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Adrian celebrates Christmas in July

ADRIAN -- Capitalizing on the Christmas in July theme with its community theatre group presenting "A Christmas Carol," tonight through Sunday, the Adrian Town & Country Association hopes to make its warm and inviting down-home celebration garner thoughts of cooler temperatures on Saturday.

The festival returns to July after attempts the past two years to host a September celebration in hopes of luring more bands to the parade. The later date, however, created issues among Adrian's farming community because it interfered with early harvests.

"We felt we'd have more people if we moved it back to July," said Ray Bullerman, president of the Adrian Town & Country Association.

Festival events get under way at 10 a.m. with a disc golf tournament at the Adrian campground and a craft show on the lawn of St. Adrian Catholic Church. The craft show, along with a snack wagon hosted by the Adrian-Ellsworth Saddle Club, will continue until 4 p.m. More than 20 vendors have reserved craft booths.

"This is the first time that we've had a craft show, and we're hoping to build on that," Bullerman said.

A matinee performance of "The Christmas Carol," will be presented at 2 p.m. in the elementary school gymnasium, while outside the kids pedal pull will start at 3 p.m. on the south side of the Rumor Mill in downtown Adrian. Children ages 4 to 11 are invited to take part in the pedal pull.

From 3 to 6 p.m., the Adrian Fire Department will host tours of the Smoke House, an educational trailer used to teach children the dangers of house fires. The trailer, which includes a model bedroom, kitchen and living room, is sponsored by the Adrian, Lismore, Round Lake and Lake Park, Iowa, fire departments.

"We show kids where to go when there's a fire," said Bullerman. "One room can be filled up with smoke, and kids can see what to expect."

Adrian Ambulance also will be parked in front of the fire hall so that both adults and children can learn about what goes on inside the patient transport vehicle.

Evening entertainment includes the kiddie parade at 6:15 p.m., followed by the main parade at 6:30 p.m. Bullerman said more than 60 entries will be in this year's parade, which centers on the "Christmas in July" theme. Santa Claus will come to town to take part in the parade.

Drummers Su Fu Du will have a standstill performance in front of the fire hall at 8:30 p.m., while a street dance featuring The Storm Dogs, with local talent Steve Lynn, will perform from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the north side of the fire hall. Bullerman said the band performs a variety of music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Also during the evening, a Christmas decorating contest will be conducted at the Adrian campground, with the winner to receive a free, one-night stay at the campground, Bullerman said.

The Adrian Town & Country Association will sponsor a food stand at the fire hall Saturday. On the menu will be pork burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, beans, chips, dessert and soft drinks. The food stand will open at 11 a.m. and continue to 11 p.m. or midnight, Bullerman said. Proceeds from the food sales will go toward the association for festival and related expenses.

A beer garden will be open alongside the fire hall throughout the day.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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