A ‘Starry November Night’ downtown


Johnathan Zeringue

Attendees of this year’s “Starry November Night” could enjoy pictures with Santa, train rides and local vendors in downtown Hammond.

Johnathan Zeringue, Staff Reporter

“Starry November Night” brings the community together to celebrate the season of giving.

Each November, Hammond and surrounding areas come together to kick off the magic of the holiday season on one special night.

The Hammond Downtown Development District hosted its 14th annual “Starry November Night” on Nov. 16 from 6-10 p.m. The event included numerous festive holiday attractions for families including a “Frozen” reenactment and two motorized trains that toured the local businesses.

Jenna Pryor, a senior English education major, participated as an employee of The Big Squeeze. She discussed the meaning behind the event for downtown Hammond.

“The main point of ‘Starry November Night’ is just bring everyone in the Hammond area and the surrounding areas together,” said Pryor. “It’s mainly targeted for children, and a lot of small businesses like to come out since it’s a good way to get word out.”

There were attractions for children, such as meeting Santa Claus, as well as some for adults, like the “Wine and Cheese Walk.”

Summer Krause, a member of the DDD merchant committee, explained how the “Wine and Cheese Walk” is a good way to get to know the downtown businesses.

“What we do is we go to all of the merchants downtown, and to participate, we give them wine and cheese,” said Krause. “We sell a cup, and people 21 and older, go to all the different businesses and walk in to meet the merchants and get to know downtown Hammond.”

In addition, local businesses could choose to celebrate the event by hanging up lights and Christmas decorations.

Administrative Coordinator of The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Beanie Stansbury expressed how much of an impact the event has on their location.

“I’ve been with the Columbia Theatre for 10 years,” said Stansbury. “This year, we host the Hammond Art Guild, and we have music on the other side. It’s always fun just interacting with all the families and people out and about celebrating the holidays.”

Manager of Pita Pit Michelle Craig shared her thoughts on her first taste of “Starry November Night.”

“I’ve only been here since February, and this is my first starry night event,” said Craig. “I wasn’t quite prepared for how big it would be. It’s been really nice to see how big the community has been backing all the events.”

David Vial, a former member of the Hammond City Council from 1989-98 and longtime resident of Hammond, voiced his support of “Starry November Night” and its effect on the city.

“‘Starry November Night’ has grown over the past several years,” said Vial. “It just gets better and better as it grows each year. It brings a lot of folks downtown, and everybody you see out here is smiling. It really is a unique event.”

For more information about upcoming downtown Hammond events, contact DDD Executive Director Chelsea Tallo at [email protected].