Paralympics athletes, Santa to headline 17th annual ‘Christmas on Broadway’

The Christmas on Broadway tree is illuminated in November 2020.
The Christmas on Broadway tree is illuminated in November 2020.(WPTA)
Updated: Oct. 3, 2021 at 6:12 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Members of the Team USA Paralympics squad will do the honors and illuminate 40,000 lights on a 40-foot-tall Colorado Blue Spruce, ushering in the holiday season at the 17th annual “Christmas on Broadway” celebration.

The event will take place on Friday, Nov. 19, at Broadway Plaza, located outside the Shine & Hardin Building.

It will feature a parade along Broadway that will bring Santa and Mrs. Claus to the plaza aboard a 1976 Pierce Fire Engine -- a nostalgic ride that was introduced last year.

The duo will be handing out Christmas hats and stockings to children along the way.

The parade will begin at Broadway and Creighton at about 5:30 p.m.

In the plaza itself, cast members from the Fort Wayne Ballet presentation of “The Nutcracker” and the Fort Wayne Community Schools “b Instrumental” program will provide entertainment.

This year’s centerpiece at Broadway Plaza is a nearly 40-year-old tree donated by Keith Baughman and family.

One of the upgrades to the event is a computer control system for the light display, which will now feature a variety of patterns and color schemes.

Attendees will be treated to holiday beverages provided by Prairie Farms Dairy, which will include hot chocolate and eggnog. Santa’s reindeer will be present at the tree lighting, as well as the “Polar Express,” a miniature train ride for the youngsters to hop on and to enjoy.

“From its inception 17 years ago when a mere 150 people gathered to view the lighting to the crowds which now are in the thousands, we are proud to continue the tradition of this family-oriented event which marks the official beginning of the Fort Wayne holiday season,” said law partners, Steve Shine and Tom Hardin of Shine & Hardin, LLP, the creators and organizers of this event.

ABC21 will broadcast live, starting at 5 p.m., from the celebration, which concludes with a fireworks display above the “‘07 Neighborhood.”

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