Christmas starts Thursday at festive Pioneer VillageWORTHINGTON — If an unusually mild November has left you at a loss for holiday spirit, help might be found at the “Christmas at Pioneer Village” event, slated for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — If an unusually mild November has left you at a loss for holiday spirit, help might be found at the “Christmas at Pioneer Village” event, slated for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
And even if the village’s old-fashioned buildings remain uncovered with snow, they will still house all the makings of Christmas: food, entertainment and, of course, Santa Claus.
“That’s our big draw; we’ll expect hundreds,” said LeAnne Meyer, co-president of the Nobles County Historical Society. Santa will make a stop at the Pioneer Village Fire Hall, where children will receive a free treat bag and have their picture taken with jolly old St. Nick. The fire hall will also be decked with refreshments, including popcorn, cider and coffee for visitors.
New this year is entertainment in the Village Hall Country Store. Galen Benton will perform from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and Bruce Pysthe will perform during the same time Friday. A variety of locally produced goods and goodies — including wood carvings, honey products and baked goods — will also be for sale at the store.
Tickets are now available at the Pioneer Village office for a free “Tour of Lights,” provided at 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. by Reading Bus Lines.
“I did it one year and I was so impressed,” Meyer said. “It’s a real community effort.”
Roy Reimer, the director of Pioneer Village, said he enjoys the yearly sleigh rides hosted by Glen Burnham and family.
“They’re just big old Belgian horses,” he described. “With jingle bells on,” added wife Donna.
“They have big horses, the hay and the whole shebang,” explained Meyer. “Except they’ll put wheels on (the sleigh) this year because there’s no snow. The kids love it.”
A sprinkling of the white stuff might not be too unlikely, especially with temperatures expected to drop into the 20s toward the week’s end.
The Westminster Presbyterian youth group will serve barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, hot chocolate and more in the saloon. The saloon will also feature entertainment, including karaoke.
In addition to the store entertainment, organizers are drawing on plenty more Nobles County talent. The St. John’s Lutheran Church choir from Okabena will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. both nights in the small church, while the big barn will host Dance Academy students on Thursday and performers from the Nobles County Integration Collaborative and country line dancers on Friday.
In the large church, piano students of Lois Gruis; Journey Ministries and the First Lutheran Bell Ringers will perform; and Haley, Lexi and Maddie Ruesch, of Round Lake, will sing; on Thursday evening. Friday night, St. Mary’s Choir, Prairie Elementary students, the Worthington Baptist Temple Jubilee Choir and others will perform.
“We have a really good line of entertainment this year,” Meyer said. “We have a little bit of everything for everybody.”