LELAND — Only one week remains until folks can head over to Leland to watch the Deer Creek lights shine as Santa Claus comes to town.
This year’s Christmas on Deer Creek is set to be another two-day event starting the evening of Friday, Nov. 29, with the bulk of festivities continuing Saturday, Nov. 30.
Friday’s events will kick off with a holiday musical acappella performance by the Mennonite Chorus at 6 p.m. in front of the Leland Thompson House.
“They always sound beautiful and everyone really enjoys their music,” said Leland Chamber of Commerce executive director Mary Anne Brocato.
On Saturday, the holiday fun will start with a new childrens Christmas parade, which will start at 3 p.m. in downtown Leland.
Only children ages 12 and younger are permitted to participate, and the only requirement for being in the parade is all participants and vehicles must be dressed and decorated in Christmas-themed attire. For any vehicles, including golf carts and cars alike, an adult ages 18 or older must be driving.
The parade is not just limited to children in Leland, Brocato said, noting anyone in the surround cities of Washington County are welcome to participate.
“We are giving prizes for the best decoration, whether it’s a golf cart or whatever,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll have a lot of people sign up, I think it’ll be a pretty good turnout and something fun to do.”
The parade line up will start around 2:45 p.m. behind Leland City Hall.
From 4:30-6 p.m., there will be singers and bands on-hand to sing Christmas melodies along the Rainbow Connection Bridge, including, Tony Proctor and George Graves, the Smoking Gun Band and the Leland High School Choir. A light show will also be performed by Delta Outdoor Theater.
To top off the evening, Santa Claus, himself, will make his debut along Deer Creek at 6 p.m.
The Leland Fire Department will be on the bridge with their spotlight, helping folks search for Santa as he makes his way up the creek.
“It’s a lot of fun for the kids. The music plays, ‘Here Comes Santa Claus,’ as he comes down the creek,” Brocato said.
That evening, the about 30 floats along Deer Creek will also shine for the first time this year.
After Santa gets off his sleigh, he will head over to the Methodist Church for children to take pictures with him. Unlike years’ past, there will not be a chili supper to coincide the picture-taking.
While Santa takes pictures at the church, Kermit the Frog and Big Bird will be at the Jim Henson Delta Boyhood Exhibit for folks to visit and take pictures with, too. Folks will be welcome to take a look around the gift shop and make any Christmas gift purchases.
“I’m ready for it to be here,” Brocato said. “I just love this time of year with the creek. We have three new floats, it’s going to be pretty.”