GREENWOOD – Christmas celebrations in one of the River Valley’s larger towns are set to be a little merrier this year.
Greenwood will hold its first Christmas on the Square event on Monday. Residents can come to the town square and take part in a variety of celebrations, leading up to the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade at 7:00 p.m
City Parks Director Casey Craig said the Christmas in the Square is a kick-off to the holiday season to bring the community together to celebrate in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The chamber has sponsored a Christmas parade for years, but Monday’s event will be the first to feature a range of leading-up activities.
Craig said the Parks and Recreation Department has asked several local vendors to offer food and drink to residents beginning at 5 p.m. These include Bone’s Coffee Bar, Heavenly Sensations Gourmet Cookies, Molly’s Eggrolls, Sally’s Sweets, Simply Smoked, Southern Sippin’ and Taqueria San Antonio.
Jeremy Lensing, owner-operator of Simply Smoked, said his food truck will be stocking pork sandwiches, fries and pickles. Lensing is originally from Greenwood.
“I’ve always loved going to the parades and I was like, ‘Well, if I could go down there and be a part of it, and while people are waiting to watch and they could grab some nice food, that would be kind of like hitting two Fly with one stone,'” Lensing said.
Craig said Mayor Doug Kinslow will begin the celebrations at 6 p.m. by turning on a light show in the town square.
“We have a very large 24-foot Christmas tree and that’s sort of the centerpiece of the square and everything is going to light up at once,” Craig said.
At 6:20 p.m., students from Greenwood schools, including East Pointe and Westwood Elementary Schools, East Hills Middle School and Greenwood Junior High School, will follow singing Christmas carols. Craig estimates that around 100 students will perform. From 5:30 p.m. until just before the start of the parade, residents can also meet and take photos with Santa Claus.
Bob Purvis, executive director of the chamber, said the parade will run from Greenwood High School down Main Street and through City Square. Entries will be made by individuals, businesses, and community groups. Sweets are thrown to the children present.
“Our theme this year is Christmas in our hometown,” Purvis said. “We show what a small town, traditional Christmas looks like.”
Purvis said the chamber asked people to donate toiletries in lieu of money to attend the parade. These items are collected for the school district parent center, which then distributes them to families in need. However, the entries themselves may win cash prizes in various categories.
Purvis said the board will also be offering a complimentary bean and cornbread feed at its office in the plaza from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“Greenwood’s official slogan is ‘Feels like home’ and a community Christmas parade where everyone gets together for a crisp December evening to have a good time and share with their neighbors pretty much says everything we do think Greenwood is important,” said Purvis. “It’s a great place to live, and community events are a huge part of what makes Greenwood a great place to live.”
Craig said Christmas on the Square will be moved to December 12 if the event is canceled due to bad weather on Monday. He urged residents to visit the Parks and Recreation Facebook page for updates on the matter.
Participation in past parades
The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade typically has more than 100 participants.
Source: Bob Purvis, Executive Director, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce