By Matt Getts
ALBION — It’s an idea that goes together like, well, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The Albion S.T.A.R. Team is once against sponsoring its annual craft bazaar in the historic Opera House as part of the 2017 Christmas in the Village event to be held Dec. 1.
“It goes with our mission of helping the economic development of the downtown area,” S.T.A.R. Team member Steve Hook said. “It’s good PR for us as well.”
Overall Christmas in the Village coordinator Tammy Luce, of the Albion Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber would like to encourage downtown Albion businesses to have open houses and extend business hours from 4-8 p.m. With events like the craft bazaar, the hope is that drawing more people to the downtown will enhance downtown commerce.
The Opera House has the capability of hosting 18 vendors for the craft bazaar, Hook said. As of Nov. 8, 12 vendors had already registered, and Hook said he expected the remaining slots to be filled before the Dec. 1 event date.
Traditionally, the bazaar has offered a wide-ranging variety of merchandise, with everything from Avon, Pampered Chef, jewelry and homemade soaps for sale.
Last year’s Christmas in the Village saw the return of the Christmas Parade, and that coincided with an uptick in overall attendance.
“I was really happy with the turnout last year,” Hook said. “I think we’ll have an even better turnout this year.”
Anyone who would like to participate in the Craft Bazaar can contact Hook at 409-0967. The cost is $15.
This year, a Christmas Committee was formed to make Christmas in the Village even stronger. The Christmas Committee is comprised of folks from the Albion Chamber of Commerce: Luce and Kay Craig; Albion S.T.A.R. Team: Luce and Hook; Parade Committee: Shelli McBride, Tiffany Lower, Tara Phillips and Phyllis Herendeen.
New this year, according to Luce, is an expanded Christmas Parade, “Elf on the Shelf,” Frosty the Snowman, a live Nativity scene and a special mailbox for letters addressed to the North Pole.
The Albion Chamber will be donating four $25 Chamber Buck gift certificates to winners who fill out an entry form. Businesses, churches and all organizations will be given a Chamber Buck Box and the entry forms to sign up. Businesses will collect the entry forms and the Albion Chamber will distribute the prizes.
If your business would like to give door prizes, coffee, or hot chocolate, it will add to the celebration. Churches and organizations are encouraged to hold Bazaars on Friday, Dec.1 or Saturday, Dec. 2.
The Christmas Parade will start at 6 p.m. Friday and last approximately one hour. Currently, there are 33 parade entries and 18 locations for the “Elf on the Shelf” adventure, Luce said. If you would like to participate in the parade, contact Shelli McBride at 610-3412. If you would like to participate in the parade using a horse drawn wagon to highlight your organization or business, contact John Moorehouse at 239-2286 or Dudley Parker at 761-2493. It requires a donation of $100 to the Draft Horse and Mule Association. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s Elf ride into town on a horse drawn wagon.
The “Lighting of the Christmas Tree” will be at 7 p.m. Santa will greet the children after the tree ceremony at the Albion Pizza Depot.
Look for more details in the next few weeks. If you would like to participate in Christmas in the Village or have any questions, contact Luce at 636-6181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Kay Craig at email@example.com.