Village to usher in holidays
By Fran Odyniec
For The Advocate
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, there will be treats for you all around Plain City on Dec. 1.
Beginning at 5 p.m. in the Flatiron District just off the corner of Main and Chillicothe streets, the village will herald the start of the holiday season with its 11th annual Christmas Under the Clock celebration.
The festivities will begin with the lighting ceremony of the village Christmas tree virtually under the watchful eye of the village clock perched high above the Flatiron District and Bicentennial Park. In celebrations past, as many as 500 people have crowded into the area for the ceremony which will feature live music, choirs, an appearance by Santa Claus, and the official lighting of the towering tree by the village’s six tree lighting ambassadors.
“It’s an event that is family friendly and is known for preserving that old-time charming community-oriented atmosphere,” said Julie Weaver, president of the Uptown Plain City Organization (UPCO), which coordinates the event.
Also as part of the opening ceremony, the winners of this year’s home and business decorating contest will be announced.
“This is the first year for this contest,” explained Weaver. Entry deadline was Nov. 23.
“All properties must be within the Plain City Village limits.”
Presented by QT1270 and supported by Main Street Treasures, three winners each will be chosen from the home and the business categories. Judges will be looking for: best overall; most creative; and best use of illumination. All entered displays must be lighted by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, and Wednesday, Nov. 28 for judging.
Courtesy of Main Street Treasures, VISA gift cards will be awarded to the winners in each category.
The Starlight Twirlers, who raised $250 in donations to purchase additional lights for the village tree, will perform. Choirs from Jonathan Alder High School and the St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Chuckery will present holiday programs. R.AGE, a band comprised of Alder high school students, will “rock around the Christmas tree.”
After Plain City Mayor Sandra Adkins introduces the tree lighting ambassadors, they will work their magic as they throw the huge candy cane switch that brings the village tree to life.
That will also be the signal for villagers and visitors alike to head out through the village for scores of open houses hosted by village businesses to sample holiday treats and take a hefty helping of the holiday spirit. To add to the Yuletide spirit, folks can sign up for the $500 VISA Card giveaway at any of the open houses. A map of the open houses will be available at the tree lighting ceremony.
Following his appearance at the tree lighting, Santa, with the help of the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District, will be whisked away to Yoder’s True Value Hardware store on the west side of the village where he will be waiting to hear what children of all ages would like for Christmas. Businesses along West Main Street and U.S. Route 42 will have their doors open as well to welcome holiday revelers.
Getting to see Santa will be done in the virtual wink of an eye. As in years past, free wagon rides, dubbed “The Santa Shuttle,” will run from Lovejoy’s Plaza on Main Street out to Yoder’s hardware and back throughout the evening.
Back on Main Street, bidding at the Christmas Under the Clock Auction will start at about 5:30 p.m. at Plain City Auction at 145 E. Main St. Holiday decorations, gift items, gift baskets, gift certificates, and car and spa services provided by students from Tolles Technical & Career Center will be on the auction block. Fifty percent of all auction proceeds will benefit the Plain City Food Pantry.
Farther up Main Street, there will be more than just books at the Plain City Public Library. What has turned out to be a big hit in the last couple years, gingerbread house decorating will again take place at the library. Folks from Tolles Career & Technical Center and “Art; The Experience,” will be on hand to advise and help with the process. The library will also stage its annual “huge” book and novelty sale as well as providing treats and the soothing holiday music of the string ensemble, “Classical Sounds.”
Out along Main Street, Greg Butauski, of Rock On Ice, will dazzle the crowd with his amazing ability to carve holiday figures from blocks of ice, sure to warm up anyone’s sense of amazement. Greg and his associates will also carve kids’ names on much smaller blocks of ice, suitable for the kitchen freezer.
As if the evening couldn’t offer an even greater infusion of holiday spirit, many other holiday themed activities are in the process of being finalized for Christmas Under the Clock.
“It will be a fun evening,” assures Julie Weaver, as she scrambles to tend to last-minute items and projects. “Residents will have the opportunity to spend time with each other and have some fun.”
“Just in time for the holidays,” Weaver added.
For information on Christmas Under the Clock, go to uptownplaincityorg.webs.com under “Events.”