TROY — The Troy community officially ushered in the Christmas season with the annual Grand Illumination event in downtown on Friday.
The evening kicked off with the Kris Kringle Market located at the Rec, offering people the opportunity to purchase quality, handmade gifts at low prices. Carriage rides were offered in the Public Square’s southeast quadrant. Stations serving free warm drinks, baked goods, goodie bags, and ornaments were available the entire evening from various local businesses and organizations.
Musical performances included the Troy City Schools’ American Sign Language students signing and singing along to holiday tunes and the Melody Men Chorus, who returned for a third year.
Representatives from Ohio Magazine were on site to acknowledge Troy’s 2018 Best Hometown award.
“When you look at the traits that exemplify what life in Ohio is all about, Troy really has all of them,” said Ohio Magazine editor Jim Vickers.
Troy Mayor Mike Beamish performed his 16th rendition of “The Month Before Christmas,” as Santa and Mrs. Claus made their big debut to the Public Square in a fire truck, then mounted the stage to assist Mayor Beamish in the Grand Illumination.
This year’s tree was donated by Troy resident Fred Young, whose grandson, Chris King Jr., provided the blue spruce seed that grew in Young’s yard for 28 years.
“We’re just extremely excited and happy that we got to donate this tree for all to share,” Chris King Jr. said.
“That tree means a lot of things,” said Chris King Sr. “That tree means love, that tree means unity, and in the last couple of weeks, my family has bonded and united, and that tree is the cause of it. I would like for everybody in Troy, when they look at that tree, to think of unity.”
Following the tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way to “Santa’s House” in Prouty Plaza, where children lined up to meet Santa for photos and candy canes.
The Grand Illumination serves as the lead-in for “Shop Small Saturday,” going on through daytime hours on Saturday, Nov. 24, in local shops and restaurants.
The event was made possible by donations and efforts of Alvetro Orthodontics, Beckstrom Orthodontics, the City of Troy Beautification Committee, Chuck Karnehm, David Fair on the Square, DP&L, Excellence in Dentistry, Greenville National Bank, HER Realtors, Kettering Health Network, Kiwanis, Level MB Construction, Miami County Visitors Bureau, Minster Bank, Niall Foster, Nightscapes, Premier Health Upper Valley Medical Center, The Rec, Rush & Sons, Trojan City Music, Troy Sports Center, Unity National Bank, Upper Valley Hearing & Balance, The Valley Church, Western Ohio Home Builders Association, and many more volunteers.
For more information on holiday events, visit homegrowngreat.com.