2020 Hometown Christmas (DHI Media file photo)
2020 Hometown Christmas (DHI Media file photo)

DELPHOS — The holidays are fast approaching and local the kick-off event, the annual Kiwanis Hometown Christmas, is back in-person with all usual events scheduled on Dec. 3.

“We are so glad to be back in-person and for everyone to enjoy the evening,” Kiwanis Treasurer Cindy Metzger said. “Last year we were only able to pass out books and goodie bags so it will be nice to really see all the kids.”

The club has received such positive feedback from last year’s book giveaway, that each child who sees Santa will receive one along with a coloring book and goodie bag.

“We got a lot of compliments about the books and about the Imagination Library in general,” Metzger said. “Everyone enjoys a new book.”

The downtown activities and entertainment are fully sponsored by the Kiwanis as a way of saying “thank you” to the businesses and individuals in the community for supporting the club throughout the year at its various fundraisers and projects.

“Hometown Christmas has become one of our favorite events of the year,” Metzger said. “The night is all about family and kids of our community. The whole community can come together and celebrate the Christmas season.”

To start the event, the Delphos Canal Commission will serve up their delicious Ham and Bean Supper in front of the museum on Main Street beginning at 5 p.m. for only $5 a dinner. The Canal Commission Museum will also be open for the annual Christmas Tree Festival until 8 p.m. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Christmas.”

Entertainment and activities downtown will start at 6 p.m. Costumed characters will be on hand for photos and interaction with the crowd.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be welcomed to town atop a fire truck with a parade starting at 6:30 p.m. from the Delphos Herald parking lot, proceeding down Main Street and ending at Santa’s house in front of the First Financial Drive through on Second Street. All are welcome and urged to decorate golf carts, wagons etc., to participate in the parade. Line up is at 6:15 p.m. in the Delphos Herald Parking lot near Main and Fourth streets.

Downtown businesses are also encouraged to decorate their store fronts for the community event.

Santa will light the official Christmas Tree at his house at the end of the parade and begin to see children to learn their Christmas wishes. Santa will be available until every child has been seen.

Mrs. Claus will head in to the Kenkade Building for storytime. She will be joined by the Delphos Public Library with a gingerbread house craft at the Kenkade Building at 212 N. Main St. Schrader Realty will offer Santa’s workshop with Letters to Santa at the office at 231 N. Main St.

“I can remember coming to see the Santa Parade as a family when I was just a child,” Metzger said. “Great memories are being made during Hometown Christmas that will last a lifetime.”

Free refreshments, including hot dogs and hot chocolate will be offered near Santa’s House and Santa will have his sleigh and one of his reindeer for the kids to see. Parents and grandparents are urged to bring their cameras to take pictures with Santa, the reindeer and sleigh and one of the many costumed characters.

Free horse and wagon rides, pony rides, train rides and paddy wagon rides will be available beginning after the parade.

Cross off people on your Christmas list with a pool pass from the Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool. Passes will be on sale for $35 at the municipal building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

Also, an anonymous donor has purchased 100 pool passes to be given away. Information will be distributed through the local schools with an entry blank. Entry blanks will also be available at Hometown Christmas. Winners need not be present. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m.

The Police Department is joining in and will serve cookies and punch and have a raffle for a pool pass.

Activities will wrap up around 8:30 p.m. unless children are still waiting to see Santa or to ride in the horse-drawn wagon.

“The community has given the Kiwanis so much support. This is just our way of saying ‘thank you’,” Metzger concluded.