Christmas in Dover ‘all about tradition’

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City of Dover equipment operator Roger Ridgeway of Dover checks light bulbs on the city’s giant “Peace” sign that will be installed on The Green shortly in the city warehouse along Pear Street.

DOVER — The annual Capital Holiday Celebration starts Thursdsay with all of Loockerman Street in Downtown Dover included in this year’s festivities.

The opening celebration is set for 5 to 8 p.m. in front of City Hall.

This year, Christmas lights will be expanded to the west end of Loockerman Street. A tree lighting ceremony will also be held.

“We’re very excited,” said Cristal Brenneman, director of special events at the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted to get everyone involved and have all of Loockerman lit up with lights during the holidays.”

The Christmas celebration will include kids’ crafts and activities, performances by Delaware Ballet and Dance Conservatory Ball Theatre of Dover at the Dover Public Library.

Nonperishable food items will be collected for food pantries.

The Kiwanis Club will provide free cocoa and cookies at the event, as well.

But that’s not all: Santa Claus is expected to arrive by fire truck on the stage in front of City Hall by 6:40 p.m..

“After that we’re encouraging everyone to visit the west end of Loockerman Street for musical performances and Christmas lights, Ms. Brenneman said.

Last year the ceremony took place in front of City Hall after being held at Loockerman Way Plaza Park in the downtown business district the previous year.

“It’s all about tradition,” Ms. Brenneman said. “It was always in front of City Hall, so when we brought it back last year everyone really seemed to really like it.”

This year, horse-drawn carriage rides will be conducted along Loockerman Street from the Dover Public Library to Loockerman Way Plaza.

People can also visit the Living Nativity at Wesley Church and the Grace Fellowship Hall to purchase a Take & Go Chili meal with their drinks.

The Nutcracker Ballet Dance Performances by the Delaware Ballet will take place in the Reading Circle outside the Dover Public Library at 5:15 p.m

The Loockerman Way Plaza Entertainment will include performances by students from Holy Cross and by the Cornerstone Church Drama Ministry.

Children are also invited to create imaginative and colorful paper trees at the Dover Art League from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Bringing opportunities for artistic expression to the families of Kent County is a priority for the Dover Art League,” said, Alexis Gatti, vice president of the Dover Art League.

“Fostering a love of art and providing an environment enabling creativity in children of all ages will benefit the child, their family and ultimately their community.”

Ms. Brenneman said they’re expecting a great turnout.

“Our goal is to make the celebration better every year,” Ms. Brenneman said. “Last year, everyone had a great time and lot of people came out. I’m expecting the same this year, too.”

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