Local News

Downtown holiday celebration returning to Shelbyville

With the downtown redevelopment project near completion, the City of Shelbyville is planning a holiday celebration on Dec. 3.

The annual Christmas parade returns after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and occurs in conjunction with the holiday celebration and Mistletoe Market.

The Mainstreet Mistletoe Market runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 3 with several vendors set up and live music. Horse and carriage rides and live reindeer will be part of the celebration.

Bourbons and Brews will set up in the alley on East Washington St.

There will be an ice skating venue as well on East Washington St., which was the first portion finished in the three-year downtown redevelopment project.

Cookie decorating and hot chocolate will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. in front of the former Chase Bank building on the southwest corner of the Public Square.

The Christmas Parade starts at 7 p.m. at the Porter Center and will travel south down North Harrison St. to the Public Square. The parade will continue west down West Washington St. and end at City Hall.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will close out the parade by stopping at the Public Square to participate in the downtown lighting ceremony.

After the lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus will head inside the former Chase Bank building, which is now owned by the city, to meet with local children.

The holiday celebration will be the first event in the newly-renovated downtown area as well as the first large event staged downtown by the city in over two years.

The event is a work-in-progress admitted mayor Tom DeBaun. With the renovation of the 100-year-old Joseph water fountain in downtown Shelbyville and the transformation of the Public Square, logistics are different than in years past.

The water fountain will not serve as a centerpiece Christmas tree. The much-larger water basin makes it more difficult to set up a large tree and the damage it could do to the renovated fountain makes it no longer a viable option.

Instead, the city will set up four 14-foot Christmas trees around the Public Square.

“We have these large, four-foot round concrete pots and we will put Christmas trees in those that are about 14 feet tall and space those out around the square,” said DeBaun.

Santa’s house and the toy shop building will not return to downtown this year but DeBaun did not rule out a return in future celebrations. Those houses will sit again in Blue River Memorial Park this holiday season and be part of a drive-thru Christmas light display that will be larger in year two thanks to generous donations from local businesses and increased fundraising efforts.

“I think that’s safe to say,” said DeBaun when asked if this year’s event will be the start of new holiday traditions. “We have to figure out what looks good and what works well.”

Santa’s house and the toy shop have been repaired again with the toy shop getting updated toys for display.

The figurine of Mrs. Claus has new clothing and the building she resides in has new curtains for a fresher look.

The weather report for the Friday night celebration is favorable and DeBaun is ready for residents to celebrate the end of an extended transformation to downtown Shelbyville and the beginning of new holiday traditions.

“I am excited for people to come down and see it,” he said.