Parks Department Announces Safe Holiday Events & Activities

December 4, 2020

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2020

RICHMOND, IN. – The Richmond Department of Parks & Recreation invites community members to participate in a variety of safe ways to enjoy the winter holidays across the city in the month of December. All normally scheduled activities and events have been reconfigured in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that all members of the community can enjoy some holiday cheer at the end of a very unusual year.

The Rosemary Weigel Frostbite 5K Walk/Run race has been moved to a virtual format. This race, a longstanding traditional end to the Wayne County Challenge, is a great way to get outside and enjoy Glen Miller Park in the winter. Participants can register online by visiting, and will also submit race times via the same link. The deadline to register and submit times is December 5th, and race shirts for all participants will be given out the following week at the Parks Office located in Glen Miller Park (open M-F 8am to 5pm). 

Another long standing tradition, the Celebration of Lights is Richmond Parks & Recreation’s annual “Welcome to Winter” Event.  Patrons can expect Glen Miller Park to be lit up for an evening of beauty and calm. This year, the Celebration of Lights will be a one-day, walk or drive-through event. Park employees and volunteers will decorate throughout the park with light displays, decorations, and luminaries.  The public is invited to drive through and enjoy the decorations on Saturday, December 5th although the lights will remain through the Holiday Season.   Other normally scheduled activities for this event have been canceled in the interest of public safety.

Parks employees have been hard at work for the past two weeks decorating different areas around Richmond for the holidays as well. Main Street from 5th to 10th Street has been decorated with strings of lights, beautiful wreaths and special winter-themed planters. Jack Elstro Plaza has also been decorated with strings of lights, and also features the City Holiday Tree. The annual Tree Lighting ceremony has been canceled due to safety concerns, however, in its place members of the public are invited to visit Jack Elstro Plaza anytime this month to make a wish or decorate an ornament provided in the container by the tree.  Please feel free to hang your creation or wish on the City Holiday Tree. 

In other park areas aside from Center City, including the Starr Gennett Historic Site and  Highland Lake Golf Course, bows and wreaths have been hung to create a holiday atmosphere. At the South Tenth Street Park, a new flagpole holiday tree light display has been hung thanks to a donation from the Republican Women of Wayne committee. Throughout the Richmond Parks system, lights will remain in place until the end of January.

The Richmond Winter Farmers Market continues weekly at the Starr Gennett Building in order to provide safe access to local foods for members of the community. Masks are required while shopping and all vendors are spaced appropriately for social distancing. 

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity and support for our latest crowdfunding project through IHCDA and Patronicity’s matching opportunity.  Our community always has the biggest hearts when it comes to the park's needs and this project was no different.”  Denise Retz, Park Superintendent 

The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, December 5th at 10 am to celebrate the completed winterization improvements that have been made to the building. There will be a brief, socially distanced ceremony, followed by plenty of time to shop at the Winter Market. All are welcome to come see the new heaters, interpretive panels depicting the history of the Starr-Gennett company & area, and the other improvements made in order to safely hold the Market. The ceremony will also be live-streamed on the Richmond Farmers Market Facebook page.

Finally, Richmond Parks & Recreation would like to remind the community to attend the Downtown Richmond Holiday Parade, scheduled for December 4th from 6 pm to 8 pm. This year’s event is a “stationary parade”, with units parked along the Loop/Center City area with drive-through attendance from members of the public. For more information, visit the Downtown Richmond Holiday Parade Facebook page.

Happy holidays from the City of Richmond and the Richmond Parks & Recreation team! 

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The mission of the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department is to provide for the positive development and well-being of the Richmond community through the provision of parks, greenways, trails and recreational programming and facilities while working in cooperation with other service providers and partners in the community to maximize all available resources.

For questions, imagery, or for media requests, please reach out via the contact details below:

Caleb Smith
Community Engagement Coordinator
Richmond Parks and Recreation
2200 East Main Street | E:
Richmond, IN 47374    |T: (765) 983-7425

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