Downtown Owego will be the place to be on Friday evening, Dec. 6, 2013 for the annual “Lights on the River” celebration from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The village will come to life with sparkling holiday lights, musical entertainment and a variety of activities sure to please every visitor, followed by a fireworks show at the conclusion of the evening.
Most restaurants and shops will be open for business. In addition to enjoying plenty of fun things to do, you can take time to dine and get some shopping done, too. A selection of holiday food fare will be available from several non-profit organizations and other groups, for purchase or donation. Included are baked goods, hot chocolate and donuts, hot cider, Christmas cookies, hot soup, and even a barbeque at the Owego Elks.
The “Countdown for Christmas Lights” starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Courthouse Square, with a sing-a-long and countdown led by WEBO Radio host Lew Sauerbrey. Promptly at 5:59 p.m., Santa Claus will flip the light switch on, illuminating the village for the 2013 holiday season.
Weather permitting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Gateway Community Park deck for a meet and greet, otherwise plan to see them at The Goat Boy Coffee Shop on Front St. Also weather permitting; children’s activities are planned at the Gateway Community Park deck, while a kid’s craft project will be held at the Black Cat Gallery on Front Street.
A new activity this year for children is a Gingerbread House Workshop for ages five and up at the Tioga County Council on the Arts on Front Street. Pre-registration is required. If interested, please call 687-0785.
Stella Reschke, Tioga County Tourism director, announced a new attraction for this year, the Big Snowzilla Toboggan Ride which will be located at the First Niagara parking lot on Lake Street. Embroidered Snowzilla fleece neck gaiters will be sold near the ride. After your toboggan ride, be sure to check out ice sculptor Mark Watson, who will be on the sidewalk nearby sculpting a special masterpiece. Reschke also suggested checking out the new EvangeCube presentation in front of VanHorn Jewelers on Lake Street.
Visitors will enjoy the sounds of holiday music at various locations throughout the village. Two barbershop quartets, several schools and church groups and a bag pipe band will sing and play popular tunes and the Zydeco Po’ Boys Band will perform at Las Chicas Mexican restaurant on Front Street.
A crowd pleaser is the Cruisin’ Car Buddies lighted car parade which begins at 6 p.m. at the County Office Building on Main Street. Horse and wagon rides will be available near the Barleycorn on Front Street, and visitors can see and pet alpacas in the Courthouse Square. Royal Automotive will have a display at the bridge, and you can even buy a cookbook to benefit Tioga Rural Ministry. Strolling around the village throughout the evening will be a juggler and magician, as well as a glow toy vendor, and you can participate in “Getting Framed in Owego” at the mobile photo booth.
Visitors will be amazed at the O’Tannenbaum Christmas Tree Display at the Tioga County Historical Society Museum at 110 Front St., and the Antiques and Collectibles holiday shopping will be open at the Elks Emporium.
Of course, visitors won’t want to miss the fireworks show at the conclusion of Owego’s “Lights on the River” festival near the bridge at Draper Park.
Be sure to check out the entire schedule of events and parking options at www.lightsontheriver.com, or find them on Facebook, “Lights on the River – Owego, NY”.
The 2013 “Lights on the River” sponsors includes; Royal Automotive, Hand of Man, Scott Smith and Son, Chemung Canal Bank, Dr. Keith Nichols, Visions FCU, Coughlin and Gerhart, The John Barleycorn, Mario’s Pizza, Moore’s Tire, Martin Plumbing and Heating, The Cellar Restaurant, The Owego Rotary Club, Owego Veterinarian Office, Susquehanna Screenprinters, Tim Lounsberry-Allstate Insurance, Original Pizza, Ahwaga Paints and Coverings, Field Afar and Cell Preservation.