Downtown Orange Christmas celebration on Saturday
Last updated 11/28/2023 at 9:11pm
Downtown Orange will be full of characters on Saturday as Santa, Buddy the Elf, and even Mickey Mouse will be part of holiday fun throughout the day and into the evening. Activities will be centered around Stark Park on Green Avenue.
Of course, the 74th Annual Christmas parade, beginning at 6 p.m. will be part of the festivities. The parade is now sponsored by the Orange Kiwanis Club with the theme this year "The Toys that Made Us." The route will form a rectangle around downtown. The staging area will be on Front behind the Lutcher Theater. From there, the parade will travel west to 10th Street, the turn northward to Green Avenue, turning eastbound on Green. After traveling past Green Avenue landmarks like First Presbyterian Church, the Stark Museum of Art, and LSCO, the parade will turn southward on First Street, the back west on Front.
The day will begin at 7:30 through 10 a.m. with the Kiwanis having a fundraiser, Breakfast with Santa at Spanky's Bar and Grill on 16th Street. The pancake breakfast is $12 per ticket and allows children to eat and visit with the Jolly Old Elf. Tickets are available online or at Spanky's.
The city of Orange and its Explore Orange program has the Gumdrop Shop Holiday Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stark Park. Vendors with Christmas decorations, gifts, crafts, and food will be set up in the park for people to stroll around, visit and mingle, and buy. Buddy the Elf will be at the park from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to take photographs with kids and adults. Afterall, who can resist Buddy?
The W.H. Stark House by the park will have a free open house from noon to 5 p.m. with tours of the first two floors. The 1894 mansion will be decorated for the season, including the Victorian dining room table set with china, silverware, and crystal of Miriam Lutcher Stark, the lady of the house.
The Stark Museum of Art, which is across Green Avenue from the park, will be giving away holiday craft kits for kids and families from 3 to 5 p.m.
The historic First Presbyterian Church on Green Avenue will host its annual pre-parade open house beginning at 5:30 p.m. Free cookies, popcorn, hot chocolate, and punch will be served to visitors, who can get tours of the 1912 church with its fames Lambs Studios stained glass windows.
The parade will begin on Front Street at 6 p.m. After the parade ends, the community Christmas tree in Stark Park will be lit. Santa will be available for photographs. There will also be snow in the park, thanks to a snow machine. Then, a free outdoor showing of Mickey's Christmas Carol Movie will be shown on a giant screen.