11/25/2015 – 5:11 am
A parade, a variety of food, and displays of holiday lights will be featured Saturday when the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the 29th Blaze of Lights Celebration.
The celebration kicks off Friday, with two free showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Shannon Theater downtown, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. On Saturday, downtown activities begin at 4 p.m. with an ice sculpture demonstration on Main Street by Chad Hartson, of Ice Creations of Napoleon. Also at 4 p.m., food booths will open in the downtown, and parade units will line up on Snider Road. Groups wanting to participate in the parade can contact Junior Weihrauch at 419-365-5304.
At 5 p.m., the 100-unit holiday parade will begin in the downtown. Following the parade, at about 6 p.m., entertainment will be provided by the Bluffton High School show choir; by Dancers’ Elite, a Bluffton dance studio; and by Jim Boedicker.
At 7 p.m., the Ream Holiday Folk Art Display, which includes thousands of lights, will be switched on by Paul Dyck. The display is on the lawn of Bluffton Presbyterian Church downtown.
Food will be available from the Bluffton Lions chicken barbecue, at the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center, and from food booths.
When the parade is over, there will be more activities:
• People can take horse and wagon rides to see the holiday lights of the village. The rides will start in front of the Common Grounds coffee shop. Tickets cost $4 for those 11 and older, and $2 for youths 10 and under.
• The Romick Railway will offer train rides to children.
• A “Gift of Giving” light show, an 11-minute program with FM radio sound, can be seen on East College Avenue, across from the football stadium.
• Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the Senior Citizens Center downtown.
• Maps will be available at the Ream display so visitors can tour Bluffton’s residential holiday light displays. The maps also will be available at the chamber’s website, www.explorebluffton.com
• Visitors can also check out decorated store windows and shop at downtown stores.
The Blaze of Lights will not be extinguished after Saturday. The Ream Folk Art Display, the Gift of Giving light show, residential holiday light displays, and downtown window displays will continue through Jan. 1.
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