Arlington’s Depot Square sparkles with holiday spirit

Santa hats, wintry scarves and holiday sweatshirts were out in abundance on a nippy Saturday afternoon at Arlington’s popular Christmas on the Square last weekend. The event started at 4 p.m. and drew hundreds.

They browsed sheltered booths (including a candy shop and toy store), snapped photos of their children grinning in Santa’s lap, petted a plump donkey and other docile animals at the live Nativity scene and roasted marshmallows over an open flame.

Local merchants also sponsored a carriage ride to get attendees in the mood for the holiday season.
The city’s massive Christmas tree dominated Depot Square, which was ringed by local merchants staying open to serve the crowds. Visitors and residents stayed to watch the lighting at 5:15 p.m. and continued checking out the event until 7 p.m.

Arlington Middle School students and other groups gathered on the gazebo stage to entertain the crowd huddled around them, and virtually every passerby held a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Children picked up a scavenger hunt list to enjoy throughout the event or sat on the curb to dig through their goodie bags.

Tonia Howell, director of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s a great opportunity for folks from outside of our community to come down to the Depot Square to see the rich tradition that Arlington offers, and also for somee of our newer local residents to visit the Square.”

The committee in charge of the event works for an entire in advance to plan Christmas on the Square, she said. “It’s a big group effort.”

Several merchants on the square extended their hours for the night in order to accommodate the crowds, she said. “Our hope is that they introduced new folks to what they have.”

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to