Garrettsville will kick off the holiday season with a series of downtown events tonight including a tree lighting ceremony at the clock tower, horse and carriage rides, and a chance for children in the village to personally tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
"We're just trying to get people out and about," Mayor Rick Patrick said. "Hopefully, the weather's going to be great."
Villagers can begin the free horse and carriage rides at 5 p.m. Santa will be arriving at the clock tower between 5:30 and 6 p.m. in a fire truck following the tree lighting ceremony.
McDonald's will be providing refreshments as carollers sing Christmas tunes.
After sharing their wishes with Santa, children can visit the Village Bookstore for story telling with Mrs. Claus at 6 p.m.
Local businesses will remain open until 8 p.m., giving villagers a chance to earn more stamps on their Christmas on Main Program cards.
The program was introduced last year by the Chamber of Commerce in an attempt to increase revenue for Garrettsville businesses.
For every $5 shoppers spend at local participating stores, they will get a stamp on their card. Each time they spend $100, citizens can exchange their card for an entry in a drawing to win a $500 gift card valid at Garrettsville businesses.
"We figured out it generated more than $600,000 in sales just from the few weeks we had it going on last year," Patrick said.
The Christmas on Main Program began during the Christmas Walk at the beginning of November and will continue until Dec. 15 when the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner at the chamber's annual Christmas party.
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