ESCANABA - Escanaba, Gladstone, and surrounding communities are making a lot of big plans for celebrating the upcoming Christmas season. The holiday agenda includes parades, craft shows, and visits from Santa throughout the region.
The Salvation Army's Black Kettle Campaign has begun with volunteer bell ringers seeking donations at various locations including local businesses. Funds raised from the annual event go towards food, heat, and other emergencies in the community.
The agency is seeking additional volunteers to ring the bells. Those interested can call the Salvation Army at 786-0590 and ask for Betty.
Downtown Escanaba will be kicking off the holiday shopping season by hosting Black Friday sales on Tuesday next week. The annual city tree-lighting ceremony will also take place at 7 p.m. (See related story.)
The City of Gladstone will be hosting its annual Old Fashion Christmas from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. The event begins with caroling with the Gladstone High School Band at 5 p.m. followed by the lighting of the city Christmas tree just east of city hall.
Santa is expected to arrive from the North Pole via a city fire truck at 5:30 p.m. at the city Christmas tree and will stay for photographs and gifts at the city electric garage from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Other activities planned include face painting, cookies and cider, and letters to Santa beginning at 5 p.m. at Gladstone City Hall, 1100 Delta Ave. A live nativity scene will be presented downtown by Trinity Episcopal Church starting at 5:45 p.m. Downtown caroling is planned for 6 to 8 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m., children are encouraged to participate in Take & Make projects sponsored by the Kiwanis Club at the Gladstone Electric Garage. A Children's Carnival is taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Gladstone American Legion Hall.
In Escanaba, a variety of holiday craft sales are planned for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30, at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. The Calico Christmas Craft Show will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Ruth Butler Building.
Admission is $1.50 for those 13 years old and over. For more information, call 786-8537.
The Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse in Gulliver will be decorated for Christmas and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. The Gulliver Historical Society hosts the annual event and has invited Santa to visit the lighthouse on Dec. 1.
The Bay de Noc Choral Society will host its annual Christmas Concert at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 202 S. 11th St., Escanaba. There will be a free will offering to cover the cost of the event.
Several special services and activities will be taking place at area churches throughout the Christmas season. Dates and times will be available in the Daily Press Saturday-Sunday editions during the upcoming weeks.
The long-standing tradition of Christmas in the Village will be open to the public on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at the U.P. Steam and Gas Engine Village on the fairgrounds in Escanaba.
Families and others are invited to experience an old fashion Christmas at the village shops. Father Christmas will also be on hand to hear Christmas wishes. For more information, call 786-5120.
The annual Escanaba Christmas Parade will be held on Ludington Street at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. This year's theme is "Songs of Christmas." Parade line up begins at 6 p.m. at the civic center. For more information, call Bonnie at 789-0900.
In conjunction with the parade, participating businesses downtown will be hosting holiday open houses on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7.
In spirit of the holiday season, area youth and adults from schools and organizations will be singing at local nursing homes. Among those will be the Remnants Barbershop Chorus which will be performing at Northwood, Bishop Noa, and Christian Park nursing homes on Friday, Dec. 6.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Delta County Sheriff's Department, in cooperation with other area law enforcement, is sponsoring a "Shop with a Cop" program to allow needy children to purchase Christmas gifts. To donate money toward the cause, contact the sheriff's department at 789-3633.
Five craft sales will be open to the public in the community of Rapid River from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Food will also be available for sale.
Craft vendors will be set up at the American Legion Post 131, the Omni Community Center, the Rapid River Lions Club, the Swallow Inn, and St. Charles Catholic Church.
Vendor spaces are still available at the American Legion Auxiliary sale at the post. Call Lillian at 786-6565 to rent a space for $10.
On Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Escanaba Senior Holiday Lunch will be held at the Eagles Hall, 608 Ludington St. Doors will open at 11 a.m. with lunch served at noon.
The senior lunch is open to the public. Cost is $4 to those 60 years old and over and $6 to those 59 years old and under. Reservations are required. Call the Escanaba Senior Center at 786-8850.
On Saturday, Dec. 21, the Escanaba Public Library will host a special story hour for children in the city council chambers at city hall. Reading will begin at 1:30 p.m. Santa has made time on his holiday schedule to visit during the story activity.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, email@example.com