Ontonagon Hometown Christmas a success

After a two-year absence, Ontonagon brought back their Hometown Christmas last weekend. The three-day event ended with parents and children lined up across a village street to see Santa. The smiling children visited with Santa inside the Ontonagon Volunteer Fire Department.

“We look at our events to bring smiles to children and our elderly. I can say that all the smiles made everything worthwhile,” commented committee volunteer Carmen Burrows. “We are thankful to all those that participated in the wide variety of events, along with all the volunteers and our fantastic sponsors.”

The Hometown Christmas opened up last Friday with the judging on the Christmas lighting. The categories for this included both indoor and outdoor for businesses, along with traditional and Griswold for homes.

Taking a first place for the inside of a business was Strong Dental Center. Second and third went to Harbor Towne Pharmacy and Olde Swing Bridge Roasters. Winning the Business Outside holiday décor went to 906 Services, with Olde Swing Bridge Roasters and Cane Court Circle.

Cheryl Sundberg’s residence won the residential outdoor lighting contest. Taking a second was Becky and Wayne Giesau, and third went to the home of Mark Linna and Katelyn Laingren. Tony Vezzeti won the Griswold category. Chris Kiefer took second.

“However we will look at a possible different category for this,” commented one of the Hometown Christmas volunteer committee person. “Thanks to UPPCO for sponsoring this, along with On Tran for taking people around to view the Christmas decorations.”

Many people turned out for the Christmas Concert on Friday Night at the Ontonagon Theatre for Performing Arts. Jack Joliff, Ewen Trout Creek Choir, and local artists performed.

People from all over viewed the Great Gingerbread House Contest, sponsored by the Ontonagon Artists Collective. Categories included Youth (under 18) and Business, along with the People’s choice Award. That award was won by Gitchee Gumee Rock Shop, which also won the Business Category. Honorable Mention went to Senior Village. The Youth category was won by Snowflake Vacation. Honorable Mention went to Opehila Bailey.

Ontonagon County 4-H stated they were happy with all the sixth- through eighth-graders that had fun at the Friday Night Youth Christmas Dance, which took place at Cane Court.

The community came together to put on numerous events last Saturday.

“From the pancake dinner at the VFW to tree trimming at the RICC Park, people of all ages participated. The popular Christmas Craft Fair was enjoyed by our senior citizens, and the kids loved the fun of decorating cookies at Holy Family Catholic Church,” commented all the members of the committee. “Yes, the adults loved the Reindeer Run!”

Businesses, organization, a church, and individuals lit up River Street on Sunday for the parade. Ellsworth Heating and Air Conditioning won the commercial category. The Porcupine Mountains State Park/Michigan DNR took second, and Mi-TRALE took third. The Sullivans won the open category. The Bauer family that has had a Christmas float in this parade since it began 20 years ago, took second place. The Stein Club is an annual entry in both the Ontonagon Hometown Christmas Parade and one of the biggest parades in the Upper Peninsula, the Labor Day Parade. Stein Club took third. Redeemer Free Lutheran Church School children won the Youth Category. They have also participated in this parade for years.

As Sandy Schulz, one of the announcers for the parade stated, “Ontonagon really is the ‘Village of Parades.’ It sure is good to see the support from SONCO, the Sheriff’s Department, and the (Volunteer) Fire Department.”

It was in the Fire Department Hall where Santa heard what the children wanted for Christmas.

“What we wanted for the Hometown Christmas was to see so many children on hand to have fun all weekend long. By the look on their faces, we can say Hometown Christmas was a success,” concluded Carmen Burrows. Burrows, along with Theresa Miller, Lee Ann Jessup and Annette Trail, made up this year’s Ontonagon Hometown Christmas Committee.

The committee thanks everyone for participating and looks forward to next year’s Hometown Christmas the first full weekend in December.


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