Ferris: Celebrating Christmas in Spring Grove and Richmond

The Spring Grove Tree Lighting Festival will be 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in Horse Fair Park.

During this gathering you and your family can enjoy hay wagon rides and storytelling from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., sing along with the Johnsburg High School Madrigal Singers. The tree lighting will be at 5 p.m.

During the event, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, make holiday ornaments and crafts while sipping hot chocolate and other refreshments.

Celebrate with your family and plan on shopping local this year. Supporting our local shops and restaurants has a direct effect on our area.

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Richmond has a positive productive committee of business owners and volunteers composing a winter wonderland of events for Christmas of Yesteryear. We are encouraging the shops to stay open late (8 p.m.) on Nov 30 to kick off the weekend.

From 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday we are inviting the community to place homemade decorations on the tree in Steven’s Park (on Broadway) just in time for the lighting at 6:30 p.m. One lucky family will be flipping the switch to begin the Christmas celebrations after they arrive on the antique fire truck with Santa.

After the tree lighting, join us for festivities in Memorial Hall where the old-fashioned feeling of Christmas is brought back to each of us. Pictures with Santa will capture memories for the future, so don’t forget to bring your camera. This is an opportunity to get that perfect photo for the holiday cards. As the sound of Christmas carols fill the hall, the smell of popcorn and hot cocoa dance in the air. Be sure to come early to ensure you get a goodie bag from our elves.

At noon Dec. 1 we welcome Jim May our Hometown Storyteller. Jim will be sharing a story he recalls as a child growing up on a local farm. Let “Christmas Eve in the Barn” add to your holiday experience of yesteryear. A book signing will follow.

Mmmm! We can’t have a celebration without cookies! St. Joseph Church in Richmond will be holding its cookie walk in the hall from noon to 4 p.m.. This is a superb time to get extras for a “homemade basket of cookies” for your neighbors, co-workers, trash collectors, postal workers – you get the idea.

Once again, the celebration will include hay wagon rides with elves and a guide from Doyle’s Pub & Eatery touring downtown historical homes of Richmond from noon to 3 p.m. In support of our local food pantry, we ask that you please donate a nonperishable food item.

Decorate your house for Van’s Supermarket Decorating Contest. Van’s will be awarding six homes with $25 gift certificates for showing your Christmas spirit.

This year our community adventure is to help Millie the Dog find gifts for her friends throughout the downtown stores. “De-tails” will follow for your clues and locations; look for the paw print in participating shops.

The Community Church of Richmond will be hosting a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 1. Soup bread bowls and hot dogs will be offered along with a bake sale. And you can get some shopping finished at the church craft fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wrap up the Richmond Christmas of Yesteryear Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon with a pancake breakfast at Memorial Hall hosted by the Richmond Fireman’s Auxiliary. Come visit Santa and shop local.

• Laura Ferris is executive director of the Richmond/Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 815-678-7742, or email Visit

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