ONTONAGON - With Christmas less than a month away, it's time to put up the decorations and start the festivities, which is what Ontonagon's Hometown Christmas is aiming to do.
The celebration starts today and runs throughout the weekend with such activities planned as the Christmas Craft Fair and the Hometown Tree Trimming.
Hometown Christmas Committee Co-President Annette Trail said people should come to the event to make some memories.
Gazette file photo
Participants enjoy the Hometown Christmas in Ontonagon in 2011. This year’s event begins tonight and runs throughout the weekend.
"It brings family and friends together (and sometimes) that's the only time of the year they can get together," Trail said.
It's also an inexpensive way for families to have a good time and for seniors who live alone to have a nice Christmas, she added.
Hometown Christmas is put on almost exclusively through community support.
"We're grateful for all the donations so we can keep going," Trail said. "It's all donation-based so whatever we have funds for is whatever we can do."
The Ontonagon Chamber of Commerce is helping with the craft fair and Holy Family Catholic Church is doing the "cookies by the pound" event.
"You can go to the church and pay $4.50 and pick out a pound of cookies."
This is the 12th year for Hometown Christmas and when it was first thought of, Trail said people were doubtful it would succeed.
"People said, 'Oh, it'll never work,' but you don't know if you don't try," she said.
The original idea for Hometown Christmas was just a parade with lights on the floats.
"But then things just went crazy," Trail said.
Since then it's turned into a three-day event.
Saturday night there will be a fireworks show starting at 6 p.m. and then from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the Christmas Tree Trimming, which takes place between the fitness center and the museum.
"We light the tree and you can bring a (shatter-proof) ornament to hang on the tree," Trail said. "We still have some from the very beginning."
Later Saturday night there will be two dances - one for adults at the Eagles Hall and one for teenagers at the Ontonagon Area Junior/Senior High School. Both dances will begin at 9 p.m.
The weekend ends with the parade, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Sunday night. Afterward, Santa Claus will make an appearance at the Fire Hall.
Despite the many events planned, Trail is unsure how far the events will go to helping Ontonagon's faltering economy.
"It may (help) some. I know there are other people who come from other areas," Trail said. "I don't know if it's a tremendous amount. It builds, but it's just hard to tell."