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Oxford creates holiday cheer with Santa, reindeer

For The Miami Student

Published: Friday, December 6, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 11:12

Miami students and Oxford community members alike will be able to get into the winter spirit this weekend at the annual Oxford Holiday Festival in Uptown Park.

Weather permitting, the festival will kick off Friday evening and will continue Saturday afternoon.

The two-day festival is put on by the City of Oxford as a way to bring the community together for the holiday season, City of Oxford receptionist Darlene Hacker said.

“It’s probably been 10 or 11 years since we’ve been doing the Festival,” Hacker said.

Hacker said the community seems to enjoy the festival and what it has to offer.

“We do it to bring Christmas cheer to everybody in Oxford. It’s a great event,” Hacker said. “The choir sings, Santa comes, they light the menorah and have a good time.”

The City of Oxford is bringing in several live reindeer from Whitetail Acres Nursery, located in Indiana, and will provide free horse-drawn carriage rides.

Employee at Whitetail Acres Kevin Priessman said the animals are popular among all age groups.

“We really enjoy bringing the reindeer to Oxford,” Priessman said. “Not only do the students get a kick out of it, but even little kids and older adults do. A lot of people think that the reindeer are fictitious animals, and they don’t believe they’re real. And we get to see their faces light up.”

Priessman said Whitetail Acres and Oxford have worked together before and is excited for the event.

“We are very familiar with Oxford,” Priessman said. “A lot of people in Oxford come and get Christmas trees from us, so we recognize a lot of the people there at the festival. It’s just fun to see the gleam and glitter in everybody’s eyes when they look at the reindeer.”

Santa will also make an appearance, with the Oxford Fire Department escorting the big man to the park by fire truck to take pictures with attendees. Following their visit with Santa, children will receive a free stuffed animal, courtesy of the City of Oxford.

According to the Oxford Visitors Bureau, local music groups, including the Oxford Community Band and the Talawanda Choruses, will perform Christmas songs throughout the festival.

Anybody is welcome at the weekend festival, with a wide range in age of attendees expected to turn out.

“We have quite a few students who show up,” Hacker said. “I think they see Uptown that something is going on in the park, and they stop by. It’s really nice.”

Miami sophomore Sean Neri said he attended last year and is looking forward to this year’s event.

“I stopped by last year for the hot chocolate and the cookies,” Neri said. “I’m hoping to stop by again this year.”

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