Christmas Programs Adapt To New Normal

Joyce Coates
County Reporter
“Holiday celebrations will be a little different, but no less merry and bright in Warsaw this season,” City Clerk Jessica Kendall said. “From November 25 until just after the New Year people who visit Drake Harbor will notice more than the usual number of Christmas lights, making walks there brighter than ever!”
Public health concerns dictate different activities than originally scheduled in Lincoln, Cole Camp and Warsaw. “That won’t keep Santa and the Grinch from showing up in random times and places,” Kendall said. ” Kids should keep their eyes open and cameras ready when out and about because it’s hard to tell where Santa or the Grinch, or maybe both together, may suddenly appear on the scene.
Benton County residents and merchants can add to the fun by decorating their homes and businesses, by painting their windows with Christmas themes. 
In Warsaw during the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” from December 12 through 24, videos of city officials reading their favorite Christmas stories will be posted on the City’s website and on Facebook. Among the twelve officials: Mayor Simons reading “The Grinch that Stole Christmas,” and Police Chief, Sean McCannon, reading his favorite story. Check out the videos at and at
Janet Manson, with the Benton County Republican Women’s Club in Warsaw, started a new program for kids this year called, “Rockin’ Around Christmas.” Beginning December 1, rocks painted with a Christmas theme will be placed all around Warsaw. Parents can bring their kids to town to hunt for the rocks, and then take photos of them holding the rocks they’ve found to post on their Facebook page. Either keep the rock as a memento, or hide it for someone else to find.
Kids can collect their own rocks to paint with a Christmas theme—they should be small--about 3-4 inches in size. Some might like to be a “Rockin’ Santa” who hides the rock somewhere in town. Or, they can bring their painted rocks to the Republican headquarters on Main Street for a Club member to hide for them. 
Also, they can come to the headquarters and choose a rock to paint it there, keeping in mind that because of social distancing only 3 to 4 kids can sit at the worktable at the same time. Once again, after painting their rock, kids can decide whether to have one of the Club members hide it, or they can hide it in the City themselves. Headquarters open hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 AM – 2 PM.
Adults can participate, too. Find painted rocks in local businesses and take advantage of the discounts painted on the bottom. Kids and adults can find many different Christmas rocks and take photographs to share with everyone. Janet says Santa wants all the help he can get to make the event as much fun as possible for kids of all ages.
Lindsey Decker is organizing Lincoln’s 30th Annual Christmas Parade down Main Street scheduled to go forward as planned for 11 AM on Saturday, December 12; parade participants will gather and prepare at the former Subway site. However, the lunch and school activities will not take place.
Cole Camp’s Christkindlmarket scheduled for Saturday, December 4, will not be held. 
Christmas event schedules at the three school districts have changed and are subject to further change. Decisions to hold events not already been cancelled will be made early next month. For now, Warsaw High School’s Winter Concert remains scheduled for December 17. No date has been set for the Middle School music program traditionally held in December.
At the time of writing, Lincoln R-2 High School Band Concert has no date scheduled and remains tentative. Cole Camp R-1 School plans Virtual Christmas Concerts by the Middle School on December 10 and the High School on December 11.  Other events on the district calendar include Christmas Caroling on December 4 by the High School Band & Vocal group; a To-Go Only Music Booster Dinner on December 6; a High School Christmas Concert on December 9, and Snow Dance on December 12.
Dates and times of the above events should be reconfirmed with the organizers a few days ahead because of potential, last-minute changes.