GOSHEN — Downtown Goshen Inc. will kick off the Christmas season with a holiday-themed First Fridays on Dec. 7.
Hometown Holiday will feature seasonal staples like caroling, lighting of the Christmas tree, shopping and giving.
Those coming downtown at 5 p.m. for the monthly event can wind their way through stores offering holiday deals and vote in the Hometown Holiday Decoration Contest. Fourteen downtown businesses will be competing for Best Exterior Storefront and Window Display, Best In-Store Holiday Decor and Best Christmas Tree.
Those looking to shop for gifts can also visit downtown businesses for the 30 under $30 promotion, where each participating store will feature 30 items for less than $30.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will even be available for pictures with children at 213 S. Main St. from 5 to 8 p.m. Pictures will be taken by photographer Bryan Chris, posted on the First Fridays Facebook page and be available for purchase.
The Christmas theme will continue courtesy of Goshen High School. The Crimsonaires will perform shows at First Presbyterian Church at 6:45 and 7:45 p.m. featuring Christmas selections and pop favorites, while other GHS students will bring a live radio broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life” to the Goshen Theater at 7:30 p.m.
A choir of holiday singers will gather at the corner of Main and West Washington streets at 6:40 p.m. leading up to the lighting of the Christmas tree at 7 p.m.
Mayor Allan Kauffman will also lead a brief ceremony recognizing Olympia Candy Kitchen’s 100 years in the city.
Throughout all the Christmas festivities and shopping, a food drive will be held at the Goshen Theater in the spirit of holiday giving. First Fridays and Gilsinger Implement Co. are teaming up to sponsor the drive, which will help stock The Window’s food pantry.
For more First Fridays information visit www.gofridays.com or the First Fridays Facebook page.
Schedule of events:
5-8 p.m.: Children’s photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 213 South Main St.
5-9 p.m.; Hometown Holiday food drive, Goshen Theater, 216 South Main St.
5-9 p.m.: 30 under $30 shopping deals, various locations
5-9 p.m.: Downtown business decoration contest voting, various locations
5-9 p.m.: Free hay rides with Santa, 234 South Main St., Suite 4
6:40-7 p.m.: Christmas caroling, corner of Main Street and West Washington Street
6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.: Goshen High School Crimsonaires and Christmas treats, First Presbyterian Church, 215 East Lincoln Ave.
7-7:15 p.m.: Lighting of the Christmas tree, corner of Main Street and West Washington Street
7:30-8:30 p.m.: “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Goshen High School, Goshen Theater, 216 South Main St.