Celebrating Christmas: Ontonagon Hometown Christmas this weekend

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette A float from a previous year’s Ontonagon Hometown Christmas celebration.

The 18th annual Ontonagon Hometown Christmas will run from Thursday, Nov. 29-Dec 2.

Ontonagon residents and businesses who want to enter the Hometown Christmas lighting contest must register by 1 p.m. Thursday at Annette Trail’s residence, 281 Tamarack Lane, or at the Y-101 studios. The lighting contest is sponsored by UPPCO. Judging is on Friday.

Events begin on Thursday evening, with a Christmas Concert at the Christian Center on M-64 beginning at 6 p.m.

Music continues Friday with the Youth Christmas Dance from 7-10 p.m. for children in grades six-eight and sponsored by the Ontonagon County 4-H.

The volunteers of Operation Graduation will sponsor a high school dance from 9 pm.-midnight in the Ontonagon School cafeteria.

On Saturday, UP North Cafe will be offering free coffee, hot chocolate and cake during its grand opening from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Nonesuch Gallery will have an open house from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Aspirus Fitness Center will have an open house, as will the Ontonagon County Historical Museum from 5-8 p.m.

Other events on Saturday include the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Craft Fair from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Ontonagon High School. Children’s Time for children accompanied by an adult will include crafts, cookie decorating, and games from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Community Action office.

The open skate kickoff party at the Recreation Center will go from 2-5 p.m. This is the first skate of the year.

The Reindeer Run, more commonly called the Poker Run, will begin, with registration from 3-5 p.m. at the VFW. Envelopes need to be returned to the VFW by 9 p.m.

One of the highlights of the Hometown Christmas is the spectacular Morin fireworks display, which will take place at the Marina Park starting around 6 p.m. The fireworks at this time of the year offer spectators watching in cars to see the colors reflecting off the snow.

Also on Saturday is the Hometown Tree Trimming between the Fitness Center and Museum from 6:30-8 p.m. People are asked to bring a shatterproof ornament for the tree. Refreshments will be provided by Aspirus-Ontonagon Hospital.

During the tree trimming, hay rides will be provided. There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides and on-tram light tours starting at the Fitness Center.

This year’s Snowball Dance will be held Saturday from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., as Mike Urbis will be playing the music at the Eagles Hall.

Events and activities continue on Sunday. Holy Family Catholic Church on Michigan Avenue will have Cookies by the Pound from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A Christmas display will be set up at 21972 Old Norwich Trail. The Clark Christmas village display will take place on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 6:30-8 p.m.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, Syl’s Cafe will offer free hot chocolate and coffee.

The highlight of the weekend takes place with the Hometown Christmas Parade on Main Street. Line-up for the parade begins at 5 p.m., with the parade starting at 5:30. Entrants will be judged in in three categories: open, commercial and youth.

Santa Claus will be arrive at the Ontonagon Fire Hall following the parade at about 7:30 p.m.