EATON — On Friday, Nov. 24, families welcomed Santa to Eaton with the 34th annual Downtown Eaton Inc. White Christmas Celebration, which included a parade to usher Santa to Preble County Courthouse Plaza on Main Street, songs and music by Hollingsworth-East School second graders and the Eaton High School Band, an official Christmas tree lighting and more.
“Thank you so much for coming out this evening to kick off the holiday spirit with Downtown Eaton Inc.,” DEI President Megan Jamison Griffis welcomed those in attendance. “We really appreciate everybody braving these temperatures to come out. We want to welcome you to our 34th year of having a White Christmas event, so give yourselves a round of applause. That’s a long time and a good tradition to have in downtown Eaton.”
This year a special tree was donated by Eaton Community of Faith Church, decorated through the generosity of TimkenSteel and Eaton Floral. The tree will remain on the courthouse square for the holiday season, according to DEI officials.
Those who attended White Christmas were treated to free ornaments, candy canes and cocoa from Frontline Coffee.
“We definitely want to thank our sponsors, Eaton Floor and Wall, Prodigy Salon and Spa, Eaton Hometown Furniture and Mattress, Heritage Point Financial Services, Freedom Title Company, Country Mile Realtors, Summitt Chiropractic, Vancrest of Eaton, David Kirsch Ownerland Realty, LCNB Bank, Somerville Bank, Roselius Insurance Agency, Eaton Floral, Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tufts of Fluff, Kettering Health, TimkenSteel and JA Kovach Law,” Griffis said.
“As you’re out shopping, whether it was today — Black Friday — or tomorrow, Small Business Saturday — as you prepare for the holiday season or really just anytime you’re around, make sure you support those businesses because they’re definitely supporters of downtown Eaton and help us put on events like this. We also want to thank our partners at the City of Eaton. They help us always put on these great events. They helped us with the beautification. They put our Christmas tree up for us this year. All the kind of ‘behind the scenes,’ the City of Eaton really partnered with us on. We want to make sure we say thank you to them as well.
“And speaking of Christmas tree, did you notice anything new this year?” Griffis asked the crowd. “We have a real Christmas tree, our own little version of Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, in downtown Eaton, over here on the plaza.
“We want to definitely think Community of Faith Eaton and Matt Superka for that donation this year. That was a big, big, big add for the downtown. So that will be up all holiday season for the month of December. We also need to thank Eaton Community Schools. Most of you are probably parents here for that. So whether you have a high schooler in the band or a second grader behind us, or just a supporter of Eaton Community Schools, they’ve been great to agree to help us out with this event. So I want to give them a big round of applause as well.”
Griffis also invited those interested to participate as a volunteer or a member of Downtown Eaton Inc. “We’re always looking for board members, new volunteers, to help us out. We really appreciate the community’s involvement. Our mission as a nonprofit 501 C-3 is to enhance downtown Eaton with events for everyone to attend, help our shopkeepers out, to provide good services, and boutiques, and restaurants and coffee — and all of that — in downtown Eaton.”
Second grader Sydney Anderson’s name was drawn by Santa and Mrs. Claus, for a girls’ bicycle provided by Vancrest of Eaton. Judah Harpold won the boys’ bicycle provided by the other sponsors.
Following musical performances by the second graders and the band, and the traditional singing of the holiday classic “White Christmas,” a countdown to the lighting was held.
Afterward, the Whispering Christmas light display at Fort St. Clair will be open until 9:30 p.m. for those wanting to start their holidays with a trip through the park.
The Village of Camden also held its Christmas in the Village event on Friday, Nov. 24, complete with Santa, cookies and hot chocolate, caroling, and the telling of the Christmas Story.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.