Madison's Annual Santa Parade through downtown kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday and, at the conclusion of the parade, the Christmas tree at Waverly Place and Main Street, originally found leaning against wires after Superstorm Sandy, will be lit.
Before and after the parade, musicians and artists will be featured at 15 venues throughout Madison as part of the Seventh Annual Holiday Arts Festival.
Madison merchants also are hosting a "Christmas Walk," supplying cider, cookies and old-fashioned hospitality from 4 to 7 p.m. to those milling about town.
While Drip Coffee posted on its Facebook page that Friday "is a huge day in Madison" and they will have "live music all afternoon featuring Madison's best musicians," one customer wondered if all the activity would affect his ability to get coffee.
"How do we get close enough to get coffee?" they asked. "Will you run a hose?"
Dr. Anne Matlack of Grace Church, artist coordinator for the Seventh Annual Holiday Arts Festival, said in a news release the festival's lineup is the "most exciting yet."
"You can listen, eat, shop, wander, and be in place for the parade," she said. "It is a fantastic way to support Madison’s artistic and business communities!”
The Shop Madison Committee says it hopes to see residents at the parade, as well as shopping on Main Street.
"Crazy black friday sales and midnight madness shopping are tempting. We understand," the committee said in a newsletter. "But please keep the local merchants in mind this holiday shopping season. They support the tricky trays, the PTOs, the sports teams. And they make our town special."
The big box stores won't miss a few sales. But a few more sales to a local merchant can make a BIG difference. Just pick two or three of your favorite stores and try to support them this holiday season. IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
We hope too see you at the parade, the downtown music festival and shopping on Main Street!"