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Starting the holiday season right

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Celebration of Lights is Nov. 8

By Scotty McDaniel

"It's just a wonderful way to start the holiday season," Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty said.

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Event coordinator Sharon Nichols said it's estimated that more than 10,000 people came out last year for the Celebration of Lights in downtown Shelbyville, and the city is making room for an even larger celebration on Nov. 8.

There are already more than 60 tents signed up to offer food, crafts and other fun, with room for more.

"They'll have funnel cakes, bake sales, a lot of nonprofit groups raising money for different charities and at several of the stores there's going to be small groups from the schools that are going to entertain, like the Shelby County High School Orchestra and Shelby County Middle School Orchestra," Nichols said.

Streets will be blocked at 4 p.m. The 21st annual Celebration of Lights begins at 5 p.m. and will run until 9 p.m. The traffic flow will be different from last year’s event.

"We're going to extend it down to 8th Street this year to give the merchants a little more opportunity to participate," Hardesty said. "Last year we stopped at 7th -- this year we'll stop at 8th Street."

Traffic will be diverted at 8th street to Henry Clay Street or over to Washington Street.

Construction at the 400-block reduces the amount of available parking this year, but Mayor Hardesty said there should still be plenty.

"People might want to come a little early and have more time to find parking," he said. "Other than that, there's still plenty of adequate marking on Washington and the cross streets, and Clay. There are quiet a few places to park."

"We still have room for more booths and more entertainment at this point," Nichol

Horse-and-carriage rides will load in front of the kiosk downtown, and for a dollar will take people for rides down Main Street. Many of the downtown stores will remain open and some will offer special sales and giveaways, she said. The Master of Ceremony this year is Rev. Jerry Tracy.

Nichols is coordinator for the entertainment on the steps of the courthouse. The entertainment schedule is as follows:

5 p.m. - Clear Creek Elementary performs, led by Stephanie Stevens

5:20 - Shelby Christian Church's Sweet Spirit Chorus performs

5:40 - Shelby Christian Church's Blue No More gospel group performs

6:00 - A1 Karate demonstration

6:20 - East Middle School Chorus performs, led by Nancy Cheek

6:30 - Lighting of Christmas trees and lights in town and welcome messages by Mayor Tom Hardesty, County Judge Rob Rothenberger and other guests

7:00 - Painted Stone Elementary chorus performs

7:40 - Cheer America cheerleading group performs

8:00 - Cornerstone choir performs, led by Maralyn White

8:30 - Commonwealth Bank and Main St. Bikes will hold a drawing for two children's bicycles

8:40 - Hands for Christ, put on by Lebanon Baptist Church

9:00 - Street reopens