By Chris Bavender
The City of Westfield’s downtown tradition will return Dec. 4. Westfield in Lights is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and will feature something for all ages.
Westfield in Lights was started in 2009 by the Downtown Westfield Association. The city took over the event in 2013.
“Westfield in Lights is one of the longest-running events hosted by the city,” Westfield Community Events Coordinator Kelley Wells said. “Many families have incorporated this event into their annual holiday traditions. We typically expect to see between 3,000 to 5,000 attendees at the event.”
The big draw of Westfield in Lights is the ability for residents to get their holiday fix all in one night.
“We will have two caricature artists doing free sketches.,” Wells said. “We will also host the Santa’s Workshop craft-making area inside the Westfield Playhouse. Members of the Playhouse’s upcoming production will be singing carols on their front porch. We are also very excited to announce that we will have a new ‘walk-a-llama’ attraction. The Hamilton County Llamas Inc. will bring their llamas dressed in festive attire, and attendees can walk them through a small obstacle course.”
The event also includes a Letters to Santa Station, a Gingerbread House display, a reindeer petting station, holiday craft stations, carnival games and musical performances. Westfield in Lights also will feature approximately 15 booths set up by local retail merchants, service vendors and food vendors and sponsors.
Last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to celebrate Westfield in Lights in a socially distanced manner.
“Our Pictures with Santa attraction was converted to a timed reservation format which worked so well that we decided to continue with this method,” Wells said. “ We hosted the Tree Lighting Celebration virtually. We also hosted a two-night outdoor Winter Walk through Asa Bales Park in lieu of the traditional event layout near Christ United Methodist Church and City Hall. We decorated Asa Bales with lots of lights, inflatables and structures and also offered hot chocolate to our attendees. While the Winter Walk was well-received, we knew our attendees were hopeful to return to the traditional event format this year.”
In 2020, Westfield in Lights featured a Winter Walk but Wells said the city decided not to hold it this year because the holiday event is returning to its traditional format.
“But we encourage residents to enjoy the lights at Hadley Park, City Hall and other downtown Westfield locations,” she said.
Westfield in Lights culminates in the Tree Lighting Celebration at 7 p.m. Mayor Andy Cook will light the tree, which signifies the official start to the holiday season in Westfield.
“We want this event to serve as an opportunity for families and friends to make memories and continue holiday traditions,” Wells said.
Although Westfield in Lights is a one-day event, Wells said the community is encouraged to sign up for a Gift & Greet home visit by Frosty the Snowman.
“Gift & Greet visits will be offered on weekdays from Dec. 7 to Dec. 15,” she said. “Gift bags are $10 each and you can schedule a time for Frosty to stop by for a short visit and drop off a gift bag filled with holiday goodies.”
Wells said hosting Westfield in Lights for the community is important.
“Though we are a growing community, we recognize that importance of small-town values and we believe this evokes a sense of community pride,” she said.
For more, visit westfieldwelcome.com/calendar/westfield-in-lights/.
Other holiday attractions
Santa visit: Christ United Methodist Church, 318 N. Union St., 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Children can sit on Santa’s lap or stand nearby for photos. Santa will wear a mask if preferred. Photos are $5 each and will be printed immediately on-site.
Gift & Greet: Time slots are 9 a.m. to noon and 4 to 7p.m. You will be contacted a week prior to the event to confirm a 15-minute time window for your visit. If you need to purchase multiple gift bags, purchase the appropriate number of tickets within the same time slot.