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Last year’s blue spruce evergreen all lit up in the Square. Last year’s blue spruce evergreen all lit up in the Square.

Hometown Holiday Celebration on the Square in downtown Troy

By Natasha Habib

Last year’s blue spruce evergreen all lit up in the Square.

Last year’s blue spruce evergreen all lit up in the Square.

Troy will be ringing in the holiday season with their annual Hometown Holiday Celebration on Friday, November 25. If you’ve only been to Troy in the summer for the Strawberry Festival, you’ll definitely want to see it decorated for the holidays.

“Really it’s a very picturesque, Norman-Rockwell-type town so it’s a really nice backdrop for the tree,” said Karin Manovich, executive director of Troy Main Street, a non-profit organization promoting economic development in Troy. “Especially during the holidays, it looks nice — festive.”

The Parade
Though the parade kicks off the Hometown Holiday Celebration at 6:30 p.m., expect traffic to be barred for a block in each direction around the Square from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“It’s kind of a major traffic interruption, but we do get so many people we have to do that,” said Manovich. “Last year we had about 6,000 people attend,” said Manovich, “so it’s a pretty big celebration.”

Event coordinator Jody Davis said the parade will start near the Troy- Miami County Public Library on Main Street and end in the Square.

According to Davis, this year’s parade will include local music groups including a youth choir and a brass band, equestrian units, costumed characters and more. The characters, which have included Frosty the Snowman, Scooby Doo, Santa Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, will be roaming around the Square after the parade to interact with kids.

“We try to provide a lot of entertainment for the evening,” said Davis.

And of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus will appear in the parade, with Santa bringing up the rear in a fire truck.

After the parade makes its way into the Square and the grand marshal and tree donors are recognized, Mayor Michael L. Beamish will be reading “‘Twas the Month Before Christmas” around 7 p.m. In his annual tradition, Beamish writes a new story every year before the tree lighting countdown.

The Tree
The blue spruce evergreen is already erected in the Square, waiting for the switch to be thrown before commencing the rest of the evening’s activities. This year’s Christmas tree was donated by Gerry and John Permenter of Troy, who planted the tree in their yard 46 years ago.

“Every year the tree just looks beautiful,” said Manovich. Few things evoke the holiday spirit like the warm glow of a Christmas tree draped in lights, but the winter wonderland atmosphere won’t stop there. When the switch is thrown, the entire Square will be lit with Christmas lights at the same time.

After the tree lighting
On the Square, kids have two options for telling Santa what they want for Christmas: They can go with the traditional method of sitting on his lap or, if your child is shy about talking to the bearded stranger or too impatient to wait in line, he/she can head over to the nearby phone bank to call one of Santa’s elves at the North Pole — or both, if he really wants to make sure he gets that new toy.

“Frontier Communications is one of our sponsors and they help us set up a phone system so that the kids can call the North Pole and talk to Santa’s elves with their Christmas lists,” said Manovich. “And we also have a separate Santa house that will be brought in … it’s really exciting for the kids to actually visit with Santa and then to also go in and call the elves.”

If their lists are short, children can find other activities on the Square like face-painting and miniature train rides.

The Hometown Holiday Celebration isn’t just for kids, though. Sip on hot chocolate and cozy up to your sweetie on a horse drawn carriage ride around the Square. Though there’s a small fee for the carriage rides, hot chocolate and cookies are being provided free by Alvetro Orthodontics of Sidney.

Beyond the Square
The Hometown Holiday Celebration usually starts winding down between 8 and 8:30 p.m., but that doesn’t mean you have to go home.

“We have 80 walk-in businesses in downtown Troy,” said Manovich. “And there are lots of restaurants so a lot of people do go and eat out either before or after the event.” She noted many of the local business will be staying open late for the event, and they are within walking distance.

“We encourage people to shop local and purchase in the local shops,” said Manovich. “And if they can’t make it for the event, they should visit during the holidays because there are a lot of good shopping options here.”

Things to know
Parking for Troy Hometown Holiday Celebration can be found all around downtown, at the high school and on the streets where parking is free after 6 p.m. The event itself is also free, but be sure to bring your wallet along if you’re planning on taking a carriage ride, doing some shopping or eating dinner in a local restaurant before or after the event.

The celebration will take place rain or shine — or snow.

“Sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s not so bad,” said Davis.

Also, be sure to bring your own camera if your child wants a picture with Santa Claus or any of the characters moseying about the Square. You might leave with a picture perfect for your Christmas cards.

For more information, visit
TroyMainStreet.org or call
(937) 339-5455.

Reach DCP editorial intern and freelance writer Natasha Habib at NatashaHabib@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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