Editor’s Note: Below is a post I wrote after last year’s visit to Wooster’s Window Wonderland and visit by Santa Claus. I’m reposting it because if you can, you should try to attend the Window Wonderland this year. It is happening on Friday, November 18, 2016 from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Earlier activities begin at 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Wayne Center for the Arts. Enjoy my flashback post, but more importantly enjoy the festivities downtown on Friday.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…or at least it did in Wooster, Ohio on Friday, November 20, 2015. The streets and store windows were decked out for Window Wonderland, a Main Street Wooster event.
Children of all ages were on hand, awaiting the arrival of Santa. He arrived on top of the Gallery in the Vault building. Thanks to the help of Lieutenant Chris Green, of the Wooster Fire Department and his Ladder Truck, Santa was brought down from the roof to the street. Santa then took his position at the Gazebo, where the line had already formed with eager children and their parents.
While the crowd was waiting for Old St. Nick to arrive, they had the lighting of the Christmas trees. One is a 135 feet tall Norway spruce and in the Wooster Cemetery south of downtown. It could be seen from the Public Square downtown once the switch was thrown by Lynette Mattson. The other tree is the Children’s Christmas tree, which is on the corner of Market and Liberty.
We sang carols–Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and Silent Night–accompanied by the Christmas Brass band and the Wayne County Choral Union. We enjoyed the Signing Sensations, a group who entertained the crowd by signing a couple of Christmas songs, including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
The stores in downtown Wooster had stayed opened late with some offering cookies, candy and hot chocolate to the crowd. I even got to get my picture taken with a Nutcracker Soldier. (The Nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets.)
It was a night of excitement for the children. A tradition that has been going on for 32 years in downtown Wooster. What I enjoyed the most, except maybe for the arrival of Kris Kringle, was the look on the children’s faces. While they were watching Santa, I was watching them. There was just this expression of joy and awe on their faces, that made me smile. They waved at Santa as he waved back. I even overheard this one little girl say to her mom, “Is that the Santa that comes to my house?” It was like she could hardly believe that she was getting to see him. For her, on this day, it really was a wonderland. And I’m glad to have been witness to it.