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City of Lancaster announces its holiday events schedule

Red ornament on Christmas tree

LANCASTER — The City of Lancaster’s Office of Promotion announced its schedule of events for the upcoming holiday season in a press release Wednesday.

Here are what holiday shoppers and visitors to the downtown area have to look forward to in the coming weeks:

Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas

One of Lancaster City’s longest running holiday traditions, the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas kicks off the holiday season! The Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, Nov. 23 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Penn Square. Each year the ceremony draws thousands of attendees from Lancaster City and beyond.

The event includes the arrival of Santa Claus, the lighting of Lancaster City’s Christmas tree, live entertainment from Prima Theatre, and Tuba Christmas.

This year is Mayor Danene Sorace’s first Tree Lighting as the Mayor of Lancaster.

“This is my first year doing the Tree Lighting and I couldn’t be more excited. Despite all the Christmas music and decorated store windows, it’s not Christmas in Lancaster until after we light the tree in Penn Square” said Mayor Sorace.

Santa in the City: Santa Visits

Now becoming a tradition on its own, Santa takes residence in Lancaster City every year at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center, 25 S. Queen St. Families can visit with Santa every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Nov. 23 and Dec. 21.

Lancaster City Business Window Decorating Contest

The yearly competition hosted by LNP is back for Lancaster City’s merchant community. Voting for the best decorated store windows begins on Nov. 23 and goes until Dec. 10. Make sure to walk around the City to view the beautifully decorated shop, gallery, and restaurant windows; then vote for your favorite online at LancasterOnline.com/Contests/DowntownDecorating.

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

Get into the winter spirit with a carriage ride around downtown Lancaster City! Rides will leave from the Fulton Bank Building in Penn Square, 1 Penn Square, and typically last fifteen minutes. Carriage rides are every Friday from Nov. 23 to Dec. 28. The night of the Mayor’s Tree Lighting, Nov. 23, rides will be from 7:30 to 10 p.m. All other nights are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Rides are $5 for adults and $2 for children (12 and under). Rides are first come, first serve.

Small Business Saturday: Free 2-Hour Garage Parking

It’s never been easier to shop small in Lancaster City! This year the Lancaster Parking Authority will provide two hours of free parking in any of their garages to encourage shoppers to participate in Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24. The Parking Authority gifted 1,000 vouchers, which will be available while supplies last. One voucher per customer.

Come shop small and dine local in Lancaster City! For more information see the previous press release about Small Business Saturday and free parking here.

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa will be held bright and early on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center, 25 S. Queen St. Families are invited to have breakfast, visit with Santa, and enjoy live music from Mark DeRose. Reservations are required. Tickets are $12 per person, kids two and under are free but still require a reservation. Register online at squareup.com/store/visitlanccity.

Light Up Southeast

An emerging tradition in Southeast Lancaster City, Light Up Southeast is on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the corner of South Duke Street and North Street in front of San Juan Bautista Church, 425 S. Duke St. In partnership with Crispus Attucks Community Center, Community Action Partnership, and the City of Lancaster, Light Up Southeast will feature the lighting of the tree, performances by San Juan Bautista’s Choir, Millersville University Gospel Choir, and entertainment from Crispus Attucks!

New Year’s Eve Press Pre-Show Party

2019 is almost here! Join the headlining band, One Too Many, for a preview of New Year’s Eve in Lancaster City at Tellus360, 24 E. King St., on Dec. 2 from 2 to 5 p.m.

One Too Many is a ten-piece band based in Lancaster.

Diverse, large, and energetic, the band plays everything form rock and blues to pop and R&B. The young group of guys recently formed the band to take their love of music from the garage to the main stage.

Lancaster Shops Late

Lancaster Shops Late is the perfect excuse to get a babysitter and hit the town! Lancaster Shops Late is Thursday, Dec. 13 throughout all of Lancaster City. Shops, retailers, and galleries are encouraged to stay open until 9 p.m. or later to draw last minute holiday shoppers to the City. There will be roaming entertainment and many shops are offering special deals or hosting special events. Lancaster Shops Late is in partnership with the Lancaster City Alliance, artist Loryn Spangler Jones, and the City of Lancaster Office of Promotion.

Free Holiday Parking: Free 2-Hour Street Parking

The Lancaster Parking Authority will provide free 2-hour on-street parking in the Central Business District from Dec. 17 – Dec. 24. Please note the 2-hour limit will be enforced. For parking assistance, please call the Lancaster Parking Authority at 717-299-0907.

Music Friday Winter Edition

A new take on Music Friday, Music Friday Winter Edition will be held Friday, Dec. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Penn Square. Bundle up and head downtown for some live music, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer! This will also be the last chance to visit with Santa in the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, 25 S. Queen St. Visits will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be space heaters in the Square to keep everyone warm!

This event benefits the Water Street Mission. Please bring a canned food item to donate.

New Year’s Eve in Lancaster

Ring in 2019 in Lancaster City! Located in Binns Park, 100 N. Queen St., on Dec. 31 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. New Year’s in Lancaster City draws thousands of people each year. This year local band, One Too Many, will take the main stage and rock us into the new year! As the Red Rose City, every year in Lancaster City we drop the Red Rose at midnight, and of course there will be fireworks! Hot chocolate and light food will be available.