OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa has been called the “twinkliest” town in Iowa.

The Lighted Christmas Parade may be the brightest star in the tree, but there are many things that come together to make a special weekend.

Friday, Dec. 6

6–9 p.m., Festive family fun night: Santa and his friends will be at Penn Central Mall along with family Christmas games and activities, crafts and inflatables.

Saturday, Dec. 7

10 a.m.–2 p.m., Jingle Jamboree: More fun games, activities, crafts and inflatables. Santa will be present from noon to 2 p.m.

4–6 p.m., Horse-drawn wagon rides: Take a tour around the square in a horse-drawn wagon. the cost is $5 per ride; children 5 and under are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The rides will stop at 6 p.m.

5–6 p.m., A pre-parade concert featuring Tyler Richton and the High Bank Boys will be held in center court of Penn Central mall.

7 p.m., Lighted Christmas Parade: The main event of the weekend. The parade starts at 7 p.m. Over 60 entries will be marching through the streets of Oskaloosa. Combined with the Painting with Lights, the Oskaloosa Lighted Christmas Parade will be a sight to see. This year’s parade theme is”Winter Nights and Magical Lights.”

Parade route and parking

Parents are asked to keep children from running into the roadway during the parade.

The parade route will be closed to traffic after 6:45 p.m. The parade will begin on High Avenue at North Third Street, will head west and turn south on Market Street, west on First Avenue, goes around the parking lot and onto Second Avenue East, back north on Market Street and east onto First Avenue East to South Third Street.

There will be areas of no parking along the parade staging areas, which include South Third Street from A Avenue East to Second Avenue East and South Fourth Street from A Avenue East to High Street; as well as High Avenue East, First Avenue East and Second Avenue East from South Third Street.

No parking after 6 p.m. along the parade route on Dec. 7; no parking after 4 p.m. on the north and south sides of the square.

Handicap parking

Handicap parking will be permitted on the north side of the street on First Avenue East, east of South First Street. Cars must be parked before 6:30 p.m. and must not block the alley.

According to a press release from the Oskaloosa Chamber, handicap parking will be available in free parking lots in downtown Oskaloosa as well as on-street parking. Cars must be parked before the roads close at 6:30 p.m.

Handicap parking will also be available on the north side of the street on Second Avenue West, east of South A Street. Vehicles must be parked by 6:30 p.m.

Seating

Bleacher seating is free and first come, first serve.

Food and drink

There will be food and drink vendors in the downtown area. Additionally, there will be a soup and sandwich supper from 4:30–8 p.m., hosted by the Oskaloosa Eagles and a 4:30–6:30 p.m. soup supper at Central United Methodist Church.

Home decorating contest locations

Homes participating in this year’s decorating contest are:

• 815 Fourth Ave. W.

• 1003 C Ave. E.

• 2415 McMullins Drive

• 2166 Forrest

• 1201 Arbor Trace

• 607 N. Seventh St.

• 511 N. E St.

• 1402 11th Ave. W.

• 701 N. A St.

• 1115 S. D St.

• 1115 Woodland Rd.

• 1115 C Ave. E.

• 813 Ninth Ave. E

Window decorating contest locations:

• Mahaska Drug

• Pizza Ranch

• Taso’s Steak House

• Town Square Dental Care

• Edward Jones – Jennifer Main

• Oskaloosa Outfits and Antiques

• Midwest One Bank

• Crouse’s House of Flowers

• Loco CJ’s

• Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio

• Bridal Dreams

• McKay Investments

• Gatton Realty, Inc.

• Mahaska Title Johnson Abstract.

Awards for the contests will be announced at the Merry Little Downtown Christmas event, 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Oskaloosa Bandstand

Oskaloosa tour of homes

Oskaloosa residents will open their homes to community members to tour from 1–6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and 1–5 on Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets may be purchased at Book Vault, Mahaska Drug or at the Chamber. Homestead Assisted Living is the host of the event this year, providing coffee and cookies. Proceeds will benefit Youth for Christ.

Homes on the tour include those of Lindsey and Brett Herney, Susan and John Stearns, Tim and Lori McIntire and Jody and Jeff Mitrisin.

Sunday, Dec. 8

2–5 p.m., A Wartime Christmas at Nelson Pioneer Farm: Enjoy the afternoon with family at the historic farm and museum.

3:30 p.m., Merry Tuba Christmas: The annual concert will be at Penn Central Mall’s center court. Musicians of all ages who play the tuba or euphonium are welcome to come play. Register at 1 p.m., rehearse at 1:30 p.m. Call 641-676-2691 for more information.

Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at aholland@oskyherald.com and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.

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