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Old-fashioned Christmas celebrated at Pioneer Village

Here we are as in olden days,

happy golden days of yore.

Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together; If the Fates allow.

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.

And have yourself a merry

little Christmas now.

WORTHINGTON -- Remember the Friday nights gone by when families would come to town to do their shopping and catch up on the news with friends and neighbors along Main Street?

That is the picture Roxann Polzine likes to imagine when she speaks of the annual Christmas at Pioneer Village event, slated from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the historical site adjacent to the Nobles County Fairgrounds.

Nobles County Historical Society began the tradition of Christmas at Pioneer Village in 1989, growing the event nearly every year. New to the festivities this year is the addition of a town crier and bell ringer, thanks to volunteers Joe Pospisil and his 8-year-old granddaughter, Alison Pospisil.

"She'll be the bell ringer and the attention-getter," said Pospisil of his helper. The two have prepared for the role by watching movie clips and will be dressed up for the nightly performances in which they will announce to visitors the events of the evening.

Polzine is equally excited about the new addition and the events slated for this year's festival. Entertainment will be provided both evenings, Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet the children, and wagon rides through the Village grounds are on tap for the event.

Local talent Virgil Reed will perform karaoke both evenings in the saloon, joined this year by Ken Clark on drums. The saloon is also where people can stop for a bite to eat as the Presbyterian youths will sell barbecues, bars and beverages. At the other end of the block, Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with children inside the fire station and hand out treats to those who stop by for a visit. Musical entertainment will be provided both evenings in the large church on the Village grounds, while Kay Prunty's dance students will perform in the barn only on Friday evening.

In addition to the array of activities, the historical society is hosting a bake sale and country store, selling everything from breads and cookies to Christmas greenery, woodcrafts and carvings, apples, jams and jellies.

Christmas lighting will brighten up the village for the event, and limited buildings will be open to attendees to provide warmth, Polzine said.

"We want people to come and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season," she added.

An admission fee will be collected, which allows individuals to take part in all of the events on the village grounds, as well as the tour of lights around the community of Worthington. Polzine said because seating is limited on Reading Bus Lines for the town tours, which depart at 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. nightly, people will need to request a free ticket for the bus ride when they pay for their admission.

Christmas at Pioneer Village is a fund-raiser for the Nobles County Historical Society to keep both the village and the society in operation.

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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