shopped for Christmas trees.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield tripped the switch at 7 p.m. lighting the village Christmas tree in front of Sunbury Town Hall, followed by the Second Annual Donut Eating Contest at Table Rock Construction.
Typically, in colder weather, folks have left the square following the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, but with mild weather the square was active until well after the event’s 8 p.m. closing time.
“I was overwhelmed with this year’s turnout,” Hatfield said. “It’s about the largest number of people I’ve seen at any Christmas on the Square, thanks to the great weather. It was nice that Dave Mazza served as parade emcee. He did a great job, and brought along an NBC4 cameraman.”
Hatfield said he left the square about 8:30 p.m. and people were still lining up for carriage rides around the square.
“There was so much to do, with vendors on the square, businesses open, and the beard and cookie contest,” Hatfield said. “I hope this is a Christmas tradition that the village can continue for many years to come.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.