Local Merchants Talk Excitement For the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in Zionsville
Photography Provided by Ryan Woodall & Zionsville Chamber of Commerce
Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing? It’s that time of the year again, Zionsville’s Christmas in the Village is back.
The Zionsville tradition is unlike any other, for a variety of reasons. Namely, not many other towns or cities in Central Indiana have a Christmas celebration that lasts virtually the entire month. Most of them have a one day or week tree lighting and festival towards the beginning of December. For Zionsville, Christmas in the Village is a month-long celebration with holiday festivities and events every week of the month leading up to Christmas.
The celebration is the most wonderful time of the year in Zionsville — drawing interest from both young and old in the community. Christmas in the Village is also quite a boon for local businesses, particularly those merchants along Main Street.
Cobblestone and Robert Goodman Jewelers are two of the oldest businesses with their doors still open on Main Street. Both businesses have been open for 18 years, and they’ve seen the impact of Christmas in the Village and how the event has changed during that span of time.
“It has always been the event for downtown Zionsville for as long as I can remember, and we’ve been here nearly 20 years,” says Cobblestone Owner Kent Esra. “We’ve always supported Christmas in the Village. The more people we can bring downtown, the better.”
“When we first opened back in 2000, Christmas in the Village was a three or four-day event I believe,” says Robert Goodman Jewelers Owner Bob Goodman. “Today, it is pretty much all month long, which I think is a massive improvement. The amount of business we get coming in is great, but the best thing about this event is how much the community absolutely loves it. Whether it is the parade, wagon rides with Santa and more, there are plenty of events for everyone.”
Christmas in the Village was first established in Zionsville way back in 1852. The event has changed significantly since it first started. For more than five years, the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce has put on the event, handling all logistics and details. This year, a group of local merchants and volunteers have really stepped up and led the charge for Christmas in the Village with the support of the chamber.
This year’s event is once again filled with plenty of activities, and there are even a few new and exciting changes. The Christmas in the Village Parade & Tree Lighting, held Nov. 24, still kicks off the festival, and the parade was yet another big hit this year. Santa was on hand for the parade, as he is each year, and families will continue to have the opportunity for a horse-drawn wagon ride with Kris Kringle every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Dec. 23.
Three Dog Bakery in Zionsville sponsored Santa for this year’s Christmas in the Village, both for the parade and for horse-drawn wagon rides. Owner Christy Zeller says they will also host a reindeer feeding station the Sunday before Christmas.
“We are very excited to be sponsoring Santa this year,” Zeller says. “It is extremely important for us to do everything that we can to help support all of the Christmas in the Village activities. We, along with the other merchants and all of Zionsville, are Christmas in the Village. Without all of us doing our part to spread Christmas cheer, the event just wouldn’t be the same.”
In the past, there has been an Elf Scavenger Hunt, which drew families to local merchants based on clues. This year, the hunt has been modified with a new twist and a new name — the Snowflake Seek-and-Find. Snowflakes will be hidden in businesses, restaurants and retail shops. Children and families can go out and find those at their own pace and experience all the merchants on Brick Street. The Snowflake Seek-and-Find will take place Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
One of the most popular events last year is also back this holiday season during Christmas in the Village — Ladies Night. Those who frequent Main Street know there are plenty of local retail shops and boutiques to shop till you drop. At Ladies Night, local shops will stay open a little later, from 6 to 9 p.m., and many shops and boutiques will have appetizers and drinks on hand to make it a fun, relaxing shopping experience for women coming out to enjoy the night.
Frances + Parke, a new men’s and women’s clothing boutique, is one of the many boutiques on Main Street participating in the Ladies Night this December.
“We are really excited about Ladies Night,” says Frances + Parke owner Tracy Dull. “We will offer appetizers, specials on new merchandise, gift wrapping and more. We will be very involved throughout Christmas in the Village, and I’m excited to see all that the event brings to the community this year.”
Ladies Night will take place Thursday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Christmas Crawl is also back by popular demand this season. Last year, about 20 restaurants and shops participated in the Christmas Crawl, which draws the community in to visit Zionsville shops that they likely haven’t frequented before. The crawl ends at Rush On Main with an ugly sweater contest, karaoke and more.
The Christmas Crawl will be held Dec. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Christmas in the Village is such an exciting time of the year,” Zeller says. “There are so many special events scheduled throughout the holiday season that are not only fun for the businesses to participate in but bring so many people to the Village that otherwise may not have the incentive to do so. It’s such a fantastic way to bring the community together. The businesses really unite to make each year better than the last.”
For more information and the full list of events and times, visit zionsvillechamber.org/christmas-in-the-village. Those looking to volunteer for Christmas in the Village throughout December can also visit the same site and scroll down to the volunteer tab.