Downtown Oswego will welcome residents near and far back to downtown Oswego Friday, as the Christmas walk returns to downtown Oswego and Main Street.
Presented by Allied First Bank, the Christmas walk did not take place in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic, but is returning Friday, Dec. 3 with a full night of events for visitors to enjoy, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Julie Hoffman, Oswego Community Engagement Coordinator for Events, said that village staff are “so excited” to bring the Christmas Walk back to Oswego.
“We are so excited to bring everyone together again, we hope that the entire community spends some time with us outdoors enjoying the holidays,” Hoffman said. “This is our way of telling our community, ‘We love when we can gather together safely’.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring everyone together and feel good about it.”
Popular, free attractions are returning with the Christmas walk, including the Toyland train visitors can ride, Santa’s reindeer, the Silent Emergency Vehicle Light Parade, the annual tree lighting, ice sculptor Nate Johnson, an inflatable sled hill and a host of games, crafts, giveaways and prizes for all.
The village’s tree lighting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Main and Jackson streets, featuring live music from Bednarcik and Traughber junior high schools, as well as the Oswego East High School Spotlight choir and the Oswego High School theatre club. Additional entertainment will be offered throughout the night from Oswego’s dance troupes and choirs at three live entertainment locations in the downtown area, as well as music from DJ John.
Oswego’s traditional Silent Illuminated Emergency Vehicle Parade, sponsored by the Oswego Fire Protection District and featuring favorite characters, will set off at 8:10 p.m. making its way down Main Street.
While enjoying activities and shopping in downtown Oswego, children and families are invited to bring their wish lists to Locked In Photography, 74 Main St., to visit Santa Claus and have a photo taken that will be available for download.
Oswego is offering multiple options for transportation and parking this year, including shuttles from the north parking lot of Oswego High School to Byline Bank, 10 S. Madison St. in downtown Oswego. Shuttles will be available from 4:45 until 9 p.m. Parking also is available at the Reserve at Hudson Crossing parking decks, Village Hall and in lots around downtown Oswego.
While Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines will be followed to support public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoffman said that there is no mandate requiring face coverings to be worn at the Christmas walk, although staff hope that patrons will “strongly consider” wearing masks and receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.
“Christmas walk is such a great holiday tradition in downtown Oswego,” Village President Troy Parlier said in a statement issued by the village. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone celebrating this holiday together again this year. And this may even be the merriest yet, especially when we get to follow it up with the return of the Holiday Drive Through at Venue 1012.”
The Holiday Drive Through will return after its 2020 launch with illuminated first response vehicles, holiday scenes, characters, Santa Claus and goody bags for each child in attendance, while supplies last, Friday, Dec. 10, at Venue 1012, 1012 Station Drive.