It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
This will even be more apparent Dec. 6 when the 10th annual holiday parade and tree lighting take place in downtown Batesville.
The fun begins at 5 p.m. (please see box), when area school choirs will start performing, reports Tricia Miller, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “The Batesville Area Historical Society ‘All Aboard’ Trains Display will be open to the public along with its scrumptious cookie sale. Once the parade ends, we will get the crowd singing a few Christmas songs followed by the mayoral proclamation and tree lighting. Also, starting at 7:15 p.m., there will be the free “Frozen II” movie at the Gibson Theatre sponsored by the Batesville Kiwanis Club.”
There will be plenty of activities to keep the youngsters entertained. “We are having a craft station for the kids,” notes Tina Longstreth, Batesville Main Street executive director. “They can make a reindeer craft ... (and) a snowball craft.” There will also be opportunities to take Elfie Selfies
Attendees will also enjoy cookie decorating; roasting marshmallows; taking carriage rides; participating in a sing-along with Shannon Mullins, owner of Miss Shannon’s Music Studio; and visiting with Santa.
Food and drinks will also be available. There will be “gourmet popcorn, walking tacos, cupcakes, cheeseballs, hot chocolate, cookies and Safe Passage will be handing out candy canes,” Miller announces.
Carolyn Dieckmann reveals the train display at the Batesville Historical Center will be open until 8 p.m. In addition to homemade Christmas cookies, dark chocolate-covered cashews will be for sale and “four crafters will be on site selling items. They will give a certain percent of their sales back to the museum.”
Longstreth notes that some downtown businesses are staying open late and having specials. “Cards showing which businesses are doing this are available at the chamber office and at area businesses.”
New this year is a Holiday Dog Costume event. Miller says, “Dress up your dog and come join us in the holiday parade. We will have judges along the route who will be watching for the Best in Show Holiday Costume. Please be lined up with your dog by 5:45 p.m.”
The Toyland-themed parade begins at 6 p.m. Line-up is at the Batesville Memorial Pool, 108 N. Mulberry St. Chamber gift certificates will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place floats, with judging beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The parade route: It will turn left on George Street, left onto Main Street, right onto Boehringer Street, right onto Park Avenue and will end at Santa’s Village on George Street where Santa will disembark from his sleigh to greet children before approaching the stage for the tree lighting.
Miller points out, “You can still sign up for the parade online (at www.batesvillein.com and click on “Latest News”) or call the chamber office at 812-934-3101 and we can mail you a form. All Parade entries must be illuminated.” The registration deadline is Dec. 3.
“Be sure to get to downtown early to experience all that is offered at this wonderful Christmas event while getting a great spot for the parade and the tree lighting,” says Mayor Mike Bettice.
The 25 foot Canaan fir tree that will be lit downtown was donated by Joe Schneider, Sunman, and the 12 foot white pine tree in front of the Memorial Building was donated by Mike Bohman of Bohman Tree Farm, Greensburg, according to Steven Harmeyer, the city’s community development director.
Longstreth encourages the public to attend the event because “it’s such a nice way to start the holiday season .... It feels like a Norman Rockwell scene downtown.”
Miller adds, “We want everyone to mingle, jingle and be merry .... Enjoy the smells of roasted marshmallows and yummy hot chocolate along with the sounds of carolers and bustling yuletide activities. Please stop by to see Santa to give him your Christmas wish list. Then find yourself nestled into a horse-drawn wagon for a sing-along if you like.”
In addition to the BACC and Batesville Main Street, the event is presented by the Batesville Beautification League and Mayor’s Youth Council.