November 30, 2011 - It's all about warm bellies and warm hearts as folks of all ages are invited to kick off the Christmas season in downtown Oxford this weekend.
The fun starts Friday, Dec. 2 with the Downtown Development Authority's Second Annual Soup & Sweet Stroll (see full-color ad on Page 12).
"Home Never Tasted So Good" is the slogan for this year's stroll, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.
Various Oxford eateries will be serving up their signature soups and seasonal sweet treats for folks to enjoy as they wander through the downtown.
Wristbands for the stroll can be purchased at the DDA tent in Centennial Park. The cost is $10 per band or three for $25. Children 12 and under are free.
The annual Christmas tree lighting will also take place Friday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Centennial Park.
Various student choirs from Oxford Community Schools will be performing Christmas songs. If you get hungry, the Girl Scouts will be selling cookies while the Optimists sell popcorn. Members of the Oxford-Orion Kiwanis Club will be selling hot cholocate and coffee.
Folks who have a loved one who either is serving or has served in the military are invited to leave a photo of them or a written message on "The Star of Oxford," a giant wooden star in the park.
Donations for Oxford-Orion FISH and Toys for Tots will be collected at the park.
The countdown to light the village's 50-foot tree will begin at 8 p.m. with the raising of the American flag.
Come back to downtown Oxford on Saturday for the town's annual Christmas parade, which begins at 2 p.m.
This year's theme is "Patriotic Red, White and Blue" in honor of all the U.S. troops serving overseas who wish they could make it home for the holidays.
As always, the parade will consist of magnificent floats, talented dancers, the OHS Marching Band, local businesses, charities and service clubs, animals, scouts and direct from the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Free hot chocolate will be provided to spectators by representatives of the Salvation Army Echo Grove Camp.
Immediately following the parade, Santa and his wife will visit with delighted local children in Centennial Park.
There will also be an opportunity to pet some actual reindeer. Cool!
Ė Editor C.J. Carnacchio
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.