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justine wettschreck/Daily Globe Pioneer Village Director Roy Reimer (left) and Nobles County Historical Society President Jacoba Nagel have been busy preparing for the Old Fashioned Pioneer Village Christmas, which takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Christmas arrives this week at Pioneer Village

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news Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- Jacoba Nagel and Roy Reimer are hauling out the holly, putting up the decorations and adding festive touches all around the town as they prepare for the Old Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Village. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m both Thursday and Friday.

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As of Monday, Pioneer Village Director Reimer said there was quite a bit of decorating yet to do, but things will be ready by the time the event begins Thursday.

"I don't do it all myself, but I do a lot of it," Reimer said. "I get help from Angel (Otero) and the Community Service Workers."

The external lights are up and ready to go, but more of the interior decorating will take place over the next couple of days.

Over at the Saloon, a moose, deer and other wild critters are sporting shiny garland and tinsel, getting them into the holiday spirit.

At the Country Store, a snowman smiles down from his place of honor on the piano and festive swags adorn the walls.

Nagel starts organizing the entertainment around Oct. 1, and Reimer said the boxes of Christmas decorations get pulled out as soon as the Halloween decorations come down.

"We'll have seven of the buildings decorated and heated for the event," Reimer explained. "That, plus the storefronts."

At the Country Store, guests can check out the jams, jellies and honey, peruse any of the three cookbooks that will be for sale, look at hand-made baby items and search out a few treats at the bake sale, which are provided by Nobles County Historical Society members.

Guests can then visit Santa and listen to a wide variety of entertainment, which includes:

Small Church: Thursday -- Beth Ten Haken, piano/vocal; Church of the Brethren; Amber and Kevin Bergeson, vocal/guitar; St. John's Lutheran Church; Cindy Harvey, holiday vocals. Friday -- Leslie Slater and Michele Weineke, music; Harold Vandersloot, vocal/guitar; Theresa Widboom; St. John's Lutheran Church; Amber and Kevin Bergeson, vocal/guitar

Large Church: Thursday -- Hand bells/piano with Lois Gruis, Maynard and Jeanene Townswick, accordion; Karen singers; Cindy Morrison, piano. Friday -- St. Mary's Folk Choir; Celebration Chorus; Brass Group; Temple Baptist Church; Linda Lang, pianist/vocals; Festival Singers.

Saloon: Thursday -- Audrey Brake, accordion; Daryl Hrdlicka, gambler. Friday -- Cindy Harvey, vocals; Pat Brandt, line dancers

Barn: Thursday -- Kay Prunty Dance Academy. Friday -- Bruce Dysthe; Karen After School group

Food is available at the Saloon through the Westminster Church Youth Group, and a bus tour of the holiday lights of Worthington begins at 6:45 p.m. Thursday and Friday through the Reading Bus Line. Horse-drawn hay rack rides are available both nights.

Santa will be in the Pioneer Village Fire Department building both evenings, where guests can enjoy popcorn, cider and coffee.

The contents of Santa's candy bags are donated by various local merchants and the bags are put together by RSVP volunteers, Reimer said.

"We have some entertainment that comes back year after year, and some new ones," Nagel stated. "New this year is the spelling bee, which will take place at the Country Store."

Karsten Piper is organizing the spelling bee, which is open to all ages. It begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Nagel, who has been a member of the Nobles County Historical Society since 2004, said her favorite part of the Old Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Village is the atmosphere in general.

"I like the old-fashioned feel and all of the festivities," she claimed. "People can get something to eat at the Saloon, then wander from building to building to enjoy the entertainment."

Funds raised during the event help support Pioneer Village, Nagel said.

"It takes a lot to run the place," she added.

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