Downtown Christmas Celebration attracts large turnout

A group of spectators watch the annual Twinkle Light Parade Friday night on Center Street. News Now Warsaw Photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Mild temps and dry conditions on Friday night — ten night before Christmas — helped bring out a large crowd for Downtown Warsaw’s Christmas Celebration.

This year’s celebration was rescheduled from Dec. 1 because of heavy rains and the change turned out to be worthwhile as a large crowd turned out for the annual Twinkle Light Parade that featured more than 50 entries, many lit up with Christmas lights.

Throngs of people lined up along Center and Indiana streets for the parade as children scavenged large amounts of candy from streets.

The parade included retiring Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer who concludes 12 years of service in City Hall at the end of the month, and entertainer Suzie McEntire who is returning for her tenth annual Country Christmas Concert at Lakeview Middle School on Saturday night.

Scott Wiley, member relations manager for the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, called the night an overwhelming success.

Friday’s event was also the first time it included a Christmas market, which attracted 22 vendors.

Hundreds of children were able to meet Santa and get their photo taken at the Warsaw breakfast optimist Santa house. Two horse-drawn carriages provided nonstop rides which were free to the public and provided by Main Street Warsaw.

The food plaza featured six restaurants, Wiley said.

Wiley said the combination of music, food, and the parade made it feel “like being in the middle of a Hallmark movie … minus the drama.”

“Our new Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Warsaw event coordinator, Mackenzie Parker, did a wonderful job of organizing this event that had many moving parts,” Wiley said.

Main Street Warsaw had support for the event from Kensington Digital Media (which promoted the upcoming Ornament Smash), the city of Warsaw and the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce.

The event was sponsored by Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller Foundation.