Greendale — About 4,000 visitors are expected to celebrate the spirit of Christmas at the village's 15th annual "A Dickens of a Christmas" on Friday.
The event is celebrated throughout the downtown, which is adorned with Christmas lights and the site of numerous activities including horse-drawn carriage rides and chestnut roasting.
"People tell me their Christmas began with 'A Dickens of a Christmas,' because it just brings out the spirit of Christmas," Project Manager Diane Krisman said. "It's just such a beautiful event."
Downtown businesses will embody the "12 Days of Christmas" by "doing something spectacular as a verse of the song," Krisman said.
Businesses, schools and other organizations also helped decorate Christmas trees surrounding the downtown gazebo, creating an "Enchanted Forest," she said.
Children can send their letters to Santa through a special mailbox located near the gazebo, Krisman said, "and Santa does reply."
Performances of scenes from "A Christmas Carol" will be held throughout the night, accompanied by musical performances by carolers, bell choirs and the Chamber Orchestra. Dickens characters will stroll the streets.
The winner of a makeover contest, which was organized by eight businesses, will be announced at the event "just to bring holiday sparkle to someone," Krisman said.
Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, kettle corn and spiced pecans, along with outdoor food, will be available.
For heartier fare, Joey Gerard's will serve the three-course Dickens Christmas Dinner, with seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Make a reservation by calling (414) 858-1900.
"There's a lot of holiday spirit that abounds (downtown)," Krisman said. "We want this to be an event for families to celebrate together. ... It's a very beautiful sight."
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: A Dickens of a Christmas
WHEN: 4 to 9 p.m. Friday
WHERE: downtown Greendale
ONLINE: DiscoverGreendale.com contains information about the 12 Days of Christmas activities taking place at local businesses.
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