With a tree lighting, visits from Santa, puppet show, horse-drawn carriage rides and a Friday night Champagne walk, there are festivities for the whole family at this weekend’s Christmas in Collinsville.
The event has really taken off since 2007, Collinsville Merchants organizer Kathy Taylor said. The idea was to keep the momentum going a year after festivities were held for Canton’s bicentennial and to emulate a similar event in Riverton. It began with a champagne walk, a Santa visit and puppet show. Now there are more than 20 events over the two days, Friday
“It’s obviously grown a lot,” Taylor said.
This year a record 19 merchants are involved in the Friday night champagne walk, in which participants purchase a glass and enjoy food and beverages at the businesses. Newer business participants include Collinsville Canoe and Kayak, ABC Pizza, and the Ralph Dowd Agency.
Participants can purchase an engraved glass for $15 or get bring their own glass and buy “Champagne Flute Ring” for $10.
The glass sales largely fund Christmas in Collinsville, which costs about $5,000 a year due to features like the horse-drawn carriage rides, supplies and expenses. Last year, organizes sold all 500 glasses that were available and will have more on hand this year. Merchants also must cover their own expenses.
Aware of general concerns, merchants have been advised to pour small amounts of alcohol for participants and some offer non-alcoholic beverages, organizers said.
Glasses are currently available at several local businesses, including Blumen Laden and Carol and Company.
Taylor said there are so many great additions to the weekend and mentions the horse-drawn carriages and puppet shows as two of her favorite events.
She said the tea light luminaries, put out by Twin Gardens and Landscaping add great atmosphere. The Canton Historical Museum's Gallery of Trees, in its fourth year, also adds a nice element, she said.
This year, carolers from the Collinsville Congregational Church will also stroll through the area, Taylor said.
For the second year, the town’s annual tree lighting, an event that used to be held at the gazebo at Dowd Avenue and Route 44, will also be held in Collinsville Friday night.
Parks and Recreation Director Brian Wilson said he and the parks commission were happy with the response last year and felt it would be good to do it again. Collinsville is much more pedestrian friendly than the town green location, he said.
"It made a lot of sense to contribute to the festivities in Collinsville," he said.
As part of that, Santa will be in the Town Hall auditorium from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday and the tree lighting will take place in front of Canton Historical Museum at 7:30 p.m.
Events take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. See the attached pdf documents for a complete schedule and maps. In addition, many business owners will offer special events on their own.
For more information, visit http://www.visitcollinsville.com/visitcollinsville_004.htm