By Beccy Tanner
All through Stafford County, the signs of Christmas are upon us.
There’s the many arrays of lights on rooftops, decorated trees and best of all, community gatherings with food and Santas and all his volunteer helpers.
This Saturday, (Dec. 2), Macksville and St. John are both hosting celebrations.
Macksville’s “I’ll Be Gnome For Christmas” is an all-day event, Dec.2nd.
This is the town’s 16th annual Christmas community celebration.
The Lions Club Breakfast is from 6:30 to 9 am at the VIP Center. There is an open house at the Macksville library from 9 am to noon; and a vendor show at Body of Sole Fitness, 418 Gilmore.
And then, how can you not celebrate the holidays without a good Chili Cookoff and Cinnamon Roll Contest? This one is at Table Coffee Shop, 212 Main Street. Entries must be at the table by 11:30.
Stafford County Mills/Hudson Cream Flour have donated prizes for the top three places in the contest. The rules are that containers presented for judging can not have a participant’s name visible; chili needs to be in a crockpot and each contestant must present a minimum of six cinnamon rolls.
Winners will be chosen by a public sampling at noon. Samples are $1 each.
May the best chef win.
From 2:30 to 4 pm, there will hot cocoa and treats at the SJN Bank of Kansas in Macksville; and during the same time period, Santa, a storytime and crafts will be at the Table Coffee Shop.
The Main Street Christmas Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. The line up begins at 5 pm at the South Elevator.
Then, at 6:30 pm, there will be a community supper at the Macksville Fire Station. Meat is being provided by SJN Bank of Kansas and prepared by the Macksville Fire Department.
People are encouraged to bring a side dish. There will be door prizes and raffle items at the supper.
Around the Square in St. John—Dec.2nd.
Events start at 5 p.m. with the St. John Fireman and Auxiliary Soup Supper at the Shell building. The supper will continue until 7 p.m.
Freewill donations are accepted.
During that time, people can also have their pictures taken with Santa in the old Dillon’s building.
A hot cocoa and cider bar with popcorn and cookie decorating station will also be available as well as Letters to Santa and a Crafting Station.
Raffle tickets will be available in the Dillon’s building as well as vendors.
Tickets are $5 per ticket or 3 tickets for $10.
The drawing will be at 6:30 pm.
During this time, people are encouraged to bring gently used, clean, unbroken toys which can be donated to the Thrift Store.
The annual lighting of the Christmas decorations in the Square will be at 6 p.m.
Sponsors of the evening celebration include Golden Belt Beef Co., White’s Foodliner and Tiger Town Pizza.
Sunday, Dec. 3
The celebrations continue in St. John on Sunday when the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library Christmas Open House is from 2 to 4 pm.
Refreshments will be provided.
And then, Stafford County communities will take a small break from festivities – but only temporarily.
Saturday, Dec. 9
The town of Stafford is hosting a Christmas Yard Decorating contest with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
The City of Stafford also offers a Christmas light discount. You must have five strands of lights out to be eligible for a $30 discount on your bill. Must call or go into office to register your account for discount.
On Dec. 9th, from 8:30 am to 10 am – there will be a Kids Breakfast and Carnival at Stafford VFW, 301 s. Main.
From 1 to 4 pm, there will be a pop-up Vendors Market and Christmas in Stafford and Midwest Photography Christmas Pictures in the VFW along with a soup supper beginning at 5 p.m.
For those who would like a different change in the menu, the Stafford Senior Center is providing a spaghetti supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16
Hudson’s Old Fashioned Christmas
Events begin at 5 p.m. with a soup supper at the town’s Community Hall. It will include gingerbread Christmas Lego scenes, a raffle, carriage rides and a Christmas Forest at the Old Hudson School.
In addition, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Hudson Firehouse will provide hot chocolate and a fire engine climb.
From 6 to 7 p.m., there will be a Santa visit at the SJN Bank of Kansas in Hudson.
At 7:30 pm, there will be an announcement of the contest winners; and, at 7:45 pm, the lineup begins for the lighted parade at the mill parking lot.
The parade begins at 8 p.m. followed by a firework finale, weather permitting.
Sunday, Dec. 17th
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Pick up your Scavenger Hunt clues and popcorn at the Ritz Theatre.
The Frosty Bean Coffee Shop at 111 W. Broadway is hosting a Santa appearance from 1 to 4 p.m.
And, you have until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18th, to turn in your sheets from the Scavenger Hunt.
Saturday, Dec. 30th
3 p.m. – Free kids movie at the Ritz Theater
6 p.m. Doors open, Stafford VFW, 301 S. Main
7 p.m. – Music Bingo – Oktoberfest Gives Back Event