Citing rain in the forecast for Wednesday night, officials have rescheduled the Christmas parade and tree lighting in downtown Peru for Saturday night.

The Downtown Peru Christmas Open House, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, will continue as planned, from 5 to 8 p.m.. Merchants have also been invited to extend open house festivities to Saturday night as well. Santa will be in house downtown from 5 to 8 p.m.

The "clue pages" activity for the open house is also on for Wednesday, but pages will accepted through Saturday, with all merchants invited to participate in some way through the end of the evening Saturday.

The Relay for Life tree auction at First Farmers Bank and Trust (120 S. Broadway) is still happening Wednesday evening.

On Saturday, the parade will step off at 6 p.m. Tree lightning will happen around 6:30 p.m., after the parade. There will be horse drawn wagon rides aroudn teh courthouse on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m and McCrae Crossing Railroad Train Rides will offer train rides behind the courthouse after the tree lighting.

In an email to participants, Miami County Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Chittum said she had to wait until the City of Peru's Board of Works approved the schedule changes to make the move official.

"I can’t thank you enough for your support and understanding and mostly flexibility in these changes," she wrote.  "You all are an awesome group of people and I applaud you and thank you for all that you do for our community."

Read the original story below.


Officials and volunteers were preparing Tuesday to postpone the downtown Peru Christmas celebration originally scheduled for Wednesday night.

“I’m saying tentatively,” Miami County Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Chittum told the Tribune on Tuesday morning.

The final decision to move the events to Saturday wasn’t expected to come until after the City of Peru Board of Works met later Tuesday night. (That meeting was scheduled for after print deadlines, check perutribune.com for the final decision on Wednesday morning.)

Chittum said a poor weather forecast was forcing the decision.

As of Tuesday morning the National Weather Service’s Northern Indiana Office was predicting an 80 percent chance of rain showers after 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Chittum said that if city officials approved the change of plans, the Christmas parade would step off Saturday at 6 p.m. with the tree lighting happening after the parade.

As for the Downtown Peru Christmas Open House, Chittum said businesses with plans in place to be open on Wednesday could still participate that evening.

“We will still have that option if people want to come out,” Chittum said. “And then we are going to extend it on Saturday.”

This year’s open house was already expected to be slightly different.

Rather than collecting stamps as they have in years past, participants will be given a “clue page” and they will have to visit participating businesses to find the “clue.” The clues will be displayed letters that, once recorded, will spell out a holiday phrase on the page.

Chittum said Tuesday that businesses who opt to close on Wednesday evening because of the weather can still display their letter on their front door or window and then can put them out again for Saturday, either out front or inside the business. Participants could still head out on Wednesday if they wanted, but Chittum said she was trying to encourage people to participate in the open house on Saturday.

This year’s open house and parade is to be the first since 2019, because of a pandemic-forced cancellation in 2020.

Organizers, including Paul Forman with the Light Up! Peru organization which promotes the parade and Christmas-themed lighting around downtown, has promised the biggest parade in memory.

Chittum said she was hopeful that the move to Saturday would keep spirits high rather than having everyone trying to watch a parade in the rain on Wednesday night.

“We still want to celebrate,” she said. “It should be perfect on Saturday.”