PRINCETON — The nostalgic feel and magic of Christmas will be alive and bright during the Princeton Christmas open house, “Magical Memories: A Christmas Journey,” set for Nov. 16-18 in Princeton.
The fun begins Friday as Santa arrives via fire truck for the lighting of the Christmas tree at Darius Miller Park, where free cocoa will be served. There will also be cocoa served at Mrs. Claus’ Cocoa Cottage, located on Frontier’s lawn, next to the Prouty Building.
Also on Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be live window displays presented by several area organizations, including the collaboration between the Princeton Chamber Ambassadors and the Princeton Public Library’s Journeys’ display. From 5 to 8 p.m., shoppers are also encouraged to search for “Secret Santas” on both the North and South end shopping districts to win a multitude of prizes and coupons.
“We will have celebrity ‘Secret Santas’ walking around, handing out prizes to anyone who recognizes them,” said Kim Frey, Princeton Chamber executive director. “We don’t want to give too much away, but they will each be wearing something indicative of the Christmas season, so feel free to stop anyone whom you think might be our celebrity and shop Princeton with the free prizes and coupons they’ll be distributing.”
The German Kristkindl Markt at Open Prairie UCC, Princeton, and the Friends of Strays’ bake sale will be among the events that open Saturday’s festivities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will also be a model train and farm toy show at the Bureau County Fairgrounds, in addition to the Princeton Junior Woman’s Club’s vendor fair, which will be located at the Opportunity Knocks’ building, located east of Four Seasons. Mick Henneberry will also provide story-telling sessions in front of the Cocoa Cottage from noon to 2 p.m. for children and adults alike.
Saturday’s musical events include the Bureau County Chorus performing outside the Clark House at 11 a.m., the Bellringers in front of the Clark House from 1 to 3 p.m., and the Covered Bridge Chorus singing and strolling on Main Street from 1 to 3 p.m.
Santa will be listening to children’s wish lists at the Prouty Building from noon to 3 p.m. and Mrs. Claus will again be offering cocoa in the Cocoa Cottage during this same time. Horsedrawn carriage rides and rides aboard the “Santa” Fe train will be available throughout the early afternoon, and the “Mini-Trees” Festival will round out the day’s activities from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center.
On Sunday, Grace the Whitetail Deer will be available inside the Prouty Building from noon to 2 p.m. Mick Henneberry will again be telling stories during this time, and there will also be movement in the live window displays. Santa will be strolling the streets as he shops Main Street, and the “Santa” Fe train will again be running from 1 to 3 p.m. The “Mini-Trees” Festival continues from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center, and the opening ceremony of Journey Stories, a Smithsonian exhibit at the Princeton Public Library, concludes the weekend festivities.
“There truly is something for everyone virtually every moment of the weekend, and you couldn’t find a better place to shop for unique Christmas gifts,” concluded Frey. “Come visit us ... We know this will be perfect start to your holiday season.”
For more information about the Princeton Christmas Open House, call the Princeton Chamber of Commerce office at 815-875-2616.