Sights & Sounds of Christmas - Newark, OH
December 5, 2013 Sights Sounds Volunteers Sponsors Food Pantry Network

Our Goal:

An ecumenical effort to promote the historic downtown churches during the Christmas season with proceeds going to the Licking County Food Pantry

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Sights and Sounds of Christmas: A Newark Event

Originally conceived by the Events Committee of the Newark Alliance, Sights and Sounds of Christmas is in its fifteenth year.   The event is designed to showcase downtown historic churches celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.  The event has become a tradition for many families. Although the tour involves walking, it is paced to allow the event to be intergenerational with universal appeal.

What to See

Eight downtown churches participate in the tour:  Second Presbyterian, where the tour begins; Trinity AME; Trinity Episcopal; First Presbyterian; Plymouth; St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran; First Methodist; and St. Francis De Sales.   First Presbyterian Church is the oldest in Newark having begun in a log cabin on the Square.  

Two costumed lamplighters lead the two tour groups.  These groups separate after the performance at the Second Presbyterian Church and reunite for the finale at St. Francis De Sales.  Upon entering Second Presbyterian Church for the first performance, a red or green sticker is affixed to your ticket.  This will be your tour group.    Lamplighters costumed in red and green period costumes with candle-lighted lamps will line up outside the church and lead their groups through the tour.  Caroling is often heard from one or the other of the two groups as they move through the downtown route.

What to Hear

Each church features a special musical performance.  The performances have been choirs, piano solos, organ solos, bell choirs, or in the case of Plymouth Church, the Crystal City Chorus.  The performances are timed and coordinated with performances in the other churches so that the two groups move through the tour crossing paths many times but not coming together until the final church, St. Francis De Sales, where their adult choir presents O Holy Night and the Hallelujah Chorus.  There are likely to be warm drinks and homemade cookies in the Lamay Center after the tour.

The entire tour route is lighted with luminaries.  The Sights and Sounds Committee arranges with volunteers to set, light, and retrieve luminaries in the downtown areas for the tour.  The local churches handle their own luminaries, and the whole tour route resembles an airport runway as it snakes through the downtown.  The luminaries are kindly set out by the Boy Scouts of Troops 2, 4, and 9 and by the Spencer House.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available at all participating churches, the Chamber of Commerce, the Licking County Convention and Visitors' Bureau, on the shuttle buses from the Methodist Church parking lot (at Fifth and Granville Streets) to the Second Presbyterian Church, and at the door the night of the event.  Parking is available at St. Francis and First United Medthodist Church.   Shuttle buses run from 5:00 until 5:45 and all run from the "Five Points" parking lot.

Your ticket resembles a program with pictures and vignettes about the individual churches.  On the back of the program is a circle for a red or green sticker.  A sticker must be placed in this circle at the Second Presbyterian Church to designate your tour group.  Tickets cost $5 for adults and children over 12.  The money made goes to the Food Pantry Network of Licking County.  Last year event made over $1,700 for the food pantry.  This is a huge help at Christmas time. 


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