With just one street over being the Canal Market District, we walked over to explore the festivities of their annual “Christmas Market”. The holiday decorations included a large lit live Christmas tree in the center of the pavilion, and crafts, market food vendors, and food trucks filled the area with many purchase options. There was a brisk chill in the air, so our hot Irish cream steamer and vanilla latte beverages hit the spot at River Road Coffee House (just a brief walk away from the CMD and located on the downtown square). We were getting hungry and walked around a bit contemplating where to eat dinner; we selected Chickie’s General Store on the square just a few doors down from River Road coffee House. We each got a spicy chicken submarine sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, kettle chips, and flavored soda: prickly pear and elderberry- refreshing and unusual flavors! After enjoying our meal while we people watched, it was time to connect with family members in preparation for the “LC Courthouse Lighting”: a ‘Night After Thanksgiving’ tradition for many.
As the crowd in downtown Newark increased, we were glad that we arrived early and found a nearby parking spot. Although, the County parking garage provides free parking and is conveniently located. The celebration started at the courthouse at 6:15 pm, but we met our loved ones around 6:45 pm and still had time to visit the ‘live nativity’ provided by The Vineyard Church of Licking County. We were pleasantly surprised to find a live camel, who had the softest hair; I imagined resting my head on his fur to take a cozy nap (lol). At around 7:00 pm, the Newark Fire and Police Departments escorted Santa to downtown Newark waving from on top of the firetruck. Santa reached the steps of the courthouse and directed the crowd in chants of “Merry Christmas” to gradually assist in lighting the Courthouse for the duration of the Christmas season. It was a memorable evening full of holiday and community spirit.