Ontonagon celebrates Hometown Christmas

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette At this weekend’s Ontonagon Hometown Christmas, the Wascher farm provided horse-drawn sleigh rides and was also the parade’s winning entry in the youth division.

ONTONAGON — With the weather conditions changing from its start on Thursday to the finale with children meeting Santa at the fire hall on Sunday night, the village’s Hometown Christmas event was well-attended.

It was one of the largest turnouts of crafters for the Craft Fair on Saturday. The Ontonagon Riverside Marina parking lot was packed with cars for the Morin Fireworks show.

“The Hometown Christmas Committee would like to thank the community for making 2018 a successful event,” said Annette Trail of the Hometown Christmas Committee. “There are many key components to making an event like this happen.

Trail said “without our large community of elves,” such an event would not be possible.

The annual holiday festivities began with the Christmas lighting contest involving homes and businesses:

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette The Mike White family was the winning entry in the open category of the Hometown Christmas parade held this weekend in Ontonagon.

•Forever Flowers and Firefly Boutique won the exterior and interior business categories. Strong Dental and Ontonagon IT and Processing won second and third in exterior. Syl’s Cafe took second and Strong Dental took third in interior.

•In the residential contest, there was two themes: traditional and “Griswold.” Wendy and Chuck Peterson won traditional, with Donna and Randy Pollard winning the Griswold. Patti Del Marcelle took second in traditional, with Gina and Todd Penegor taking third.

A handmade Christmas quilt was won by Linda Koski in the raffle, Pauline Frazer won the hand-painted Christmas ornaments, and Violet Kyllonen won the cake gift certificate in the raffle.

One of the highlights was the annual parade, and viewers saw an impressive array of entries in three categories.

The Mike White family was the winner in the open category. The Stein Club won second and third place.

“Nor wind, rain, or fire will keep Ontonagon from having a parade,” Trail said. “That is just the yooper in us.”

She said the event depends on support in attending fundraisers, buying raffle tickets and stockings, donating time, food, supplies and sponsoring events, as well as monetary donations.

The Michigan DNR took first in the parade’s commercial division, followed by Kauralla Racing having two of the top MASTERS Racing Circuit Snowmobile Hillclimb snowmobiles in the parade. They took second, with On Tran getting third.

The Wascher farm once again gave horse-drawn sleigh rides. It was their horses that won the youth division in the parade. The Ontonagon Band took second, and St. Paul’s church was third.

The Ontonagon Fire Department received a generous donation from the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. A representative from the Fire Department stated it had received enough stuffed animals for every child in the community.