Plenty of music, more planned next week at Pioneer Village

WORTHINGTON -- This year's Old-Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Village won't just have Santa Claus. It will showcase two dozen musical performances over two nights, including music from various bands, choral groups and residents.

Christmas at Pioneer Village continues tonight
Glen Burnham’s Belgian horses Flicka and Maggie give rides around the Pioneer Village for patrons during last year's Thursday night event. Glen and Lisa Burnham will be back this year to give hay rides. (Daily Globe file photo)

WORTHINGTON - This year’s Old-Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Village won’t just have Santa Claus. It will showcase two dozen musical performances over two nights, including music from various bands, choral groups and residents.

The event - celebrated annually since 1989 - will be from 5-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 1-2, at Pioneer Village.

Nobles County Historical Society President Jacoba Nagel worked hard to get as many performers as possible. On both Thursday and Friday, there will be performances all night at the small church, large church and saloon.

“We’re going to have quite a lot of live music,” Nagel said.

This year’s event will add a few new names to the long list of established performers. Galen and Cindy Smith will sing on Thursday while Brad Atchison will perform Christmas music on Friday.


Kids can visit Santa Claus all night Thursday and Friday in the fire hall. Worthington resident and Air Force veteran Simon Koster will once again don the red and white for this year’s event.

“He makes a perfect Santa,” Pioneer Village caregiver Gary Brandt said. “He’s already got the big grey beard.”

Brandt added that kids could leave notes in Santa’s mailbox to reinforce what they told him earlier about their gift preference. Although it may not be what they asked for, Santa will give out candy - donated by local businesses - to every kid that sits on his lap. Also in the fire hall, visitors can help themselves to popcorn, coffee and cider.

On both nights, Reading Bus Lines will host the annual Tour of Lights, taking people around town to see the best holiday light displays. They will pick up riders at 6:45 p.m. by the Pioneer Village gate.

In the village hall, the NCHS will host its annual bake sale. A variety of items will be on sale, including copies of Ray Crippen’s final book, “Railroads, Trains and Depots: The Way It Was” and wood carvings and craft items.

Nagel said the hall will be home to a silent auction for two stepladders - redone by Marv Rall - starting at $100. The auction will end at 8:30 Friday night.

On Friday at the big barn, students of Kay Williams Prunty’s Dance Academy will perform throughout the evening. It’s the 21st consecutive year Prunty’s group will be performing; Nagel suggested that people get to the performance early to get a good seat.

“Their shows are always full,” Nagel said. “We’ve filled entire churches before.”


At the saloon, Westminster Presbyterian Church will sell food on Thursday and Friday. On the menu is barbecues, coney dogs, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks.

Here’s a list of all of the performances for the two evenings.

  Small Church:

Thursday: 5:30 p.m. - Linda Lang (piano, vocal), 6 p.m. - Galen and Cindy Smith (vocals), 6:30 p.m. - Kris Stewart (piano), 7 p.m. - St. John’s Lutheran Church Choir, 8 p.m. - Jolene Kuhl

  Friday: 5 p.m. - Barb Atchison (christian music), 6 p.m. - El Sistema Image, 6:30 p.m. - DiDi Edwards (piano/vocal), 7 p.m. - St. John’s Lutheran Church Choir, 8 p.m. - Great Plains String Quartet

  Large Church:

Thursday: 5:30 p.m. - Lois Gruis’ Piano Students, 6:30 p.m. - Celebration Chorus, 7 p.m. - Worthington Christian Chorus, 7:30 p.m. - Brass Band, 8 p.m. - Jolene Kuhle (piano)

  Friday: 5 p.m. - Bruce Dysthe (music), 6 p.m. - St. Mary’s Choir, 6:30 p.m. - In Harmony (vocal), 7 p.m. - Maynard and Jeanene Townswick (accordians), 7:30 p.m. - Widboom Family, 8 p.m. - Alan and Nancy Jenson (vocal/instrumental)


  At the saloon, Audrey Brake will play accordion throughout the evening Thursday. On Friday, Daryl Hrdlicka will perform a collection of gambling tricks and Cindy Harvey will perform Christmas Music.

  There is an admission fee for adults; admission is free for children 15 and younger and for Nobles County Historical Society members.

Two stepladders -- redone and donated by Marv Rall -- will be auctioned off Friday during the Old-Fashioned Christmas event. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom/Daily Globe)

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