Searching for Santa
Christmas Eve won't be the only night when Santa Claus will make an appearance in Pierce County.
Over the next two weeks, Santa is scheduled to make stops in Ellsworth, Prescott, Spring Valley, Plum City, Elmwood, Maiden Rock and Stockholm. The following is information about each city's plans, in addition to Santa's visit, along with what some area businesses have planned to celebrate the holiday season.
After years at the American Legion, Santa will now stop at Pamida in Ellsworth Dec. 13.
The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and Ellsworth Funsters will host the event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 598 Lucas Ln., Pamida's location.
Children are invited to talk with Santa, watch movies, receive a bag of candy, a coloring book and register to win prizes. Miss Ellsworth and her court will attend. Families are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Pierce County Food Pantry. Child care will be provided by Ellsworth High School students during Santa's visit to allow parents time to Christmas shop.
The annual Customer Appreciation Days will also be held that weekend. Customers are welcome to stop at participating businesses and register to win one of three prizes (50, 30 and 20) in Ellsworth Dollars, supplied by the local chamber. No purchase is necessary.
Participating businesses will offer cookies and hot cider/chocolate for the public's enjoyment.
The Prescott Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor Hometown Holidays from 12-3 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Welcome and Heritage Center, 237 Broad St.
Santa will appear during that time and kids can have a free picture taken with him. Kids will also enjoy free cookie decorating and crafts. There will be a bake sale, along with hotdogs and popcorn.
Guests will also have the opportunity to vote on the best gingerbread house, as all houses will be on display during those times.
Entertainment goes beyond the Welcome and Heritage Center as, at 1:30 p.m., the second annual pet parade will be held on Broad Street. All pets receive a gift.
The final event the day is a chili tasting contest from 3-5 p.m. throughout downtown Prescott. Registration is free with more voting details available that day.
The next two weekends will be busy with holiday activities in Spring Valley. This weekend, the Spring Valley Adult Community Choir will present its annual holiday musical "The Gift," with performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Spring Valley Stagehands Theater. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling Cindy Kongshaug at 778-5583.
Then, a week later, Kongshaug, who owns Cindy's Cutting Edge, and the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce will host Santa from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Dec. 13 at the SV Senior Citizens Center. This is a new location for Santa, as he used to appear at the Cutting Edge. Kongshaug explained the center allows more room. Children will receive candy, play games, along with registering for prizes. Kongshaug further mentioned wagon rides will also be held during that time.
After appearing on Sunday for the Plum City Park lighting, Santa makes a return appearance to Plum City on Dec. 13 as part of the village's Customer Appreciation Days.
Santa will make multiple stops that day. His first stop will be at the Bittersweet Bakery from 9-9:45 a.m., followed by Plum City Hardware from 9:45-10:30 a.m., and then the First Bank of Baldwin - Plum City Branch from 10:30-11:15 a.m.
The Elmwood Community Club will host Santa from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Elmwood Auditorium. Horse drawn rides along with games for children are also planned.
Stockholm Merchants Association is sponsoring Stockholm Country Christmas this Saturday and Sunday. Santa will roam throughout Stockholm from 12-5 p.m. both days, with Mrs. Claus making an appearance Sunday at The Palate Gourmet Kitchen Store. Carolers will sing Saturday and there will be sleigh rides, holiday specials, food and festivities. Check with each individual business for any special deals they might have.
The Maiden Rock Area Community Association will have Country Christmas from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday. At 9 a.m., Santa's elves will hand out toys for all the children at Hiawatha National Bank. An hour later, Santa will appear at the Maiden Rock Creamery for photos. There will be a horse-drawn wagon ride through Maiden Rock. Later that night, the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery will have a Medieval Feast and Wassailing of the Apple Trees from 5-9 p.m. For more information, visit www.maidenrockwinerycidery.com.
Vino In The Valley
The outdoor eatery near Maiden Rock will kick off its second season of A Country Christmas this Saturday. It will run from 12-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays until Dec. 21.
New activities this year include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus each day from 1-4 p.m., along with horse-drawn sleigh rides around the vineyard and the chance to select a Christmas tree. Area school choirs will also carol on the grounds. Visitors will then have the opportunity to feast on Vino's hot chili or brick oven pizza. Christmas trees are also available during weekdays by appointment.
The family-owned business in Hager City since 1995, specializing in trees and apples, will host Santa the next two weekends from 1-4 p.m. each day (this Saturday and Sunday, and Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 13-14). This Sunday, local author Susan Huppert is scheduled to appear, as she will read her book "The Perfect Gift." Ten percent of the proceeds from her book sales at Nesbitt's will go to a local literacy program. Then, on Dec. 13, Julie Keller will show guests how to create a beautiful holiday gift to give or display during the holidays.