All Aglow

Downtown ready for annual Party Night

A crowd gathers on East Main Street to witness the tree-lighting ceremony during Downtown Party Night.
A crowd gathers on East Main Street to witness the tree-lighting ceremony during Downtown Party Night.
Photos Provided

Downtown Crawfordsville will be all aglow with Christmas cheer Saturday during the annual Small Business Day and Downtown Party Night.

The event, sponsored by Crawfordsville Main Street, celebrates all small, locally-owned businesses.

Small Business Day will be observed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., while Downtown Party Night activities kick off at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the south portico of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Irma and Ignacio Bravo will have the honor of flipping the switch. The Bravo family has owned their downtown restaurant, Little Mexico, for 30 years.

Sue Lucas, program manager for Crawfordsville Main Street, said Downtown Party Night started more than 30 years ago when one downtown business hosted a private Christmas party for its customers. The idea caught on and today nearly every business in the downtown district participates with a variety of offerings and activities.

“We want to celebrate the small businesses that make up our downtown,” Lucas said. “This is a day we can support all local small businesses because our small businesses offer so many goods and services and really contribute to the local economy.”

Following the tree lighting, musical entertainment will be provided by the Crescendos, a local women’s choral group. They who will perform traditional Christmas songs. Their performance will be followed by the Brassmaters, an brass  ensemble. Both groups will perform on the courthouse portico.

Activities at Pike Place on the corner of Pike and Washington streets will begin at 6:30 p.m. with consumers from Abilities Service Inc. performing their percussion ensemble and readings.

Wagon rides will be provided by Oak Hill Farms. Passengers will board from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Pike Place.

All floors at the Fusion 54 building at 101 W. Main St. will be open beginning at 6:30 p.m. Downtown maps will be available at the Montgomery County Visitors Bureau located on the first floor of Fusion 54.

The second floor will have a variety of children’s activities provided by the Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County.

The Lew Wallace Museum will have its annual Hoosier Authors Book Fair. Several authors from Indiana will be in attendance to discuss, sign and sell their books.

Staff from the Crawfordsville District Public Library will offer a children’s event, a Meowy Christmas, for young readers on the fourth floor.

The public also is invited to visit the Masonic Cornerstone Event Center at the corner of Wabash Avenue and South Washington Street for the opening of the Festival of the Trees. The annual event is a month-long fundraiser with proceeds supporting the restoration of the building.

Party-goers can visit with Santa at Lakin Wilcox Photography at 105 E. Main St. Santa will be available 1-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

Frosty the Snowman and Buddy the Elf also will make appearances downtown, and partygoers can participate in Finding Waldo.

Those attending Saturday’s event also will get a first look at the entries in this year’s window decorating contest. The contest is a collaboration between Crawfordsville Main Street, the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery County Visitor’s Bureau.

Many of the windows may include the optional theme of “Home for Christmas,” which also is this year’s theme for the annual Crawfordsville Christmas Parade on Dec. 3 hosted by the Chamber.

Online voting for people’s choice begins Monday at and ends Dec. 14 with an announcement of winners on Dec. 15.

The other three categories, Best Overall Theme, Best “Home for Christmas” Theme and Best Small Window, will be judged independently.

First and second place finishes will be awarded in each category.

Tri-County Bank & Trust is the sponsor for the window decorating contest

“Party Night is an opportunity for people to run into old friends and make new friends,” Lucas said. “We are grateful for all our Main Street sponsors and look forward to seeing another large crowd on Saturday.”