The holidays will kick off in Bowling Green on Friday with the annual tree lighting, followed by the parade on Saturday.
The tree lighting will take place in front of the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., on Friday, with the prelude starting at 6:45 pm.
This event will showcase appearances from Julie’s Dance Studio, the Bowling Green High School Madrigals, Mayor Mike Aspacher and other special guests.
Bring children before 6:35 p.m. if they would like to hear a holiday story read to them. Refreshments will be provided by Biggby Coffee, Qdoba and Kabob It. Donations of nonperishable food items and personal products will be accepted on behalf of Brown Bag Food Project. Afterwards, everyone is invited inside the library for a performance by the Madrigals.
West Court Street, between Main Street and City Parking Lot 4, will be closed between 5:15 and 8 p.m. on Friday. Access to parking lots will be maintained throughout the street closure. On-street parking restrictions will be imposed on North Main Street between Oak and Court streets and on Oak Street.
In conjunction with the holiday parade on Saturday, several Bowling Green streets will be closed and on-street parking will be prohibited in many downtown locations. The parade is scheduled to begin at approximately 9:50 a.m., with the first parade float reaching Main and Wooster streets at approximately 10 a.m. The parade will again be aired on WTOL-TV.
Main Street, from Poe to Napoleon roads, and Wooster Street, from Prospect and Church streets, will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until the end of the parade. This closure will also impact traffic flow on streets that intersect with Main between Poe and Napoleon. These side streets will also close at approximately 8:30 am. In addition, side streets between Poe and Ridge Street will be utilized for parade preparations from approximately 8:30 am until 11 a.m. During this time, access to these side streets will be limited to local use.
A truck detour route will be posted.
Parking during the parade will be prohibited on Main between Ridge and Pearl streets. Vehicles must be removed from Main Street prior to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Any vehicle parked on Main after 3 a.m. will be towed at the owner’s expense.
On-street parking will also be prohibited in the following locations:
· Dixie Avenue between South Main and Kenwood
· South Church between Sand Ridge and Pearl
· Clay between North Church and North Grove
· North Grove between Wooster and Poe
· South Prospect between Clough and Napoleon
Parking will be reinstated on Main Street and other locations after the parade clean-up. All roads impacted by these closures will reopen as soon as possible upon completion of the parade.
This year’s Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce holiday parade theme is “Toys, Trains & Candy Canes.”
The chamber and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Foundation organize the parade, along with presenting sponsors, including the City of Bowling Green, Bowling Green State University and Wood County Hospital. Other major sponsors this year include Ohio Logistics, Visit BG Ohio, American Warming and Ventilating and VFW Post 1148.
The first unit will step off at 9:50 a.m. from Dill St. followed by an additional twelve streets of units. The first parade unit is expected at the Four Corners of Main and Wooster streets as the live broadcast with WTOL-TV begins at 10 a.m. Ryan Wichman and Caylee Kirby will provide the commentary during the live broadcast.
When selecting where to view the parade, keep in mind that the prime viewing area is in the downtown blocks from Ridge to Washington streets. Main and Wooster streets will close at 8:30 a.m. to allow for 30 feet of bleachers to be brought in to provide an excellent view right at the Four Corners.
Grand Marshall will be Bowling Green Mayor Mike Aspacher and the Honorary Grand Marshall will be Floyd Craft. Craft is being honored in this year’s parade for all of his contributions to the Bowling Green community.
The anticipated lineup of the participating units includes eight area high school bands including the Bowling Green High School Band under the direction of Bruce Corrigan, the Bowling Green State University Marching Band, performing units, floats, recognition of award winners, community leaders and organizations.
The parade lineup:
BG Police Division
Zeus Award Recipient
Ohio State Highway Patrol
BG American Legion Post 45
Grand Marshall – Mayor Mike Aspacher
Honorary Grand Marshall
BG Public Works – Snow Plows
Wood County Hospital
BGSU Spirit Program
BGSU – President Rodney Rogers
BGSU Faculty Association
BGSU Marching Band
Fraternal Order of Police
WTOL 11 Defender
State Senator Theresa Gavarone
BG Christian Academy
Athena Award Recipient
Knights of Columbus
The Beat Dance Company
Bowling Green City Schools
Wood County Young Democrats
Sylvania Twirling Stars
BG Pedal Company
Call of the Canyon Café & Catering
League of Women Voters BG
Van Buren Black Knight Marching Band
Farmers & Merchants State Bank
The Voices of Harmony Barbershop Chorus
Bowling Green Manor
The Morning Show
Ohio Department of Transportation
Elmwood Marching Band
Bowling Green Kiwanis
Wood County District Public Library
Wood Haven Healthcare
Otsego High School Marching Band
Maith/Bubiko and Her Buckeye Blimp
National Tractor Pulling Championships
WC Board of Developmental Disabilities
The Pride of Toledo
CycleWerks Bicycle & Fitness
Eastwood Local Schools
Eastwood Marching Band
Wood County Museum
Silver Kid’s Learning Center
The Heights Baton Corps
Wood County Fair Foundation
Black Swamp Willys Jeep Collectors
BG Bobcat Wrestling Club
Arcadia High School
Wendy & Thom Headley and the Headley grandchildren
Children’s Museum of Findlay
St Mark’s Lutheran Academy
The Dance Centre of NW Ohio in Whitehouse
Bowling Green Alliance Church
WC Humane Society
BGSU – International Programs and Partnerships
Clyde Fair Queen
Patrick Henry Marching Band
St. Aloysius Catholic School
Erie County Fair Royalty
Black Swamp Girl Scouts GSWO
Wood County Jr. and Sr. Fair
Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School
Power of Yesteryear Club
SASS Salon and Spa
Cub Scout Pack 485
Five-Star Baton Company
State Bank GIVES Truck
Bowling Green High School Cheer
BGHS Bobcat Marching Band
Bowling Green Fire Division
The tree lighting ceremony marks the beginning of the Holly Days season for Bowling Green. Check out all the deals at downtown businesses on Black Friday, which is Nov. 25, or Shop Small Saturday, which is Nov. 26.
There will also be a Downtown Holiday Photo Contest. Entries will be accepted November 28 – Dec. 9. Voting will take place Dec. 12-16, with the winners announced Dec. 19. First prize will win $100 Downtown Dollars, second prize will win $75 Downtown Dollars, and third prize will win $50 Downtown Dollars. More details will be on social media.
For more information and updates, visit www.downtownbgohio.org/event-calendar.