By Brian Besch
Polk County will once again have a loaded schedule of Christmas events and celebrations that open this week, as the calendar turns to December.
Christmas in the Park, featuring the lighted decorations built by the City of Livingston crews, is available for viewing now in Pedigo Park through Dec. 31. Experience the wonder of Christmas by taking a drive through Pedigo Park to enjoy the lighted holiday figures and thousands of Christmas lights on display.
If you are there this weekend, be sure to see one of the area’s more popular events. Construction is nearly complete on another Walk Through Bethlehem that will begin Friday, Dec. 1, and continue through Sunday. The production from Livingston First Baptist Church is 6-8 p.m. each of the three nights.
Walk the journey to Bethlehem, a realistic depiction of what the small Judean town may have looked like 2,000 years ago.
Onalaska’s Christmas in our town is kicked off with the annual parade Friday, Dec. 1. Lineup for the parade is at 5:30 p.m. from the Onalaska Volunteer Fire Department and the march through town is takes its first steps at 6 p.m.
Runners will need to wake up early to participate in the Reindeer Dash. Saturday morning’s 7 a.m. registration at Onalaska City Park’s Garland Pavillion for the 3K and 5K Fun Run and walk will sign in all for the 8 a.m. race time. There is a $20 entry fee, and those who pre-register at city hall will receive a free t-shirt.
Onalaska Trade Days vendor setup will also take place at 8 a.m., with Trade Days held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Christmas in our town will be 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. All are invited to Onalaska to Candy Cane Lane, hop along Hot Chocolate Way, and ramble down through Santa’s Village, where you can cruise down Rudolph Road. Along the path, you can enjoy all the activities, gather up some goodies, and do your Christmas shopping at Trade Days. Activities include pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, cupcake walk, craft and coloring stations, photo booths, paintball, bounce houses, readings of the Christmas story and the Great Bicycle Giveaway.
The City of Goodrich Christmas Market Day and Lighted Christmas parade will be Saturday Dec. 2, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Arts, crafts and food vendors are all part of the celebration. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., pictures with Santa and the Grinch will be available. Children aged 10 years and younger can register until 3 p.m. to win a bike or toy. That bike and toy giveaway will occur at 4 p.m. and children must be present to win.
The Polk County Heritage Society’s Christmas Train Village is on display at Good Golly Miss Molly’s, located at 406 North Washington through Dec. 31. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The hours available for viewing are: 3-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday; 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30 through Dec. 2; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 3; 5-7 p.m. Dec. 7-8; noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 9; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 10; 5-7 p.m. Dec. 14-16; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 17; 5-7 p.m. Dec. 21-23; and 5-7 p.m. Dec. 28-30. The Train Village is an electric train that travels through mointains and an elaborate snowy town, sure to delight both young and old.
Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 9, the Livingston Hometown Christmas will take place noon until 8 p.m. The Jingle Bell Fun Run and walk will have a one-mile race at 11:15 a.m. and a two-mile and 5K race beginning at noon from Livingston City Hall. Registration for the races are until Dec. 8 at the Trade Days office in Pedigo Park. The first 200 registered will receive a T-shirt and bells.
The kids area will consist of a candy land course, trackless train and zorb balls. The Hometown Christmas will have a food court, kids area, quilt show, and vendors as far as the eye can see. The day before on Dec. 8, Miss Effie’s Cottage will host Santa for all to bring their letters and take pictures.