Just as dusk settles in, Downtown Appleton will begin to shine for the holiday season on Friday, November 11 with the new Light Up Night and Window Walk event for all ages. No matter the temperature, a number of activities and free hot cocoa will get the season off to a warm start.
The event is the lead-in to a calendar dotted with holiday activities in the Downtown, including the opening of the One Stop Elf Shop, the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade, Small Business Saturday and Visits with Santa. The fun continues in December with the Avenue of Ice Festival and a unique Holiday Gift Market.
During Light Up Night and Window Walk, the Trout Museum of Art and Appleton Downtown Inc.are collaborating to launch the holidays with engaging activities and special decorations to see from one end of the Downtown to the other. Festivities get underway at 4:30 p.m. in Houdini Plaza, where activities will continue through 6:30 p.m. Mayor Tim Hanna and WBAY morning anchor Tammy Elliott will be special guests.
Throughout the night, a variety of groups will provide live music, including Kyle Megna and the Monsoons, musicians from the Appleton Rock School and strolling holiday carolers. Plenty of free, fun activities await children throughout Houdini Plaza. Kids can meet Curious George, design their own paper snowflakes, decorate cookies to enjoy, get creative with sidewalk chalk, make takeaway holiday cards and visit Mrs. Claus's letter station to write to Santa.
From an interactive bobble head screen and ballerinas in their Nutcracker costumes to holiday decorations and a downtown retailer tent where you can register to win a Downtown shopping spree, Light Up Night has something for everyone to do and see. A free cup of hot chocolate will take the edge off the evening chill.
Visitors throughout the Downtown will anticipate the traditional start to the holiday season with the 6:00 p.m. lighting of College Avenue. From the illuminating of the angels suspended across the intersection to the spotlights trained on the History Museum at the Castle, the night sky will glow with holiday displays.
After the lighting ceremony, the excitement continues inside The Trout Museum of Art where its Festival of Trees awaits visitors. Local artists and downtown businesses display colorful wreaths, trees, and stockings which will be available for silent bidding up until the closing Festival of Trees Auction Reception December 1. Donations benefit educational programs conducted by the Fox Cities Building for the Arts. For a full Festival of Trees experience, be sure to visit each participating downtown destination.
Visitors may stroll the Avenue from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to view the windows of Downtown shops, businesses, and attractions decorated for the holiday season. Attendees are encouraged to enjoy refreshments, bid on additional Festival trees and wreaths, and take advantage of special offers in the shops which will stay open late for this event. Participating merchants will accept entries for chances to win a Downtown Shopping Spree—just in time for Christmas!
Additional highlights of the holiday season in Appleton’s Downtown include:
One Stop Elf Shop, in conjunction with the Indoor Market, Saturdays November. 19 - December 17; 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade, Tuesday, November 22; 7 p.m.
Small Business Saturday, November 26
Holiday Gift Market, Saturday, December 17; 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; upper floors of City Center
Avenue of Ice Festival, Saturday, December 17; throughout Downtown with ice carving demonstrations, carriage rides, visits with Santa and more in Houdini Plaza
A Downtown For The Holidays Guide listing all the activities and events in November is available for download from the Appleton Downtown, Inc. website,www.appletondowntown.org, and from Downtown businesses. For more information on Light Up Night and the Window Walk, as well as all the upcoming seasonal events, contact Anne Wiegman of Appleton Downtown, Inc., by calling (920) 954-9112, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.