Santa is Coming to Town Tonight at Wheeling’s Winter on the Plaza

While no one is quite sure how the holiday season got here so fast, it is undeniably upon us. Yuletide Guidelines and Principles, states that spreading holiday cheer is a public service, and the City of Wheeling is going big, kicking it off with:

  • Live music
  • A bounce slide
  • Arts and crafts
  • Hockey players
  • Holiday vendors
  • and….. SANTA! 

What is this magnificent mash-up of merriment? It’s Winter on the Plaza, and it’s got something for everyone. 

“The inaugural Winter on the Plaza occurred in 2019. We had a tremendous response from the community that first year,” Michelle Rejoins, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist for the City of Wheeling tells us. “The excitement of the holidays really comes alive during the festivities and sets a great tone for the season with the lighting of the tree and Santa’s grand entrance. It is truly a fun evening for kids of all ages.”

[template_part type="video" title="Winter on the Plaza 2019" description="Check out this video from the inaugural Winter on the Plaza in 2019." url=""]

On November 16 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. the Ohio Valley is invited to stop by Market Plaza in downtown Wheeling and check out local vendors, get your holiday groove on to the sweet sounds of the Joseph Sisters, make crafts, and buy delicious donuts from the So Nuts for Donuts food truck (yes, they will be there and we are thrilled about it!)

“Winter on the Plaza has quickly grown into an annual staple in the City of Wheeling. There’s a lot to love about a community tree lighting, live music, vendors, and of course a visit by Santa himself,” Mayor Glenn Elliott says of the event. “It’s Wheeling’s own version of every holiday Hallmark movie.”

The tentative schedule for Wheeling’s Hallmark moment is:

  • 5:30 p.m. – Band + activities begin
  • 6:15 p.m. – Mayor Glenn Elliott welcomes attendees
  • 6:20 p.m. – The Main Event: Santa’s Grand Entrance + Tree Lighting
  • 6:30 p.m. – Tell Santa what you want for Christmas 

When asked about how he felt sharing the stage with Father Christmas himself, the mayor replied, “Let’s be honest: sharing the stage with Santa has to be one of the highlights of my time as mayor. Celebrities, professional athletes, political figureheads, they all come and go. But Santa? Santa is a cultural icon. Santa is forever.”

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Who exactly is going to be there?

So far, the list of vendors and activities include: 

  • Bounce Slide by Tripp’s Fun Zone
  • Arts and craft stations provided by:
    •  The Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission 
    • Wheeling Parks and Recreation
    • Wheeling Heritage and Volunteer Wheeling
  • Sensory activity station by WLU Speech and Hearing
  • Letters to Santa with the Junior League of Wheeling
  • Baked goods from Krystal’s Cookie Connection
  • Opossum Pouch Soft Goods selling backpacks, pouches, and other items
  • Small Business Saturday booth with information provided by RED and the Wheeling Chamber
  • The Wheeling Nailers are going to be hanging out, so that’s fun!
  • Daniel Thorne will be there with light-up toys and fidget spinners available for purchase (you’re welcome parents!)
  • Usborne Books will have a variety of children’s books for sale
  • Be Kind Ceramics is coming through with some killer holiday decor
  • And So Nuts For Donuts will be there. I know this was already mentioned, but it bears stating again.

Be sure to swing by the Plaza Wednesday, November 16 to share in the joy of the season with your community, make beautiful memories… and probably take home some pretty weird crafts.

This event is free to attend, but you do have to pay for the donuts (trust me, I’ve asked).

Haley Steed has lived in Wheeling for the past 9 years. Before moving to Wheeling, she lived in Columbus, OH where she graduated with a BA in Comparative Cultural Studies from Ohio State University. Haley also earned an MS in Marketing and Communications from Franklin University. She has held multiple marketing positions for 10+ years, with experience in PR/media relations, internal communications, marketing campaign strategy + execution, SEO, branding, content creation, digital analytics, and graphic design. Haley currently serves as an AmeriCorp member at Wheeling Heritage. Haley has one human named Vida, two cats named Hank and Squigs McAllister, and is currently manifesting that her one-day husband’s name will be Jeffrey Goldblum.