BLUFFTON — The Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 31st annual “Blaze of Lights” celebration kicks off Saturday with a parade, live music and a lighting ceremony.
The parade will start at 5 p.m. and will travel along Main Street from Snider Road to College Avenue. The grand marshal is Aaron Antrim, the site safety manager for Mercy Health Life Flight in Bluffton.
One hundred parade entries, including Santa Claus, are expected.
Lineup for the parade will start at 4 p.m. on Snider Road. Those who want to be in the parade should contact parade coordinator Junior Weihrauch at 419-365-5304.
Live music and other events will follow the parade at 6 p.m.
On the Blaze Stage at the corner of Main and Cherry streets, performers will include jazz trumpeter Jane Sycks, the Bluffton High School show choir and accordion player Elaine Wehri.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit children at the Bluffton Senior Center, which will serve soup, sandwiches and pie. Also at the senior center will be trackless train rides on the Romick Railway.
The lighting of the Ream folk art display — a large collection of wooden Christmas images — will be held at 7 p.m. at the Bluffton Presbyterian Church lawn. The master of ceremonies will be John George in his town crier outfit, and Fairy Parkins will flip the switch on the lights.
The lights will come on at dusk each night through Jan. 1.
Wagon rides will be available after the parade near the Shannon Theatre. Tickets are $4 for those 11 and older, and $2 for children 10 and under.
Bluffton’s restaurants and businesses will have Blaze specials and extended hours. The Blaze coincides with Small Business Saturday, the Black Friday alternative for small local businesses.
Bluffton Lions Club will host a chicken barbecue from 4 to 7 p.m. People can pick up food in the Family Dollar parking lot on Cherry Street, or eat in the Bluffton Presbyterian Church basement. Tickets are on sale from Lions members.
The Shannon Theatre will show free matinees of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Friday.