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City preparing for another well-attended downtown holiday celebration

With a newly-redesigned downtown Public Square officially complete, the City of Shelbyville hosted a grand holiday celebration one year ago.

Recreating the perfect alignment of a revitalized city space and unusually warm temperatures may prove difficult for the 2022 celebration, but Mayor Tom DeBaun is ready to try.

“Based upon what we’ve seen with crowds for other (downtown) events, it’s realistic to say we could see that many people again,” said DeBaun from his office Tuesday morning. “I hope we do. It’s a great time and it’s great for the downtown vendors. It’s nice to see everybody having fun.”

The 2022 Christmas holiday celebration will be Dec. 2 at the Public Square from 5 to 8 p.m. The annual parade that culminates with Santa Clause’s arrival in downtown Shelbyville starts at 7 p.m.

Crowd estimates for the 2021 event topped 4,000 people enjoying the Mistletoe Market, the downtown parade and other holiday activities.

The Mistletoe Market will open at 5 p.m. along East Washington Street off the Public Square. There will be a heated tent stocked with more than two dozen vendors.

There also will be vendors inside Blessing’s Opera House on the second floor at 30 E. Washington St.

Food vendors will be located on E. Washington St. and S. Harrison St.

Carriage rides around downtown will start at the former Chase Bank building.

In addition to the vendors at the event, downtown businesses and restaurants will be open.

The parade will again start at the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and move south along N. Harrison St. to the Public Square. The large turnout for the 2021 event proved more safety precautions were needed to separate parade entrants from the people.

“We’ve got solid barricades that will be up to help the turning radius (from N. Harrison St. on to W. Washington St.),” said DeBaun.

Santa’s house, a long-time tradition of the holiday celebration, will return to downtown Shelbyville this year. It has been part of the holiday decorations at Blue River Memorial Park in recent years as the construction process progressed.

“The Santa house will be right there in front of First Federal (Bank),” said DeBaun. “When the parade stops and Santa gets out, we will do everything right there like we have traditionally and Santa will see the kids in his house that night and the remainder of the holiday season.

“That way, it’s very clear where he will be.”

Santa greeted local children inside the former Chase Bank building in 2021.

Once Santa departs his sleigh from the parade, he will help DeBaun illuminate the downtown holiday lights and decorations that will remain on through the holiday season.

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