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York's December First Friday is holiday ready

Downtown York is full of holiday spirit and ready to celebrate at December's First Friday.

From 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, participating downtown York businesses will host holiday activities and offer discounts to celebrate the last First Friday of the year.

Whether you want to spend the evening shopping for Christmas gifts, sampling beer or listening to music, there’s an activity for you.

Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until York’s Christmas tree and holiday decorations light up Continental Square. This year’s tree will be about 30 to 35 feet tall and will be adorned with 3,000 LED Christmas lights. Watch as the tree is lit for the first time at downtown York’s tree lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Free photos with Santa and more holiday festivities will continue through 8 p.m. around the square.

Visit Santa

Santa Claus is bringing holiday cheer to Kimmans, 57 N. Beaver St. Children can write letters to Santa and receive a letter in return.

Winterfest Craft Fair

Check some items off your holiday shopping list at the Winterfest Craft Fair in Cherry Lane Park. A variety of crafts, gifts and Christmas trees will be for sale.

Christmas in Central Market

Central Market House, 34 W. Philadelphia St., will be transformed into a Christmas market for kids. From 5 to 9 p.m., children can shop for their family and friends at special shops and listen to Christmas carols and music by Cross Roads Connected.

Cookie Bake

Decorate and bake fresh Christmas cookies at Richard R. Reilly, Attorney at Law office, 54 N. Duke St., while listening to holiday favorites on the piano.

Free gift wrap

i-ron-ic, 256 W. Philadelphia St., is offering free gift wrapping for the first 25 gifts purchased in the store Friday. As you’re shopping, don’t forget to try i-ron-ic’s Egg Nog Latte. Locally grown poinsettias will also be for sale.

Holiday concert

Stop by St. John Episcopal Church, 140 N. Beaver St., and listen as the Hershey Handbell Ensemble, directed by Dr. Shawn Gingrich, performs music using seven octaves of Malmark handbells, handchimes and other instruments. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Hot chocolate

Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa while checking out a selection of fresh evergreens, decorations, berries and wreaths at Foster’s Flower Shop, 27 N. Beaver St. or making an ornament at Alfano’s Downtown Stylists, 51 W. Market St. You can also find flavored hot chocolate at Healthy World Café, 24 S. George St.

More ideas:

Art: See weavings influenced by artist Philip E. Smith’s experience in Afghanistan and Greece at Rudy Collective, 25 E. Philadelphia St. The opening reception starts at 5 p.m. and a gallery talk and demonstration follows at 6:30 p.m.

Movie: “Edward Scissorhands” will play at 9 p.m. at Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St.

New gallery: A new art gallery is coming to the WeCo neighborhood in February, but you can get a sneak peek during December’s First Friday. The Blue Cat Gallery, 252 W. Philadelphia St., will feature paintings and photography by six local artists from 5 to 9 p.m. Music and refreshments will also be available.

Have a beer

Beer samples will be available at the following locations:


What: First Friday

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: Select businesses in downtown York

More information: Visit