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Santa Claus arriving Friday evening at 5 p.m. amid fanfare

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, Santa was greeted by a good many boys and girls in 2009.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Eyes wide with wonder, children will fill the streets of downtown Columbia City on Friday eagerly awaiting the arrival of their bearded friend in red.
Indeed, Santa Claus arrives in downtown Columbia City this Friday, November 26, at 5 p.m. Mr. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, officially kicking off the Columbia City Downtown Business Association's 2010 Downtown HolidayFest.
Once Mr. Claus arrives, he'll step out of the carriage, greet awaiting children and flip the switch on the Christmas lights on the Whitley County Courthouse lawn before heading indoor to meet with children who've already formed their Christmas lists. Santa's House will remain open from 5 to 8 p.m.
Local photographer Scott Slabaugh will once again offer professional photography with Santa -- or you are free to bring along your own camera to capture the little ones' visit with Santa.
Additionally, there will be live reindeer at Santa's House. For a freewill offering to aid in the upkeep of Santa's House, families can take ride in the horse-drawn carriage through downtown Columbia City and view the scenic storefronts decorated by local merchants. Several merchants will have late hours so that residents can get head start on their local holiday shopping too.
The Clugston's Walk of Trees will also be open for viewing from 4 to 8 p.m.
These are the first of many events in the 2010 Downtown HolidayFest which will also include the Community Christmas Live Nativity on December 3-4, carriage rides and reindeer on December 11 and the much-anticipated Breakfast with Santa at the CC Deli on December 18 with seatings at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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