The Holiday Season Picks Up Steam

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Craft fairs with Christmas themes have already begun in Benton County and more are scheduled well into December. Other celebrations are taking place in community centers, schools, Drake Harbor, as well as downtown Warsaw, Lincoln and Cole Camp.
The Country Crafts and Collectibles Show at the Warsaw Community Center on November 3 had several Christmas themed booths and there were plenty of vendors selling wares appropriate for gift giving. The Cole Camp Christbaumfest was held November 17 at the Lutheran School Gymnasium and Jaycee Hall, and boasted over 50 crafters offering handmade items to be purchased. Crowds of mostly women poured into the craft venues and also filled Handel Haus and other local eateries to have lunch and socialize.  
Thanksgiving will barely be over when more opportunities to shop, eat, and have Christmas fun will take place. A German Christmas Program will be presented at St. Paul’s Church on S. Hickory Street, December 2, from 7 to 8 PM. Christkindlmarket will be held in Cole Camp on December 7 from 5 to 8 PM, with a Christmas Vendor Fair in Jaycee Hall. Shops and Farmer’s Market will be open until 8 PM, and there will be free wagon rides, hot chocolate,and more.
Kaysinger Christmas will take place December 7 and 8 at Kaysinger Bluff in Warsaw (Harry S. Truman Visitor Center), from 3 to 9 PM. Christmas décor and activities will be 1800’s themed and will include hay wagons, carol singing, fireplaces, wood stoves, candles, and luminaries. Adults are $3, children 6-12 are $2, and ages 5 and under are free. Wrist bands are good for both days.
On December 8, a Christmas Bazaar will be held in Edwards at the Community Center, from 8 AM to 3 PM.  There will be crafts and other items made by people from the local area.
Also on December 8 is Lincoln’s 27th Annual Christmas Parade, celebrating 150 years. The Chamber will be serving coffee, hot chocolate and donuts from Casey’s, 10 AM to 11 AM at the Community Building, and the parade begins at 11 AM. Lunch and activities will take place at school afterwards.  There will be a silent auction, a chili/soup dinner, food and craft booths as well as visits with Santa. One hundred kids PreK to 6th grade will receive a treat bag. 
Beginning December 12, Christmas Trees for Charity will be on display in the Warsaw Community Center. The public is invited to vote for a favorite tree/charity by donating coins or dollars in a bucket located by the tree. The trees will remain in the Community Center until December 17 when a winner will be announced. There is a $25 registration fee for those who want to place a tree in the Trees for Charity event and that money will be given to the winning charity.  The money placed in individual buckets will remain with each tree to be used for the charity represented.
A big, two-day Christmas on the Harbor “Home for the Holidays” is scheduled for December 14-15 in Warsaw.  Visitors can spend time in the Community Building viewing the Charity Christmas Trees and voting for their favorites. There will also be a Chili/Soup dinner, and music, plus a chance to walk out to Drake Harbor and view the Christmas lights. On Saturday morning, Breakfast with Santa takes place from 9 to 11 AM and includes cookie decorating, letter writing to Santa, face painting and card making for home bound senior citizens. Tickets are $5 pre-sale or $7 at the door. The Grinch Candy Cane Hunt begins at 11 AM and continues to 1 PM. There will be Open House in downtown stores, a community Christmas Concert, parade, free hayrides and a petting zoo. Harbor lights will remain on from December 22 – January 2.
A Christmas Cantada, presenting a selection of songs from “The King is Here” will be held at the Warsaw Community Center at 4 PM, on December 15, and again at the First Baptist Church of Warsaw at 6:30 PM. The Cantada is performed by singers from many churches in the area, and is directed by Jason Brown and Charlene Million.
County schools are providing some Christmas entertainment while showing off the musical talents of their students. There is a John Boise Middle School Band Concert in Warsaw, on December 12, at 5:30 PM, and a Warsaw High School Joint Band/Choir Concert, on December 13, at 7 PM.  Lincoln Elementary School will present a Christmas Concert by K-3 students at 7 PM, on December 18.  South School K-1 students in Warsaw will have their Christmas Concert the same night at 6 PM. 
The Warsaw Senior Center is where a lot of action takes place and Christmas is no exception. A Christmas party is planned on December 21 from 1 to 3 PM with music, snacks and a visit from Santa.