December First Friday theme “Hometown Holly Days”

It may be getting dark early this time of year, but that will be the perfect setting for December’s First Friday in two days as it will include a nighttime lighted parade and display.

First Friday will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. with a “Hometown Holly Days” theme. It will include the annual Twinkle Light Parade, Light Up the Night at Central Park, carriage rides and shopping opportunities.

The carriage rides will take passengers to Central Park for the Christmas light display and then back to downtown. The cost to ride is non-perishable food item for local food pantries or toys that will go to Toys For Tots.

First Friday coordinator Paula Bowman said there will be two carriages from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Twinkle Light Parade starts at 7 p.m. in the old Owen’s parking lot, travels down Center Street to Indiana Street and then down to Central Park before heading   back to the courthouse square.

Bowman said, “Anyone can join the fun or just watch. Join us at 6:30 p.m. at Owen’s and get in line.” She said participants can put lights on themselves or their vehicles. There is no charge or pre-registration to participate in the parade.

Light Up the Night will take place in Central Park from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Parks and Recreation Department has all the lights up and ready for the free event. There are over 200,000 lights in the display.

Santa and Mrs. Clause will ride in the Twinkle Parade from downtown to the park again this year. They’re expected to be at the park by 7:30 p.m. to visit with children.
Park staff and volunteers will hand out glow necklaces while supplies last. Elementary school students from Madison and Washington will provide a Christmas concert starting at 7:30 p.m.

A concession trailer will be organized by volunteers, with all proceeds going to future light displays.

The Optimist Club will have their Santa House at the corner of Center and Buffalo streets from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Other Santa House hours will be 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, 17; 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, 11, 18; and 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16.

Children visiting Santa will get a candy cane and a  photo. While both are free, donations will still be accepted.

The 89th Annual Rotary Toy Day will be held during First Friday in downtown Warsaw. Toys will be accepted at the bell ringing station at the intersection of Center and Buffalo streets. A truck from Sorg Nissan also will be featured in the parade, collecting gifts for the holidays.
Rotarians will collect toys during its weekly meeting at noon Friday at the Shrine Building.
“The first Rotary Toy Day was held in 1927 when the club met at the Hotel Hays in Warsaw,” said Ken Locke, Rotary Toy Day chairman, in a news release from the Rotary Club. “The event supports our annual Angel Tree program that help children of families in need in Kosciusko County.”

Toys also may be dropped off at Alderfer & Bergen Co., 122 W Market St., Warsaw, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, go to

There will not be a First Friday event in January.

February’s event will be “Fire & Ice,” featuring ice sculptures. To sponsor a sculpture, it is $250 for the 300-pound block and $350 for the 600-pound block. Applications can be filled out on the Warsaw Community Development Corp. website or contact Bowman.

She said sponsorship is being sought for an ice rink for the February event.