This weekend starts a calendar of yuletide events around the downtown area.

Saturday, November 27

Shop Small Saturday

                Start your Christmas shopping close to home and support local business. Make Main Street Vermilion your first stop to pick up your Shop Small bags and swag. While you’re there browse the Vermilion Arts Guild Holiday Show for original gifts of art including paintings and photography, prints, ceramics, jewelry, and gifts. There’s also a sweet treat waiting just for visiting.

Santa Arrives on Scarlet, the bright red boat

                A uniquely Vermilion tradition, watch as Santa, cruises the Vermilion River beginning at 10 a.m. aboard Scarlet, the bright red Christmas Boat arranged by the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce. Captain Edwards and Elva will also be on board ready to share a special story about a Vermilion Christmas during Story Time with Sid. The boat pulls into East Exchange Park landing at 11 a.m. where hot chocolate from Martino’s International and sweets from Miss Kitty’s and Dunkin’ Donuts await along with a chance to take your own photos. We’ll also celebrate the winners of the Vermilion Arts Guild Christmas coloring contest, too.

 Thursday, December 2

Light Up Vermilion 5-8 p.m. throughout Downtown Vermilion

                Come downtown for an evening filled with a family-friendly activities, shopping, and dining and more. Stores and restaurants will be open late. Here’s what’s happening throughout the evening.

Community Christmas Tree Lighting, 6 p.m.

                Main Street Vermilion is hosting this long-standing tradition, moving the festivities to the heart of downtown in Exchange Park. Join us for the highlight of the evening as Mayor Jim Forthofer turns the lights on to commence the holiday season surrounded Christmas music, family, and friends. Thank you to the following organizations and businesses partnering with Main Street Vermilion on this holiday happening: Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Harbourtown, City of Vermilion, Vermilion Teachers Association, and Erie and Anchor.

Santa Comes to Downtown

                Santa’s here to help with the Community Tree Lighting, arriving in the center of town by fire truck. Bring your camera to take your own photos with Santa. His bag is full of small gifts (non-food) for the kids!

Free Christmas Concert

                The Ritter Public Library will host its annual concert performed by the Vermilion Community Band under the direction of George Harizal. Held on the first floor of the library, arrive at 7PM for a seat. Everybody welcome!

Vote for your favorite window display

                Vermilion businesses put their best displays forward during the holidays. We’re asking you to vote for your favorite and help a local business owner win a cash prize. Stop in Main Street during Light Up Vermilion to pick up your ballot and return

Scavenger Hunt

                Main Street is hosting another scavenger hunt this holiday perfect for kids and families. Pick up clues at Main Street before you venture out for Light Up Vermilion. Those who discover all the hidden treasures will be put into a drawing to win $50!

Christmas Alpacas

                Vermilion’s answer to reindeer, alpacas are sweet, gentle wide eyed and love to be petted. You’ll find their decorated pen in Exchange Park. Stop and visit that evening.

Candy Canes for Everyone!

                The Kingston Lion will join us that evening strolling around downtown with candy canes to make sure that your night ends on a sweet note!

Christmas Carolers

                The sounds of Christmas can be found at the Community Tree Lighting and throughout the downtown this evening courtesy of carolers from Grace United Methodist Church and Vermilion E & R. You’re invited to sing-along, too!

Chestnuts Roasting

                Vermilion Rotary Club introduces this old-fashioned Christmas treat to Light Up Vermilion visitors. Sweet, buttery and soft, the members will be roasting and sharing throughout the night be sure to stop by for a free taste.

Letters to Santa Mailbox

                It’s time to let Santa know your Christmas wishes this year. Stop at Main Street from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve and add your letter to the special mailbox on Main Street’s porch. Throughout the season, we’ll share a letter or two on Facebook (no names). All the letters we receive get packaged up on Christmas Eve, delivered to the Vermilion Post Office and sent straight to the North Pole. Promise!

“Shop Small, Win Big”

                The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce is again bringing sponsoring the Shop Small, Win Big Holiday campaign. When you shop and/or eat at Vermilion businesses now through December 15, 2021, you can upload your receipt to be entered for a chance to win cash prizes, totaling $1,000. Each time you shop, you are eligible to win. There are two cash prizes, 1st place - $700 and 2nd place -$300. The $300 and $700 winner will be selected on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Participants must submit a separate entry form for each qualifying receipt. There is no limit on the number of entries a participant can submit. There is no minimum purchase required. Winners will be contacted by the email provided in the form. Applicants must be 18 years of age to participate in the contest.