Canton celebrates Light Up Downtown
By Maranda Saling
I will never forget my first Light Up Downtown. Standing in the middle of Market Ave as an entertainer sang Silent Night with the snow gently falling truly felt like magic. Follow that moment of stillness with Santa setting off fireworks set to our favorite Christmas Classics and it was a moment I’ll always treasure. Some may say that was the first time I realized I loved Downtown Canton, a short 10 years later and I live here!
Say what you will about our various organizations in Canton, this is a fabulous event everyone loves and returns to year after year! Presented by the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, it stimulates economic development with many doing their Christmas shopping, increases appreciation of the arts in the form of dance, song, public art, etc., boosts our community pride with all of our Canton-ness everywhere and is fun and FREE to everyone!
As someone who is not a child and currently not a parent I have attended more Light Up Downtowns then maybe I should proud of… but that’s neither here nor there. Here are a few tips:
Don’t feed the meter. If you’re lucky enough to find a close spot on the street, remember that you don’t have to pay the meters in the evening. Do, however, pay if you’re in a garage or a lot and try try try not to park in a private lot. Getting towed is not conducive with the holiday spirit folks. If at all possible leave the stroller at home. You can get trapped as those parents with kids on their shoulders instead zip around you. Also, revolving doors are tricky with a stroller.
Visit every building that’s open! Without fail every year I’ll be talking about some great singing group or art exhibit and someone says “WHAT?! I was there. How did I miss that?” Give yourself and your family time to explore the shops, restaurants and performances!
Speaking of time, give yourself plenty. Give yourself more than enough time to get to where you want to be with as little stress as possible. It’s going to be crowded and nothing shuts down the Christmas spirit more than a Grinch who’s mad that so many people are out celebrating the Holidays! These are memories you will have forever, don’t rush through it!
Visit someplace new! Pop in to at least one restaurant, gallery or retail location that you’ve never experienced. It’s easy to think you know Downtown, but it’s an ever evolving force and you just might be surprised by our sense of community, talent and business boom!
Please CLICK HERE to visit the official Light Up Downtown website for detailed information about performances, parking and Canton City Fire Department’s “Spread the Warmth” winter essentials drive!