Christmas officially arrives in downtown Ardmore Tuesday morning and will continue through the evening hours. The action begins at 11 a.m. at the Central Park Christmas Market which runs through the afternoon. This is followed by the Christmas tree lighting at approximately 6:15 p.m., and the Parade of Lights will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tes Stewart, recreation director for Ardmore Parks and Recreation, said this year’s Christmas Market will include more than 30 vendors selling a wide variety of crafts and homemade items.
“Our vendors will be spread out all over the park,” Stewart said. “We’re going to have everything from handmade items, to baked goods, to wreaths, blankets, wooden items, tumblers and ornaments. Some vendors will even be making personalized items right there at the park.”
Eight food trucks will also be parked around the park from 11 a.m. until after the parade begins, so Stewart suggests stopping by for lunch or even an early dinner. And while the Christmas Market will be open from 11 a.m. until after the parade is over, the fun gets kicked up a notch at 4:30 p.m.
“This year our theme is ‘A Grinchmas Wholiday,’ so the Grinch will be be showing up at around 4:30,” Stewart said. “We also have our carriage rides around the neighborhood starting at 4:30 and entertainment starting on the stage at the same time, so it’s going to be a really fun atmosphere.”
This all leads up to the lighting of the city Christmas tree in Central Park at approximately 6:15 p.m. The Parade of Lights will then begin at the park at 6:30 p.m. and continue down Main Street. Ardmore Main Street Authority Jeff DiMiceli said he expects this year’s parade to be the biggest one yet.
“If we keep getting people signing up at the rate we’re going, we should have close to 85 or 90 participants in the parade this year,” DiMiceli said. “It’s all coming together really nicely. We’ve got all your favorite floats from years past along with several new businesses and organizations participating this year, which is really exciting.”
This year’s Parade of Lights Grand Marshal is going to be City Commissioner Martin Dyer.
“Every year our parade committee meets and suggests names of different people who we’d like to honor,” DiMiceli said. “Commissioner Dyer quickly rose to the top of the list because of his involvement in the city for so many years.”
DiMiceli said Dyer has been instrumental in the rehabilitation and revitalization of downtown and worked tirelessly to see the downtown streetscape project become a reality.
“It was a natural decision,” DiMiceli said. “Once his name came up, it was a completely unanimous decision. We feel like he’s earned it, he deserves it, and we’re honored he’ll be the grand marshal.”