With Thanksgiving now behind us, everyone's full attention can turn to Christmas, and the holiday is beginning in a big way in the Ardmore Depot District on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The fun begins at Central Park with the Christmas Market and continues throughout the day culminating with the tree lighting ceremony and the Parade of Lights.
Tes Stewart, recreation supervisor with Ardmore Parks and Recreation, said she and her coworkers were thrilled to see the Christmas Market and public tree lighting ceremony return after the events were cancelled in 2020.
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"Last year we were live on TV for the tree lighting, but it was like a ghost town because we were there alone," Stewart said. "We're really excited to be back to celebrate Christmas with everyone."
The Christmas Market will open at Central Park at 11 a.m., and wide range of merchants will be selling their wares until 7 p.m. Food trucks will also be set up at the park throughout the event.
"Right now we have 25 vendors and a few food trucks coming," Stewart said. "We've actually got quite a few new vendors this year, and there is going to be a little bit of everything —from baked goods, to crafts, to t-shirts, and lots of light up toys for kids to use during the parade."
The entertainment portion of the event begins at 4:00 p.m. on the pergola. This year's list of performers will be International Ms. Tourism 2022 Michelle Douglas, the students of Trudy Reasoner, the Ardmore High School Choir and the Dickson Show Choir.
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At 5:20 p.m. a horse and carriage will begin taking riders around the park and through the nearby neighborhood. Tickets for rides are $6 per person and can be purchased in advance at www.ardmorecity.org or at the event before riding.
The tree lighting ceremony is set for approximately 6:00 p.m., and this will be immediately followed by the Parade of Lights. According to Ardmore Main Street General Manager Allison Meredith, this year's parade will have approximately 60 entries. These include businesses, churches and other organizations with light-festooned floats as well as car clubs and marching bands.
"We really missed getting to have the parade last year, so we're looking forward to seeing everyone come out to enjoy the show," Meredith said. "It's always such a fantastic time and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit."
This article originally appeared on The Daily Ardmoreite: Ardmore Christmas Market, tree lighting, Parade of Lights set