The annual Christmas Walk featured singing, a parade, the lighting of the Christmas Tree, carriage rides, an interactive light display, live window displays, Elvis, Bigfoot, and, of course, Santa Claus.
"We have a lot of celebrities this year," GRO-Warren Executive Director Chris Cheronis said.
The biggest star was Claus. In honor of the construction along much of the parade route this year, Santa waved from his seat in the bucket of a front-end loader wearing a reflective vest. He removed his hard hat some time prior to the parade in favor of the more traditional red had fringed with white.
Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry
Santa Claus, outfitted with safety vest, and an elf, arrive at Warren’s Old Fashioned Christmas Walk riding in a front-end loader in honor of the downtown Warren streetscape construction. Below, Isiss Pratz, 10, watches the lighting scheme at Santa House change as she rings bells thanks to an interactive light system created by Steve French of Volt Vision.
"Santa comes in on a different vehicle each year," Cheronis said. "We thought it was appropriate to bring Santa in on a construction vehicle."
"It's fun to bring Santa into Warren in style," Main Street Manager Jennifer Rossey said.
After the parade, Santa led the countdown to the lighting of the City of Warren Christmas Tree before heading to Santa House on Liberty Street to meet with children.
"Santa House is an old tradition," Cheronis said. "That's become one of the main parts of the Christmas Walk."
Chief Crier John Shaughnesy said the Christmas Walk dates back, in one form or another, to the 1930s. He mumbled through the part of his speech that gave an exact number of years the event has been held.
Like Claus, Elvis and Bigfoot also went their separate ways, greeting fans and spreading good cheer. The King performed at the New York Style Deli and Pizza by Mansi, and Sasquatch held a meet-and-greet at Authors Book Store. Mrs. Claus, who did not participate in the parade, could be found at Blair.
"It's a great way to promote the downtown and also spread the holiday cheer," Rossey said.