Changes made in Christmas gala at Valley Falls
by Clarke Davis
Santa Claus will find a lot of things going on when he arrives back in Valley Falls Dec. 10 and he will be on a different time schedule.
“There’s a new twist this year,” said Jo Tichenor, a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson. “You might say we have a stocking full of new events.”
St. Nick will greet children from 3 to 5 p.m. at the township hall and the usual Hometown Christmas Giveaway will follow at 6 p.m., a departure from the morning schedule in recent years. The Vallerian Club is in charge of Santa’s visit.
Events that afternoon have been greatly expanded by a community committee that has joined the Chamber of Commerce in carrying out the events.
Open houses in the businesses will begin at 4 p.m. and everything will culminate with a gathering around the Christmas tree on main street at 7 p.m.
Horse-drawn wagon rides will be given up and down Broadway from 5 to 7 p.m. by Russ Brown of R Bar B Saddle & Tack, south of Meriden. The rides will be sponsored by Valley Truck & Trailer and Aahh Some Blossom.
On the west end of Broadway will be a live nativity scene provided by the youth from several churches. It will be located in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church from 4 to 6 p.m.
The gazebo in the park will be decorated for picture taking and a photographer will be present starting at 3 p.m.
A chili supper will be served for a free-will offering to fund Jan’s Kids in the basement of the township hall from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Valley Victors and Prosperity 4-H club members will serve the chili. Jan’s Kids is headed by Jan McKnight who makes sure Santa doesn’t miss a number of homes in the community.
Some store owners will conduct contests with prizes. There will be secret Santa Clauses who, when discovered, will hand out Chamber gift certificates. A Scrooge contest will be held in stores for people to vote on and a “Valley Who Ville” Award will go to the adult and child wearing the most festive costume.
During the Giveaway, children will be invited to make tree ornaments and at 7 p.m. the children will gather around the tree to hang their creations.
At the 7 o’clock finale, prizes will be awarded for the business contests, the scrooge winner, and best costumes. Money collected in the scrooge contest will help fund improvements in the Christmas lighting and the top scrooge will get a pie from Aahh Some Blossom.
There will be caroling on Broadway and hot chocolate and doughnuts will be served in the Kendall State Bank’s community room for a free-will donation to Jan’s Kids.
A community choir is being formed that will wander the main street and perform at the chili feed and prior to the Hometown Giveaway.
The committee is encouraging all store owners to put up some kind of Christmas decorations to make the downtown look festive. She said committee members will decorate the windows in empty storefronts with the owners’ permission.
Holding meetings and making plans along with Tichenor have been Julie Brink, Sugie Wilson, Gladys Bishop, Gerry Metzger, June Huston, Amy Bishop, Dee Heinen, Leslee Bowers, and Dianne Heinen.
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