|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Holiday events abound in county
BY BRIAN BESCH
LIVINGSGTON -- Polk County residents will not have a shortage of events for the upcoming holiday season. The 2013 schedule for Christmas festivities and family fun has been released. Livingston will have several events in the area. Currently, Christmas in the Park is taking place and will continue until Dec. 31. Those interested can experience the wonder of Christmas with a drive through Petco Park to enjoy the holiday figures and thousands of Christmas lights on display. Hometown Christmas will be Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. downtown. Over 70 art, craft and gift vendors will be on hand as well as a food court. There will be a quilt show, a free petting zoo, free wagon and carriage rides, a pony carousel and Santa will be at City Hall from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Propane street heaters will help eliminate some of the air's year-end chill. A lighted Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m. As part of Hometown Christmas, Breakfast with Santa will be Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., with pancakes prepared by the Rotary Club in the Mistrot Building on North Washington Avenue between Polk and Church Street. The Rotary Club, Lions Club and Boys and Girls Club will sponsor the event. Cost for the breakfast is $8 with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club. On Friday, Dec. 13, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Santa will be at Miss Effie's Cottage. Bring the children downtown to see Santa and tour the historical home decorated for Christmas at 201 West Mill. There will be refreshments and free photos. On Dec. 14, the Jingle Bell Fun Run and Walk will begin. Registration for the Fun Run and Walk will remain open until Dec. 13 in the Trade Days office at Petco Park. The race will begin at 1 p.m. at City Hall and the first 150 registered participants receive a T-shirt and bells. The Christmas Train Village at 412 North Jackson will be open for tours 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Dec. 5 - 7, Dec. 12 - 13, Dec. 19 - 21 and Dec. 26 – 28. On Dec. 14, the train village will be from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information go to www.ubhooked.com or call (936) 327-5242. There is but one goal for Onalaska's Christmas in our Town and that is for all children to be given the chance to enjoy the spirit of Christmas regardless of race, religion and economic status. While many cannot afford Christmas in their homes, children are now able to spend one day a year playing and listening to wonderful music at no charge. Onalaska will be aglow on Saturday, Dec. 7, with plenty of lights and fun for kids of all ages — and if you've been good, Santa may have something for you. Christmas In Our Town will take place at the Onalaska Fire Station. The new hours for the event are 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. From 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. the Christmas Parade begins at City Hall and ends at Onalaska Fire Station. Santa will arrive during the parade. Santa will remain busy from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. seeing children and handing out presents. Art, craft and food vendors will also vendors will also be available at this time, as well as numerous amusements. Chairperson Patti Johnson coordinated the first Christmas in Our Town, and has been putting together a fun occasion for local children ever since. "I thought we needed to have something for the kids, so I got on the phone and started calling people and everyone jumped on board as fast as they could," Johnson said. "Our goal is to donate 50 bikes this year and this whole thing is supported by the community. Everyone buys one, two or three bikes and it's really fabulous. We didn't have anything for the kids for Christmas out here and hadn't for years and I thought it wasn't acceptable. I wanted to do something, but I didn't want the kids to have to pay for it — and they don't. Everything is free, unless they eat something from one of the vendors. "We have a lot of craft vendors and food vendors already. We haven't had a parade in several years, but now we are this year. We're also doing a town Christmas tree lighting immediately following the event, which we haven't had in many years. It will be across the street from the bank, next to the new city sign." Activities including bungee jumping, monkey races, water races, goldfish giveaways, paintball, face painting and a coin giveaway are all free to the public. The City of Onalaska Christmas tree lighting brightens the sky at 6 p.m. and two bicycles are given away every hour, with a huge bike giveaway at 5:30 p.m. Winners must be present to claim their new wheels. For information, go to info@ christmasinourtown.com. The City of Onalaska is also sponsoring a business, residential and subdivision lighting and decorating contest. To enter your home, business or subdivision in the Onalaska Lighting and Decorating Contest, you must reside in the Onalaska Independent School District and submit a form available on the city website. Forms must be received in the City of Onalaska office by 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. All entrants must have their displays completed by the same date. The winners will be presented during the January city council meeting and will be posted on its website at www. cityofonalaska.us. For more information, contact Onalaska City Hall at 646-5000. Those who reside in northern Polk County will also have local events, as Corrigan's Winterfest is Saturday, Dec. 14, with many activities this year. Winterfest will begin with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Lions' Club at the community center. Pictures with Santa will take place at 11:30 a.m. inside the community center. There will be many arts and crafts booths for local Christmas shopping and delicious food available for purchase. "The booths will open at 9 a.m. and things will conclude around 3 p.m.," City Secretary Dorrie Cotton said. "To enter into the parade or to set up a booth is free." The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Church of Christ on Highway 287 and proceed east, ending across from the United Methodist Church on Market Street, just before the railroad track. Judges will be on the left side of Highway 287, approximately halfway down the parade route. This year's theme is Santa's Toy Train. The parade will give out awards for bands, best of show, best creative, best battery operated, best church float, best golf cart/ATV, best bicycle, best organization, best school and best decorated vehicle. For booth or parade registration, contact Desiree Walker at (936) 398-4126.