Holiday Happenings

Tis the season for holiday events
around the Madison, Ind., area

List includes parade, craft shows,
tree light-up ceremony

(November 2019) – As the weather begins to turn cooler and wafts of pumpkin spice dominate the air, we know it’s just about time to be thinking of jingle bells, holiday cookies and Madison, Ind.’s annual holiday events. Madison Main Street Program’s Downtown Open House will kick off the festivities, and annual favorites such as Light Up Madison, the Very Merry Christmas Parade and the Madison Handmade Market will all be back to delight shoppers and their families.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Forrester

The Madison Very Merry Christmas Parade is a big hit with residents every December. This year’s parade steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on Main Street.

On Friday, Nov. 8, shops along Main Street will stay open from 5-8 p.m. for Downtown Open House. The shops and businesses will be decked out in their seasonal finery, and the Madison Trolley will be available for shoppers to hitch a ride.
“This is a great way to start the holiday shopping season,” Madison Main Street Program Executive Director Camden Bentley said. This year, he said even kids will be excited because specialty toy store McWhiggins Wonder Emporium at 220 W. Main St. will be open. He said the Downtown Open House is bigger and more festive than the similar monthly Fourth Friday events.
“There is something for everyone, and there is even a chance to win a $500 shopping spree.” The entry form for the chance to win the shopping spree is available through a Madison Courier promotional ad.
The next family fun event is the traditional Light Up Madison ceremony at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29, at the Broadway Fountain. During this event, the city Christmas tree and the holiday lights along Main Street will be lit.
Prior to the lighting ceremony, Santa Claus will be at the Jefferson County Public Library, 420 W. Main St., at 5 p.m. to read some Christmas stories to the youngsters. Of course, Santa loves milk and cookies, so there will be some of those available to the boys and girls. Santa will lead a walk to the Fountain just in time for the lighting to begin.
“This is always a big event with several hundred people, and it just keeps growing” said Sydney Wilson, who works at Madison City Hall. She also said that Santa Claus will head down to the Santa Cottage in front of the Main Street Comfort Station until 9 p.m. “We hope to see everyone downtown having fun at the event,” said Wilson.
At 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, The Very Merry Christmas Parade, sponsored by German American Bank, will begin its promenade down Main Street from Jefferson Street to Mill Street. Be sure to get a good spot to view the floats, bands from area schools, entertainment for the crowds, and more.
This year, parade organizer Aaron Kelsey said there will be both helium and cold-air balloons, including the favorite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a Smurf and several others. Arvin Sango Inc.’s Santa float will finish up the holiday parade.
“This is my eighth year for working with this parade, and I’ve seen it grow each year,” said Kelsey. “This year, there is a wide variety to see.”
He added that because of the increase in the cost of helium, parade officials are looking for sponsors. Anyone interested in sponsoring can contact Kelsey at (812) 493-4453.
Shoppers looking for unique, handmade holiday gifts will want to check out the Madison Handmade Market, a juried artisan craft and vintage fair, at 10-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at the back of Little Golden Fox, 602 W. Main St. The fair is free, but there is a special Madison Handmade Market Preview, 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6.
The preview is $5 unless shoppers have purchased a Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes ticket. That ticket must be shown to waive the fee.
The juried market features a little bit of everything from pottery to handmade wool mittens. Handmade goat soap, jewelry, unique wooden cutting boards, and even Madison memorabilia will be available for shoppers looking for a special gift for those special friends and loved ones.
Fair organizer Cara Fox, owner of Little Golden Fox, said, “While it’s not Chautauqua, it’s certainly not your average craft show.” She said the handmade market started as a Women’s Giving Circle fundraiser but has blossomed because of the uniqueness of the wares and the popularity of handmade gifts.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Women’s Giving Circle, she said. “Shopper love well-made, locally produced things.”

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