Ontonagon Christmas: Holiday celebration this weekend
By SKIP SCHULZ
For the Gazette
ONOTONAGON — The village will host its 16th Annual Hometown Christmas this weekend.
“The weekend is full of various events such as fireworks, community tree trimming, horse-drawn wagon rides, hayrides, light tours, Children’s Time, which has cookie decorating, crafts, and games,” said organizer Annette Trail.
Trail said other events that are part of the Hometown Christmas include a “Snowball Dance at the Eagles Hall and youth dances for grades six-12. We also have a residential and business lighting contest and, of course, a parade.”
Children’s events are an integral part of the event.
“Children’s Time is an event which is supported by the Ontonagon Men’s Association, Pat’s Food, Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital and volunteers from the OKAY Team,” Trail said. “We have games, crafts and cookie decorating for children from 11-2 p.m. on Saturday. The children must be accompanied by an adult. This will take place at the Community Action building.”
The longevity and success of the event is due to volunteers and community support.
“The community has been wonderful to work with and without them a lot of events would not be possible,” Trail said.
An example of the community support are the dances hosted by the Ontonagon County 4-H and Operation Graduation.
The Ontonagon Chamber of Commerce hosts the craft show and many businesses have open houses.
“Trees for downtown are donated, and the Ontonagon Volunteer Fire Department hosts Santa’s visit as well as provides fire safety for the fireworks,” Trail said. “There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes and the community support is a very big part of it not only financially but time-wise, and we appreciate it immensely.”
Unlike some communities that host events funded through government grants, Ontonagon’s Hometown Christmas is basically funded by business and private donations.
“We would like to thank everyone who helps make this weekend a success, and when we say we couldn’t do it without you we mean it. It is heartwarming to have our community come together to provide lasting memories for families and friends,” said Trail.
Ontonagon, which claims the title of “UP’s parade community,” concludes the weekend with a Sunday evening parade. Lineup starts at 5 p.m., with the parade starting at 5:30.
“What better way to end the weekend’s Christmas festivities but with a visit from Santa after the parade on Sunday at the Fire Hall?” Trail said.