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Festive holiday events add some sparkle to the season

Let the holidays begin! These fun and festive family-style events will add some sparkle to your Christmas season.

The magic of Winterfest 2013 comes to Public Square on Nov. 30, beginning at 1 p.m.

Tour downtown Cleveland on free horse-drawn carriage rides until 5 p.m. Rides begin at the Cleveland Public Library. Grab some grub from Northeast Ohio’s favorite food trucks. The trucks will line up between Superior and Euclid avenues from 2 to 7 p.m. A Holiday Pop-Up Shop will offer unique, locally made gifts for the entire family. Youngsters can enjoy fun games and singalongs with Radio Disney between 2 and 5:30 p.m.

The holiday season officially kicks off in Cleveland at 6 p.m. with the holiday lighting ceremony, followed by a fireworks display. Immediately afterward, families can go to the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Euclid Avenue to meet Santa and to enjoy free cookies and hot cocoa. Don’t forget to take your camera.

The fourth annual Ohio City Holiday Festival is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 7 in Market Square Park, across from the West Side Market. Presented by Great Lakes Brewing Co. and sponsored by Third Federal, this event is perfect for all ages. The festival features gift vendors from Cleveland Bazaar and Made in the 216, photos with Santa Claus, Christmas tree sales from Londrico’s Tree Farm, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday ornament crafts for children, a photo booth, Christmas carolers and mulled Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co. The Ohio City Holiday Festival is free and open to the public.

The countdown to New Year’s Eve fun has begun in Northeast Ohio.

At the stroke of midnight, everyone celebrating on Public Square will ring in 2014 with a familiar face and voice. Comedian and native son Drew Carey will deliver the countdown into the new year. “Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve 2013 – Electric Ice” will be broadcast live on Channel 19 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The festivities are being hosted by Ohio Homecoming and the Cleveland New Year’s Eve Alliance.

“Cleveland is home, and I can’t imagine a better place to spend the New Year,” Carey said. “When I heard what the Ohio Homecoming group was planning, and that they wanted me to be part of it, my response was, ‘Hell, yeah!’ So, I’m happy to layer up and party on Public Square with my fellow Clevelanders.”

The fun begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and includes food trucks, a beer garden, live ice sculpting, fireworks and music by the popular electronic dance music band Krewella. Admission is free. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald are honorary chairmen.

“Landing Drew Carey to be part of Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve is a major win for us,” Ohio Homecoming managing partner Alonzo Mitchell said. “We’ve always wanted to work with Drew because of what he’s done to shine a light on Cleveland with his success in entertainment, so this is the perfect collaboration for what we’re trying to do with this celebration.”

Visit for more information about the New Year’s Eve event.



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