By Anna Skinner
For the sixth year in a row, the City of Westfield will be hosting the annual Westfield in Lights ceremony with a variety of holiday themed events.
“It is our community holiday celebration, and we are offering a lot of different fun things for families to do, the biggest being pictures with Santa,” said Kelley Wells, community event manager. “That’s always our biggest hit.”
The pictures with Santa event has moved locations this year and will take place inside the gym at the Christ United Methodist Church, 318 N. Union St. The bigger space allows for more visitors. In addition to the move, a trackless train will be carting families from the church to the lawn west of city hall where the main activities will take place.
“It’s a fun thing for the kids to do, and the parents can ride on there with them,” Wells said.
Other activities include two live reindeer. Handlers will do a show with the reindeer on a stage and then families can pet them afterwards. Imagine Church will be hosting pictures with Frosty in the assembly room of city hall. Carriage rides will also be going on through downtown Westfield during the event, although the 20 carriages sold out within one hour. Musical entertainment will occur throughout the evening with different groups, including the high school band.
However, the activities are a prelude to the real celebration: the lighting of the Christmas tree in the lawn west of city hall.
“The tree lighting is the icing on the cake. It will be approximately at 7 p.m., which is the ending of the event,” Wells said. “The mayor will make a speech right before and will end with lighting the tree.”
Other than the sold-out carriage rides, all activities at the event are free. Union Baking Company will be selling hot chocolate, coffee, tomato soup and grilled cheese. Christ United Methodist Church will also be selling food items.
An additional activity is a mailbox near the pictures with Santa area. Kids can drop in letters to Santa with a return address included and local Girl Scout troops will be responding to the letters.
Wells said the city is expecting 2,000 people to mingle around at Westfield in Lights throughout the event.
“We are working closely with the Westfield Police Dept. We’ve had a couple meetings with them,” Wells said. “We also have a lot of barricade volunteers and parking lot volunteers.”
Union Street will be closed from Ind. 32 to north of Christ United Methodist Church due to heavy pedestrian traffic. A section of Penn Street will be closed to traffic as well.
Wells said a big volunteer and police presence is to be expected at the event.
“Westfield in Lights is a wonderful community event that focuses on tradition and Westfield families during the holiday season,” Mayor Andy Cook said. “The Parks and Rec Department plans Westfield in Lights by keeping the core audience in mind, and that is the community. We want Westfield in Lights to be an annual event that families plan their day around because of what the event has to offer, a magical, unforgettable night in downtown Westfield.”
Pictures with Santa will begin at 3 p.m. due to its popularity, but all other activities will not begin until 5 p.m. The activities will last until 7 p.m., when the mayor will light the tree.
Where to park
- Christ United Methodist Church, 318 N. Union St.
- Asa Bales Park, off Camilla Court
- Westfield Pharmacy parking lot
- Redman parking lot, near Subway on Ind. 32
- Street parking where available