BOARDMAN — Kids, get your wish lists ready — Boardman is turning into Santa Central in the coming weeks.
“We have a lot of chances for kids to encounter Santa during the month of December,” said Lisa Patrick, SAGE Center manager.
The jolly old elf is departing from the North Pole and plans on making a number of appearances in the north Morrow County town. Also, the SAGE Center is getting plugged in and preparing to light up the holiday season.
The holiday season kicks off with the Boardman Community Christmas Tree Lighting Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. at the SAGE Center, 101 Olson Road. Organized by the Boardman Chamber of Commerce, the free celebration features an evening of singing Christmas carols, refreshments and other merry makings. And with the flip of a switch, the event also marks the official start of the Christmas Light Show.
Santa’s elves have been busy tinkering with bulbs, displays and extension cords while also fine-tuning the audio portion of the illuminated show. The lighted displays are synchronized with holiday tunes, and each year more is added, Patrick said. People can listen from speakers on the grounds or by tuning into 106.9 FM. The light show runs nightly from 5-10 p.m. through the end of December — and possibly into early January, depending on the weather.
Also caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, Patrick’s staff has been making a list and checking it twice as they prepare for the third annual Winter Market at the SAGE Center. The event kicks off with a Ladies Night Out Friday from 4-7:30 p.m.
“It’s a good excuse to get out and enjoy each other’s company and maybe mark a few things off your shopping list while you’re at it,” Patrick said. “It’s been great and has a wonderful vibe.”
In addition to shopping at vendor booths, the evening features door prizes, live music and light hors d’oeuvres. Also, wine and beer will be available for purchase.
The idea for the Winter Market sprouted several years ago after Andrea Orcutt, assistant manager, and Stefanie Swindler, former education coordinator, had to turn vendors away from the Morrow County Harvest Festival. The center will be jam-packed with a variety of vendor booths, including everything from handmade gifts, baked goods and home decor to jewelry, beauty products and specialty items.
The market’s Family Day is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stage entertainment, which begins at 1 p.m., features children from the area. Also, kids’ craft activities will be available.
Photo ops with Santa Claus will be offered Dec. 7 and 14 from noon to 4 p.m. in the SAGE Center parking lot. A fundraiser for the Boardman Fire Corps, there’s a suggested donation of $5. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.
Why not make a day of it in Boardman by starting out with Breakfast with Santa? Enjoy a hearty meal Saturday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at the Boardman Senior Center, 100 Tatone St. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Also, before heading to the SAGE Center, be sure to climb aboard for a hayride.