By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
Santa Claus will be making his way to New Albany on Saturday, and there will be plenty of festivities for the whole family as Holiday Fest will be held downtown from 1 to 6:30 p.m.
The annual event incorporates several organizations and businesses, as downtown establishments will have specials and some will participate in Develop New Albany’s Jingle Walk and Bicentennial Museum Mania.
Holiday Fest will be located in the MainSource Bank parking lot at the corner of Spring and State streets. There will be live music and a toy giveaway in the parking lot, as well as the lighting of the city’s holiday tree at about 6:30 p.m.
“The man of the hour is Santa Claus, and we’re looking forward to him visiting New Albany and being there for the light up,” said Mayor Jeff Gahan.
Actors dressed in different eras of clothing to coincide with New Albany’s 2013 bicentennial will be handing out toys during the event. There will also be food vendors throughout the day in the parking lot, and glow sticks will be dispersed.
The Jingle Walk costs $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event, as those that buy tickets will be treated to wine tastings at participating local retail businesses.
Jingle Walk patrons will also receive a commemorative wine glass, and people can register for the event at the MainSource Bank parking lot. Develop New Albany helps organize and promote the festival, and has sponsored events like the Jingle Walk for several years to encourage shopping at local businesses.
“The numbers have been increasing every year,” Develop New Albany President Susan Kaempfer said. “It’s a fun event and that’s why we’re trying to make sure every member business is involved.”
The Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana is also offering programs and activities to families on Saturday.
From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Y will host craft-making, face-painting and picture-taking with Santa. The first 100 kids that show up at the YMCA during the span will receive a ticket for a free toy, which they can redeem at the MainSource Bank parking lot between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
The free toys are being provided by Schmitt Furniture, Endris Jewelers and Tammy Hogan from Schuler Bauer.
“I would encourage everybody to spend some time in downtown New Albany,” Gahan said. “The weather is going to be nice, and it’s going to be a great day.”
Tickets for the Jingle Walk can be purchased online at www.developna.org. The Holiday Fest events are free. For more information, visit the website www.cityofnewalbany.com