First Friday, Light Up Night, Christmas Countdown set for Friday

December’s First Friday always celebrates the spirit of Christmas, and this year is no different.

But there will be one difference to the Twinkle Light Parade that’s become a traditional part of the December event. It will start at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

First Friday is from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1. The theme for December’s First Friday is “Hometown Holly Days,” according to coordinator Paula Bowman.

The parade starts at the old Owen’s Supermarket, travels east on Center Street, then turns north at Indiana Street to Central Park and then back up Buffalo Street.

“Twinkle your vehicle, your troops, your sleigh and come join us,” Bowman said.

She said anyone is welcome to be part of the parade, they just have to be lighted up. Parade lineup starts at 6 p.m. at the old Owen’s.

Once the parade swings by the park, spectators can enjoy Light Up The Night at Central Park from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“Celebrate the first lighting of the Central Park holiday light display. Walk through the festive lights and enjoy holiday performances in the park,” according to information provided by Sheila Wieringa, Warsaw Parks and Recreation recreation director.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride in the Twinkle Light Parade and stop at Center Lake Pavilion, where they will visit with children who are taking part in Christmas Countdown. In previous years, Christmas Countdown was the second Friday of December. This year, it’s been moved to the First Friday as a part of Light The Night activities. Face painters and balloon artists also will be inside the pavilion, along with crafts, games, letters to soldiers and other activities.

Carriage rides will be available downtown at First Friday for a donation of a canned food item, dried food good, new toy or cash.

Santa Claus will be at the Breakfast Optimist Club Santa house, which will again be near the cannon on the courthouse lawn.

Downtown Warsaw will have carolers meandering in and out of the stores, which will have in-store specials.

The Salvation Army will have its Angel Tree and canteen downtown.

Inside Latte Lounge on Buffalo Street will be pianist David Haney from about 6 to 9 p.m.

As part of its holiday activities, the Parks Department will offer letters from Santa again this year. Forms are available in the park office or on its website,, and must be received in the parks office by Dec. 11. Cost is $2 per letter.

There is no First Friday in January.

For more information on the parks and park activities, email; visit the office Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 117 E. Canal St., Warsaw; call 574-372-9554; or visit