2013 Holiday Lights Parade: Insider Tips for Gahanna’s Brightest Event

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Chances are … your holiday weekend will be filled with turkey leftovers, decorating, shopping and trying to think of creative ways to entertain the kiddos. Right?  We can help with that last one (and it’s FREE)!

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The elves at the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau have been busy for months planning the 2013 Holiday Lights Parade (sponsored by AEP Ohio), one of the Midwest’s LARGEST illuminated nighttime seasonal events! The parade steps off at 6 pm THIS Friday (November 29), making its way WEST on Granville St. and NORTH on Mill St. in Olde Gahanna. So, what can you expect?  I tapped the brains of the Parade planners and veterans for their best INSIDER TIPS to share with you. Here are their words of wisdom:

  • Arrive early and stake your spot! An estimated 15,000-20,000 people will attend this visual spectacle, so the best seats and parking spots will go quickly. Bring your folding chairs and blankets, mark your spot, then meander our shops and grab some dinner! Go to VisitGahanna.com for shops/restaurants.
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  • Parking. The streets in Olde Gahanna will be closed between 4-7 pm, so plan accordingly. Take advantage of free street parking until 4pm or the public lots noted HERE. You can also park at the Creekside Parking Garage for $5. (Note: There will be LIMITED access to the garage beginning at 4:30 pm—and NO access during the parade 5:30-7 pm).
  • Visit The Chocolate Tree (81 Mill St.) and vote for your favorite entries in the Gingerbread House Competition!
  • Eat, Drink & Stay warm!  There are 15+ restaurants along the parade route and many will be offering specials. Enjoy dinner at J. Gumbo’s (special $5 off $20 purchase). Visit Koko Bakery & Tea Salon for hot tea and gourmet cupcakes. Pick up a hot chocolate and some fudge at The Chocolate Tree. Enjoy $1 off warm desserts and 99 cent kid-scoops at Cold Stone Creamery. Take advantage of free kid’s meals (w/ any $6.99+
    purchase) at Old Bag of Nails. Or visit Food Truck Vendors Cosmic Kettle Corn, Herb ‘N Food Truck and Fun’l Frenzy.
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  •  Look for the celebs! Watch for Celebrity Grand Marshal (and Olympian) Butch Reynolds, Community Grand Marshal Bev Metcalf and Santa himself! (Don’t miss the new Santa’s Toyland float, sponsored by CeraNet!)
  • Have your camera ready for parade entries like the holiday stilt walkers, the Heartland Bank horse-drawn wagon, the Model-T Fords and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority’s 80,000 lb. Stryker Air Rescue Fire fighting truck (pumping snow!)  
  • Remember your blankets, hats, gloves and hand warmers
  • For more info, go to VisitGahanna.com or call 614/418-9114.

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