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Ontonagon’s 19th Hometown Christmas this weekend

(Skip Schulz/For the Gazette) It is the Wascher family that took first place in last year’s Ontonagon Hometown Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will be Sunday night, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The village that has come to count on its volunteers to coordinate a Festival and a parade is set to host its 19th Annual Hometown Christmas this weekend.

Ontonagon’s Hometown Christmas begins Thursday and runs to this Sunday. It begins with a Christmas Concert at the Christian Center, located west of town on M-64. The concert, featuring local musicians and singers starts at 7 p.m.

Activities on Friday begin with the Heritage Antiques Open House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Which will also run on Saturday. Holy Family Catholic Church will have a Youth Christmas Dance for children in Grades sixth thru eighth. This goes from 7 to 10 p.m. The High School Dance for children from ninth to 12th grade runs from 9 p.m. to midnight. Sponsored by Operation Graduation, that will be at the Ontonagon Area School cafeteria.

The judging of both the residential and business Christmas decorations will be on Friday night. Sponsored by UPPCO, the contest includes residents within 10 miles of the village. The Hometown Christmas Lighting contest is for both the inside and outside of businesses. Themes can be both traditional and Griswold.

“This is for those registered by Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. There is no fee,” said Hometown Christmas volunteer, Annette Trail. “You can drop off your registration at my house, 281 Tamarack Lane in Ontonagon, or at Y-101.”

Events on Saturday include “Children’s Time” at Holy Family Catholic Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“All children must be accompanied by an adult,” according to organizers. The popular Christmas Craft Fair at the Ontonagon School. This is sponsored by the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce. The Craft Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s the first skate of the year. Come and join us in free family fun at the Ontonagon Recreation Center,” said Trail.

This will run from 2 to 5 p.m.

While all these events are free, there is a small fee to enter the Reindeer Run. Better known as a Poker Run. After registering at the Ontonagon VFW, participants are to return unopened envelopes to the VFW by 9 p.m. The Reindeer run begins at 3 p.m.

The Ontonagon County Historical Museum Open House includes live entertainment and refreshments. This runs from 4 to 8 p.m.

In an effort to help the Ontonagon Area Sports Booster Club, the Methodist Church will have a Spaghetti Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Cost is $8.00, children 4 or 5 years old are $5.00, and children 3 and under are free.

It was 18 years ago when the Hometown Christmas Celebration in Ontonagon began, and one of the events that propelled this festival into a bright future was the Fireworks show at the Marina. This tradition continues at 6 p.m. by “Hyland Big Boom.”

Another tradition of this festival is the Hometown Tree Trimming. This takes place between the Fitness Center and the Museum from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Bring a shatter proof ornament for the tree. Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital will provide refreshments. Norm Pestka is once again sponsoring the Hayrides,” said Trail. “In addition to the horse drawn wagon rides, On Tran will have tours of those decorated in holiday lights. The pick-up for the rides will be at the Fitness Center.”

Eagles Club will once again host the Snowball Dance from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music by Hawgkaller.

Sunday’s events include free hot chocolate and coffee at Syls at 5 p.m.

Ontonagon has become the community of “parades.” Not only does the Village have the big Labor Day Parade, but also the Hometown Christmas Parade. Lining up for the parade begins at 5 p.m. on Parker Avenue at the former Elementary School. The parade down Main Street (River Street), starts at 5:30 p.m. Parade entries will be judged in Open, Commercial, and Youth categories.

After the parade, children will be visiting with Santa at the fire hall. Also after the parade event winners will be announced at the fire hall.

“Everyone is invited to take part in our 19th Annual Hometown Christmas celebration,” said Trail.

Last year’s celebration was one of the biggest the volunteers had.

All times mentioned in the story are Eastern Time.

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