Clock or not, Christmas Under the Clock will go on.
Plain City’s 15th annual free holiday festival will take place next Saturday, Dec, 3, on Main and Chillicothe streets in uptown and spread out to Jefferson Avenue.
The event, sponsored by the Uptown Plain City Organization, will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
With just a week left until the festival, village officials are scurrying to get the iconic clock returned to its tower in time for the event. The clock has been undergoing an extensive restoration since it was removed from its base in May.
The clock was expected to return in November, but the process hit a snag when workers discovered the wood at the very base of the clock — located behind decorative metal — was rotten and needed replaced in its entirety, according to Inge Witt, the village’s communications director. It was originally thought that only a portion of the wood needed replaced.
The restoration on the clock itself is complete, said Witt.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she added.
A crane has been tentatively scheduled to move back the clock on Wednesday. The several-hour process will start at 8:30 a.m. But, if there is any wind, it will be canceled.
Witt is encouraging the public to watch the village’s website for details. Even if the clock cannot be returned in time, the public will be invited to see the structure up close in the village administration building’s parking lot on Chillicothe Street.
Activities and events
As always, the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. at the Clock Tower at Main and Chillicothe streets will feature local entertainment from Starlight Twirlers and more, including everyone’s favorite, Santa. The entertainment will top off with the tree lighting by the Tree Lighting Pixies, winners of the coloring contest.
After the ceremony visitors can move to Plain City Auction for the Craft Fair. Crafters and direct sales vendors will offer items for holiday shopping, all homemade. Items available include tutus, key fobs, doll clothes, items from barnwood, quilted table runners, blankets, craft baking mixes, jewelry, candy, lip balm, leashes, aprons and yarn.
The traditional auction has been converted to a pick-a-prize-type raffle, the Christmas Raffle. Attendees can get tickets at Plain City Auction to choose which item or items to win from the raffle. Local businesses and the crafters have all donated items to the raffle. They include gift items, gift baskets and items from almost every crafter.
Take the kids to visit the Craft Fair and Christmas Raffle at Plain City Auction so they can get their own glow bracelet. One per child, while quantities last.
Open houses of Plain City businesses and organizations will also start immediately after the tree lighting ceremony. A map of open houses and the activities and entertainment will be available at the first few open houses. Enjoy hot drinks and refreshments where you can enter the prize drawing for a $250 Visa gift card and local gift card pack at most participating locations.
If you can’t wait to see Santa again, hop the wagons that start at Lovejoy’s Plaza on Main Street and go to Yoder’s True Value Hardware where pictures with Santa will be taken. From there, visit other open houses at businesses on Jefferson Avenue where many of the business have more opportunities to win from drawings. Be sure to check out the shuttles that will be moving visitors between the Jefferson Avenue businesses.
“Park uptown, take the wagons and shuttles and we’ll bring you back. Or do it all backwards. Either way, we’ll get you back to where you started,” a spokesperson said.
And returning after a two-year hiatus is Rock On Ice! which will perform an ice carving at Lovejoy’s Plaza. Once the ice carving is complete, Rock On Ice will carve the kids names in ice.
Also at Lovejoy’s Plaza is the start of the wagon rides, ham and bean soup from UPCO, roasted chestnuts from UPCO and Plain City United Methodist Church, more entertainment, and local businesses.
Throughout the Uptown, businesses on Main Street will offer gift card drawings, kids crafts, the library’s book sale, and cookie decorating. On Jefferson Avenue go for the gift baskets, hot chocolate bar, free gift wrapping, pictures with Rudolph, and plenty more.
For more information, on participation, sponsorship, or volunteer opportunities, contact Shannon Weigand with the Uptown Plain City Organization at 614-873-0233.