Come join us for our Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 5th. This is a drive by event.
Portage will celebrate Christmas, the arrival of Santa and lighting of the Christmas tree in a safe, socially distanced celebration on Dec. 5.
Portage Event Partnership, Portage Kiwanis Club and the Portage Township YMCA are partnering to provide the holiday event beginning at 1 p.m. and culminating in the lighting of the city's Christmas tree at 4:30 p.m. All events will be held in the area of Founders Square Park and will be COVID-19 friendly and socially distanced.
Residents can enter the drive-through event on Buckley Way off Central Avenue. Volunteers will direct traffic and signage will direct visitors to the various activities.
Santa will be perched on top of a fire engine parked adjacent to the pavilion at Founders Square from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children will be able to leave their vehicles for a brief, socially-distanced photo opportunity with Santa. Santa will also distribute candy canes in a non-contact manner using a specially-designed candy cane slide.
Members of the Portage Kiwanis Club will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys in an effort to Fill the Ambulance for their annual Toys for Tots drive. Those donating a new toy will receive a ticket for one food item. The food, chili, hot dogs, water, hot chocolate or coffee, can then be picked up at the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce office in a limited-contact manner. The office is located at 6340 E. Main St. Additional food items may also be purchased for a nominal cost from Kiwanis at the Chamber office. Kiwanis will donate a portion of the proceeds from the food sale to Toys for Tots and the remainder will benefit local projects, such as their dictionary project.
As visitors await their visit with Santa, members of the Kiwanis will be selling ornament kits and members of the Portage Township YMCA will be selling cooking decorating kits. All volunteers will be masked and will have been screened prior to participating in the event.
At 4:30 p.m., Santa and Mayor Sue Lynch will light the city's Christmas tree, which will be located outdoors this year on the grassy area between Fire Station 3 and the Portage Police Station. Limited parking just north of the grassy area may be available for those who want to witness the tree lighting. Limited parking will be available dependent on weather.
The tree lighting ceremony will also be videoed and be available on the city's page for all residents to enjoy.
In addition to the Dec. 5 activities, the Portage Event Partnership will be sponsoring a Christmas House Decorating Contest. The deadline for the free registration is Dec. 16. Photos of the homes will be posted on the Portage Event Partnership page. Votes will be calculated by the number of "likes" each home receives. Voting will be held from Dec. 18 through Dec. 26. Trophies will be presented to the first and second place People's Choice winners, through the voting. Portage Event Partnership will also present a Committee's Choice award. To register, send a photo of your fully-decorated home to [email protected]. The home decorating contest is free.
For additional information on the Dec. 5 events, please contact City Hall at 219-762-5425.