Danville’s first Small Town Christmas happening Dec. 2 & 9

Published 11:36 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

The inaugural Danville Small Town Christmas event is happening Dec. 2 and 9 at Weisiger Park.

Both days will have a Vendor’s Village with local small businesses, food trucks, live music, ornament painting, hot chocolate, pictures with Santa and many kids activities.

The event on Dec. 2 will go from noon to 7 p.m., and end with Danville’s tree-lighting ceremony at Weisiger Park. The event on Dec. 9 will go from noon to 5:30 p.m. with the Danville Christmas parade following at 6 p.m.

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Founder of Danville Small Town Christmas Lahannah Bonagofski said while the event is put on independently of the tree lighting and Christmas parade, they picked Dec. 2 and 9 to coincide with those events.

Small Town Christmas will be children-focused, with a plethora of kids activities including bounce houses, a trackless train, face painting, ornament painting and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Bonagofski said they wanted to start the event mainly for kids in the community.

“I have two kids myself, and we take them to everything, but we always go to events in Lexington and Louisville, and we thought, why doesn’t Danville do something like this?” Bonagofski said. “The mission of it is togetherness, cheer and community.”

Both days will showcase local musicians and bands. Dec. 2 will feature Damon Spiegel from Stanford and Brooks Kidd from Shepherdsville, who appeared on American Idol, the Danville Children’s Choir and the Advocate Brass Band.

Dec. 9 will feature Ian Abel from Louisville, the Jim Smoak duo and Piper Madison.

The Christmas parade on Dec. 9 will start at College Street and go east on Main Street. Food trucks will be on South Fourth Street and North Third Street. Pictures with Santa will be on South Third.

Jamie Votaw of the Christmas parade committee said they have more than 50 participants signed up, and there will be prizes and trophies for Judge’s Choice, Top Float and Top Non-float.

As a first-year event, Bonagofski has started Small Town Christmas as a nonprofit organization. It’s run mainly by Bonagofski, Beau Cacciatori, Desiree Webb along with some volunteers.  Bonagofski said they made the event free to be able to give back to the community.

The city and county are sponsoring the event and providing facilities for it to happen, and many of the activities are provided by small-business sponsors.

Since the new sidewalks in downtown Danville are complete, Bonagofski said they want to encourage people to come back downtown.

“The event shows people we’re back, we’re here; it was a rough year and a half there, but it’s cleared up and I want to showcase how beautiful the downtown actually is,” she said. “I want everyone in our community, who has been avoiding downtown because of construction, to give them a reason to come back.”