The Yuletide Festival at Connection Pointe Returns
In 2020, when COVID-19 took hold, the staff and congregation at Connection Pointe Christian Church began praying about what they could do to offer a bit of hope and light to the community during the holiday season. At the same time, the Brownsburg Parks staff was gearing up for their annual Christmas Under the Stars night parade. The event invites businesses, civic groups and local churches from all over Hendricks County to register a float to participate in a free light show for the community.
Instead of making these two events separate, leaders of the two entities decided to collaborate, combining their space, resources and experience to host the Brownsburg Yuletide Festival. The three-weekend holiday festival, which includes twinkling lights, ice skating, classic holiday drive-in movies, a parade, food and fellowship, will take place December 4 to 18 (Fridays 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
“We realized that we have different but similar goals,” says Denise McCleese, director of strategy and engagement at Connection Pointe. “We at Connection Pointe unapologetically want to reach people for Jesus, but we also want to be a hope and a value in our community as we do that. The town wants to provide light and hope, too, by bringing families and the community together.”
Though leaders were limited in what they could do due to COVID-19 restrictions, they brainstormed and came up with several fun, family-friendly ideas such as drive-in movies and ice skating.
“Ice skating was super popular and sold out quickly,” McCleese says. “The movies people loved, because it wasn’t even an option to go to the theater last year.”
She recalls seeing grandparents pull their vehicle up alongside a car with their grandchildren to watch a film as a family, as that was the closest they could get to hanging out together. Thankfully, that’s not the case this year.
“Brownsburg Parks is excited to partner with Connection Pointe Christian Church to bring back our annual Breakfast with the Grinch as part of the Yuletide Festival activities,” says Amber Lane, assistant director of Brownsburg Parks.
On Saturday, December 11, this popular event is coming back to the community, and new to this year’s schedule is Breakfast with Elsa and Olaf on Saturday, December 18. Each event costs $20 per person and features a catered breakfast with characters. Registration for both is required.
The Yuletide Festival will also feature live music and a variety of food trucks. There will be igloos on the property where families can eat the goodies they purchase, though the church building will also be open.
Everyone who comes to the Yuletide Festival can watch a drive-in movie, get a hot chocolate and decorate a cookie for no charge. Ice skating costs $5 per person plus a $3 skate rental. In addition, attendees can purchase an on-site wristband for $5, which includes a train ride, curling, an inflatable interactive snow globe, a petting zoo, reindeer, and a carriage ride.
The Christmas Under the Stars parade kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m. on December 4. The route will start at Brown Elementary and move north on Eastern Avenue to Main Street. Drivers will turn west onto Main Street toward Green Street. Finally, the route heads north of Green Street to end at the Arbuckle Commons on Enderly Avenue.
Parade observers are then encouraged to visit the Yuletide Festival at Connection Pointe Christian Church for photos with Santa, a petting zoo, ice skating, and a drive-in movie in the parking lot (“The Polar Express”). The festival wraps up on the evening of December 18 with a fireworks finale.
To make the Yuletide Festival a success requires 1,100 two-hour volunteer spots, but the congregants at Connection Pointe are excited to do their part to help make Christmas magical.
“I think our community can continue to get better as the town, the schools and the churches all work together,” McCleese says. “We hope that this event is a catalyst for our community to nurture these types of relationships.”
Connection Pointe Christian Church is located at 1800 North Green Street in Brownsburg. For more information about the Brownsburg Yuletide Festival at Connection Pointe, call 317-852-2221. To see the full festival schedule, visit brownsburgchristmas.com.