GALLIPOLIS —It’s time to light up Gallipolis City Park.
Wednesday is the day that officially kicks off the Christmas season in Gallia County — the annual Gallipolis in Lights Christmas display in City Park.
Volunteers have been busy decorating City Park for the past two weeks, adding Christmas trees, light displays, hanging lighted balls from virtually all the trees in the park, and setting up Santa Claus’ house.
According to Anita Moore, Gallipolis in Lights member, volunteers and group members alike have collectively created around 1,000 balls made of chicken wire and laced decorative lights through them. She cited the Nov. 2 fundraiser and volunteer workshop at Courtside Bar and Grill as being immensely helpful for the group’s ball count goal being reached.
“This is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season with friends and family at an evening of togetherness and excitement,” said Gallipolis in Lights representative Angie Rocchi. “The events will begin at 5:30 p.m. with hot cocoa, baked goods and plenty of local talent for entertainment.”
The actual ceremony in which the switch is flipped to ignite the lights will be 7 p.m. at the bandstand in the center of Gallipolis City Park. State Rep. Ryan Smith will make an appearance with Gallia County’s 2011 Miss Ohio, Ashley Caldwell-King, and reigning Miss Ohio, Megan Wise.
Emily Short, of Hannan Trace Elementary School, will have the honor of flipping the switch to spark the lights in the park. Christmas carols are anticipated to be sung over the course of the evening. Santa Claus is also expected to appear to greet families.
The Christmas lights in City Park won’t be the only attraction of the night’s festivities.
Evans Wealth Management will once again sponsor horse-drawn carriage rides, provided by Rio Valley Stables, around Gallipolis City Park. Rides will be free, but tips for the carriage driver are encouraged.
Between 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, there will be what Colin Woodall, sales and operations manager of Evans Wealth Management, says is “an exclusive hour of carriage rides” for clients and friends of the firm. The carriage rides will be open to the public between 7-9 p.m.
Before or after the rides, people will be able to take a step back in time and visit the historic Our House Museum and The French Art Colony with a pair of open houses. Both will be decorated and providing food and entertainment between 6-9 p.m. Wednesday.
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.