XENIA — More than 10,000 lights will brighten up Shawnee Park to end the city’s annual Hometown Christmas Saturday, Nov. 25.
Set to Christmas music, the light show is being produced and donated by Police Chief Randy Person, who normally holds the display at his home as a way to give back to the community.
In addition, Centerville and Wright State University graduate Alexis Gomez — who made it to the top 16 on American Idol season 14 — will perform at the park 5 p.m.
“Each year we grow our Hometown Christmas event, and this year is no exception,” City Manager Brent Merriman said. “Due to the hard work of volunteers like Rebecca Cantrell, Xenia Police Chief Randy Person and so many others, we have been able to add dimension to our event. The addition of American Idol finalist Alexis Gomez and our new lighting event at Xenia’s Shawnee Park will go far to make our Christmas celebration memorable for everyone.”
Festivities begin 9 a.m. and run until 9 p.m. in downtown Xenia and the park.
The 5K Ugly Sweater Reindeer Run and Winterland Walk is 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Xenia Station, 150 S. Miami Ave., with proceeds benefitting Xenia Police community outreach. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there is a gingerbread house decorating contest at the Xenia Area Community Theater, 45 E. Second St.
The parade is 4-4:30 p.m. and begins at Xenia Station and ends at the park.
Shawnee Park Festivities include Santa and Mrs. Claus, reindeer and reindeer games, food trucks and vendors, the Xenia Choir Ensemble and the Xenia High School Jazz Band.
In addition, Hometown Christmas 2017 will be held in tandem with Small Business Saturday, an annual event throughout the United States showcasing small businesses. Many independently owned stores and companies throughout Xenia will be open that day for business, including Country Blessings Gifts and More, Wicklines, The Flower Stop, Rusty N Chippy’s, Harworth Tire and Auto Service, Tiffany Jewelers, Our Family Soap, Table of Contents Restaurant, Emerald Loft Salon and Day Spa, Mary’s Odds and End, Xenia Shoe and Leather, Yellow Dog Pet Supply, Kay’s Floral Kreations and Nick’s Restaurant.
Other Hometown Christmas activities will include all-day horse and carriage rides, window winterland scavenger hunt, window winterland decorating contest, candy cane hunt, and children’s train rides.
Those interested in volunteering should call Cantrell at 937-825-5554 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on event activities, sponsorship opportunities or participants, email email@example.com or visit facebook.com/Xenia Hometown Christmas 2017.
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.