Ocean View plans scaled-up holiday event

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter

Like Santa’s scurrying elves, Ocean View town officials have been busy planning the first Old Town Holiday Market & Tree Lighting, a larger and more festive celebration than events of past years.

“This is totally revamped. The layout is different. It’s a new offering, and the name is new,” Town Manager Carol Houck said about the event, planned for 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, at John West Park. In case of rain, it will be held the next day.

“We’ll have performances by the Indian River High School Choir, Mariner’s Bethel Bell Choir and Notes on the Beach Duo. That will be all new, with vendors and tree sales. A special visitor from the North Pole will arrive at 4:45 p.m., and there will be photo opportunities with that special visitor,” she said. At 5 p.m., an oversized switch will be flipped to light the tree, followed by photo opportunities on the festooned porch of town hall.

Among vendors will be Parsons Farms, Inland Bays Garden Center, a local coffee roasting company and Boy Scout Troop 281, which will be selling Christmas trees and roasted hotdogs as a fundraiser. Warm beverages, including cider and coffee, as well as pretzels, roasted chestnuts and cookies, will also be available.

Train rides through the adorned park, as holiday music plays, will be free. The train, suitable for children and adults, is trackless.

The Ocean View Historic Society will have its historic homes bedecked and open for tours.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this to the community,” an upbeat Houck said about the event, a $7,000 investment for the Town.

“We’ve gotten such good support for all of our events this year, and we’re getting good feedback. People will notice how the park is decorated — more heavily and more visible than usual. Photo opportunities will be for everyone, maybe families who might want to take pictures for their holiday cards this year. We’ll also have a cut-outs where you can put your face and take a picture,” she said.

“This is a unique and family-oriented event,” Houck said. “We’re very excited about it.”