It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in Champaign County

Champaign Uncorked! hopes you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Now it’s time to begin celebrating Christmas in Champaign County. Following are a few recommendations for helping you get into the spirit in the next two weekends:

Santa’s Coming to Town – in a Caravan of Horses, Friday, Nov. 27

Santa arrives at the Gloria Theatre flor last year's Santa Land.

Santa arrives at the Gloria Theatre for last year’s Santa Land.

Santa will arrive in Urbana at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, like never before.

He’ll be escorted through town by a caravan of lighted horse-drawn carriages and horseback riders, in the first-ever Urbana All-Horse Christmas Parade.

The parade will start a 6 p.m. at the intersection of Patrick Avenue and Water Street, make its way down Patrick Avenue, turn left onto Scioto Street, and circle around Monument Square before returning to the starting point.

And Santa’s horse-drawn trolley will continue on to the Gloria Theatre, 216 S. Main St., the official headquarters of Santa Land (see “Santa Land” below).

The horse parade, organized in memory of Jim Clark, will include at least 22 lighted carriages and 40 to 50 riders. Janice Clark, Jim Clark’s widow, will be the parade grand marshal, riding in a wagon pulled by her late husband’s team of Haflingers.

Santa Land Through December 19

Santa is expected to arrive at the theater at 6:30 p.m. to listen to children’s wishes. The Grandworks Foundation and The Depot Coffeehouse will provide hot chocolate and popcorn. The Champaign Youth Choir will sing on stage at 7 p.m.

Santa will pose for pictures with children in his sleigh and will return to Santa Land every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Christmas. Santa Land is offered free by Monument Square District and partners the Gloria Theatre, Grandworks Foundation, the Depot Coffeehouse, Security National Bank, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, Erin Patton and many volunteers.


Downtown Urbana is looking a lot like Christmas.

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28—Shop Local for Christmas

Several downtown Urbana stores will observe Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, with special sales, door prizes, drawings, extended hours, refreshments and more.

According to Monument Square District, the following businesses will participate: H. Holding & Co., Downtown Divas, J. Michael Jewelry, Unique Boutique, Guild Gallery, Willman Furniture, Lily’s Garden, One Eleven-A Fashion Boutique, Kaleidoscope, The Green Gate, Cosmic Charlie Baking and Bread, Olde Scioto House of Design, Fruit Salad Antiques and Urban Prairie. Visit their Facebook pages for details.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Gloria Theatre, Dec. 5

Jimmy Stewart’s Christmas movie classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be on the big screen at the Gloria Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. The $5 admission will support the GrandWorks Foundation’s ongoing mission to restore the theater to enrich the community socially, culturally, economically and spiritually.

Christmas Walk, Dec. 5 and 6

This local Christmas tradition, begun in 2000, will take you on a walk through the Christmas story at Mechanicsburg Christian Fellowship, 4401 Allison Rd., Mechanicsburg. The walk features an original play written and directed by Christa Wolf of Mechanicsburg and includes nine interactive stations that depict the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

Wolf has added new features to this year’s production and has collaborated with the Mechanicsburg United Methodist Church on the music. The walk will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. Groups of about 20 people will begin the walk every 15 minutes. The walk lasts about 45 minutes. There is no charge. Transportation will be provided for handicapped and elderly persons unable to comfortably walk the distance of the play.

No Room in the Inn, Dec. 6

In another local Christmas tradition, Messiah Lutheran Church, 1013 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, invites the community to No Room in the Inn, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The event will feature displays of more than 400 nativities and angels, a chicken noodle dinner for $5, a bake sale, silent auction and concerts by the Let’s Jam Show Choir at 2:30 p.m. and Guys and Dolls at 3:30 p.m.

All proceeds will support the homeless of Champaign County and the Caring Kitchen of Urbana.


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