Social Justice Athens Community Strengthened by Holiday Festivities By The New Political Posted on November 29, 2012 4 min read 0 0 363 Athens residents gathered on Court Street Wednesday night for the beginning of holiday festivities for the city’s ‘Uptown for the Holidays’ event. The celebration, sponsored by area businesses, began with free pictures with Santa sponsored by The Athens News, candy canes at Santa’s house from Follett’s Bookstore and tour guides also from The Athens News. Santa’s house, a small, red booth outside the Courthouse, was complete with icicle lights and a tree decorated with bright multi-colored lights next to it. The festivities also included wagon rides and the Singing Men of Ohio who performed on the sidewalk. Children, parents and students were very excited to take pictures with Santa, which were then printed on a front-page style newspaper. Tonight was also the lighting of the holiday tree, which was donated by Ohio University. “I really like to be involved in the community,” said Emmy Minges, a senior at Ohio University. “I am excited to see if more students become involved in these kinds of things in the following years with the switch to semesters.” Minges claimed she and her friends found out about the event just by word of mouth. Several other local businesses participated in the kick-off. Passion Works sponsored handmade holiday cards, The Other Place provided hair tinsel and Mount Laurel Gifts offered face painting. Brenen’s Coffee Café decorated cookies and held a donut happy hour with Fluff Bakery & Catering. Many parents used this as an opportunity to bring their children to uptown. “It was good family time.“ one father of two said. “We got to visit businesses that we have never been to, made some purchases; an overall great way to spend a night.” During future events stores such as Passion Works, UniversiTEES, Bagel Street Deli, Little Professor Book Center, Brenen’s Café’, Mountain Laurel, Cross Court, Donkey Coffee, Fluff Bakery & Catering, Keith Chapman Jewler and The Other Place will remain open until 7:00 p.m. or later. Santa will return every Wednesday and Saturday until the Dec. 19, along with John Hutchinson and his horses to provide free wagon rides. On Friday, Nov. 30, there will be the Lighting of the Square. The Athena Cinema will also be offering holiday movies during the dates of Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The films begin at 3:00 p.m.