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Holly Jolly Holidays Kicks Off Saturday with the Opening of the Ice Rink; Square Lighting on Sunday

Holly Jolly Holidays kicks off this weekend in Oxford. Photo from Visit Oxford

Starting Saturday, Christmas officially arrives in Oxford with the opening of the outdoor ice-skating rink and the lighting of the downtown Square this weekend.

To kick off the festivities, Visit Oxford is bringing the 4,000-square-foot ice-skating rink back for an extended time from Saturday through Jan. 7, 2024.

The real ice rink will be located at the Old Armory Pavilion on the corner of Bramlett Boulevard and University Avenue.

For the opening celebration, kids can not only enjoy skating but also inflatables all day. Santa will be stopping by from 4 to 6 p.m., and at 3:30 p.m., watch an ice carver.

Skating hours will be Monday through Friday 3 p.m.–8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.–6 p.m., although the hours are subject to change based on weather and private rentals.

The rink will be closed on Nov. 23 for Thanksgiving and Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas.

Skating will cost $12 per person and includes unlimited skating time and ice skate rentals. Skate aids will be available to rent to help skaters navigate around the rink.

No advance ticket purchases or reservations are needed.

On Sunday, Santa Claus will come to town to help ring in the holiday season from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. alongside FOX Business’ “Small Town Christmas.”

The show will aim to capture the magic of the season in Oxford, beginning with the tree lighting on The Square.

The canopy lights, as well as the other lights around The Square, will be lit to signify the start of the holiday season.

Other events this holiday season in Oxford

Peppermint Trail

New this year to Holly Jolly Holidays, the Peppermint Trail will lead guests to all the special holiday treats and promotions. Guests are encouraged to follow the trail of peppermints on the sidewalks all around Oxford to explore a variety of peppermint treats. From coffee to cocktails, sweets, and more, experience the peppermint craze along the red-and-white candied trail. Stay tuned for holiday surprises from local Oxford favorites, including various gifts and special treats.

Christmas Parade

Stronger Together Oxford will present the 2023 Oxford Christmas Parade on Dec. 4, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The theme for the 2023 Christmas Parade is “Whobilation! A Whoville Christmas,” based on Dr. Suess’s books, “Horton Hears a Who!” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

This year’s Grand Marshal will be LaVera Hodges, owner of L Hodges Funeral Home, and the 2023 Chamber Citizen of the Year.

Visits with Santa

In addition to attending the lighting of The Square, Santa will make his grand appearance four times at Holly Jolly Holidays at the Old Armory Pavillion, listed below:

  • Saturday, Nov. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 2, from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to visit Jolly Old Saint Nick for pictures. Visiting Santa is free of charge, and visitors can take their own photos.

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