Oxford Country Christmas takes place this Friday
● By Steven Hoffman
Strolling carolers, carriage rides, children’s activities, the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree, and, of course, the arrival of Santa Claus are all highlights of Oxford’s Country Christmas celebration that will take place this Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“It’s a nice kickoff to the holidays,” said Brian Wenzka, the new executive director of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI) who is planning his first Oxford Country Christmas event. “The shops and restaurants will be open. I think we have a good variety of activities. It’s going to be a great event.”
Oxford's Country Christmas celebration always showcases what's charming and cheerful about the town, and it usually ranks among the most popular First Friday events each year.
Santa Claus is taking time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance at Oxford's Country Christmas event. A fire truck will escort Santa to the Coatesville Savings Bank, where he will pose for pictures with children starting at 5:30 p.m.
Carriage rides and hay rides will be available throughout the night, with the carriage rides departing from Locust Street and the hay rides departing from outside The Soap Bucket. Wenzka said that the rides will be available until 9 p.m. this year to reduce the wait time for people who want to take a carriage ride or hay ride. People can obtain tickets for the rides that will provide them with a time slot for when they can take the ride. This should also help reduce the wait times.
There will be a Santa’s Workshop where children can make and take crafts and Santa’s elves will help roast S’mores. The Santa’s Workshop will be a collection point for Toys for Tots, so visitors to the downtown who would like to make a donation can bring a new, unwrapped toy. The Oxford Area Neighborhood Services Center is also collecting toys that will be distributed to make this holiday season a little brighter for families in the area.
Mayor Geoff Henry will once again preside over the lighting of the town Christmas tree. The tree lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m., followed by Christmas carols and holiday music.
The main stage is being moved to a more prominent spot this year so that more people can have a good view of the stage. Performances on the main stage include the Bethany Christian Performers, the Sacred Heart Performers, and the Christian Life Center Band.
“We’ll have live music from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Wenzka said, “and we’ll have a number of groups caroling.”
The owners of homes that are located along the route that the carriage rides will follow are also participating in a house-decorating contest, and people will have the opportunity to vote to decide the festively decorated home.
Between the food, the shopping, the singing, and the other activities, this year’s Country Christmas should appeal to people of all ages.
“There’s something for everyone,” Wenzka said. “It will be a great time.”