Community

Marion to spread holiday cheer at Christmas in the Park celebration Friday

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at a past Christmas in the Park celebration, escorted by the Marion Fire Department. (Photo courtesy of Marion Chamber of Commerce)
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at a past Christmas in the Park celebration, escorted by the Marion Fire Department. (Photo courtesy of Marion Chamber of Commerce)
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The city of Marion is preparing to host its 26th annual Christmas in the Park celebration from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in City Square Park, promising what organizers say will be an “evening of family fun.”

Returning traditional activities will include the lighting of the Community Peace Tree, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, cocoa and popcorn.

Adorable Princess Party, of Cedar Rapids, will facilitate special appearances by the Ice Queen and Snow Princess, who bear more than a passing similarity to Elsa and Anna from Disney’s “Frozen.”

And, to kick off the celebration, esteemed guests Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their grand arrival via firetruck and visit with children for the evening’s duration.

Approximately 1,200 people attended last year’s Christmas in the Park, with Santa visiting just under 500 children, estimated Tami Schlamp, director of member services with the Marion Chamber of Commerce.

“We hope people take the opportunity to come out and kick off the holiday season here in Marion,” she said. “Whether you want to come shopping or come over to the park, there’s something for everyone to do.”

Beyond the Park activities, Uptown Marion Main Street will host “Peppermint Walk,” a holiday shopping event featuring what Schlamp said will be about 25 local businesses and complimenting the Chocolate Walk held in the fall.

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Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk both are free community events sponsored by Farmers State Bank, Fosters Heating and Air Conditioning, ImOn Communications and MercyCare Community Physicians, all Marion Chamber Platinum Community Partners.

Attendees are invited to bring new hats, mittens or blankets to donate to the Keep Your Neighbors Warm campaign.

For more information, go to http://www.marioncc.org and click on “Events,” “Annual Events” and “Community Events.” For a list of participating locations in the Peppermint Walk, go to www.uptownmarion.com.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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