GALION — The streets of uptown Galion were filled with people on Saturday who came to celebrate the holiday season during the annual Come Home to Galion event.
It was Carrie Wireman’s first time at the event that features horse-drawn carriage rides, shopping, special events, a parade, Santa Claus and ends with a tree lighting.
“I really like this event. We will come to this again next year,” said Wireman, as she led her 5-year-old grandson, Teddy, out of the lower level of the Galion Public Library.
Wireman was with her friend, Kisha Crose, and her children, 10-year-old Isabella and 5-year-old Abigail.
“There is so much to do and the kids love it. There are so many things to do like the carriage rides, the events here at the library, the parade, the Elf on a Shelf,” said Crose.
Isabella said she likes the fact that there is something for everyone at Come Home to Galion.
“It is geared toward all age groups. Whether you are young or old, there is something to do for everyone,” said Isabella.
See more photos from the day’s event in our online gallery.
Sarah Capretta helped organize the event.
“It is a lot of hard work and we need the help of many volunteers. We could not do it without them,” said Capretta.
Galion-Crestline area Chamber of Commerce Director Joe Kleinknecht said the event started at least five years ago.
“The Galion Ministerial Association started the event and it grew into what it is today,” Kleinknecht said.
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said the event began as a start-up idea to bring people uptown during the holiday season.
“Different non-profit organizations and church groups put the event together and do a great job,” O’Leary said. “It is a community-driven holiday celebration that has become a tradition in Galion.”
Wendy Ricker and her children, Tiara Shade, 15, and 10-year-old Camdon Ambers, waited in line for a white, horse-drawn carriage to take them around the city.
“We came to this event last year and a few years before that. We really enjoy it because there is so much to do and it is a family-oriented event,” said Ricker.
Shade said she enjoys the Elf on Shelf challenge.
“You have to go from place to place to find the elf and last year, we ended up at the art place (Brush and Palette). You get to make an ornament that you can take home with you. It is so much fun,” said Shade.
While Shade also touted the lighting of the Christmas tree as one of her other favorite features of the event, her younger brother had something different on his mind.
“I like the free candy,” he said with a smile as a buggy pulled by two horse came around the corner.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras