In an effort to add even more draw to its annual Dickens of a Christmas, Vine Grove is unveiling a “Light up Downtown” attraction Friday at its Christmas event.
“We’d like to have 500 people come out to this and if people are going to be out in the cold, you need to have something that makes them want to come out,” Mayor Pam Ogden said. “We just wanted to add a few things here and there and make it even better.”
“We’ve added some different stuff,” the first-year mayor said, “We’re lighting up all of downtown. That’s what we’re planning to do.”
Many of the same offerings that have made Dickens of a Christmas a northern Hardin County staple for more than two decades remain, such as horse-draw carriage rides and people encouraged to dress in Victorian-style clothing.
“I think it’s a cool feel,” Ogden said of those who dress in that style of clothing.
She said there will be a marshmallow roast area that has been expanded to a “bigger and safer area,” where there will be 3-foot sticks available to roast the marshmallows. There also are plans to have two sets of carolers at Dickens, which is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Also this year, there are food vendors on site, Ogden said. Photographs with Santa Claus are available and magician Aaron Harp is making an appearance.
Refreshments also are being served at Wilson & Muir Bank.
Dickens is part of a three-day kickoff to the Christmas season and is sandwiched around a chili supper and auction Thursday and Breakfast with Mrs. Claus on Saturday at Vine Grove Elementary School.
At 6 p.m. Thursday in the community room of Vine Grove City Hall is the auction by Donna and Spanky Spangenberger with proceeds — typically between $6,000 and $8,000 — going to help provide Christmas for children in the community through the police department’s Christmas for the Kids program. About $200 typically is spent on each child, Vine Grove Police Department Chief Kenny Mattingly said.
Auction items vary from Christmas decorations to baked goods and auction donations still can be made at Vine Grove City Hall.
Saturday’s event is hosted by the Vine Grove Women’s Club. The breakfast is from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $3 for children 10 and under and $5 for children and adults over 10.
“If the weather is decent, we think we’ll have a good turnout,’’ she said. “We’re hoping Light up Vine Grove will bring out even more people.’’