PRINCETON — Shopping bargains, holiday refreshments and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be among the highlights of this weekend’s Christmas Open House in Princeton.
Princeton Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Frey said this year’s festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the arrival of Santa Claus for the lighting of the Christmas tree at Darius Miller Park. Princeton storeowners will have their display windows decorated, holiday refreshments ready and holiday shopping specials unveiled. Mrs. Claus will also be on hand to meet shoppers at her Christmas Cottage on the Frontier lawn next to the Prouty Community Building on South Main Street.
Also, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, shoppers are encouraged to search for “Secret Santas” on both the North and South end shopping districts to win a multitude of prizes and coupons, Frey said.
Saturday events will begin at 10 a.m.with a wide range of activities, including the German Kristkindl Markt at the Open Prairie Church, a Friends of Strays bake sale at the Prouty Building, and an antique toy show at the Bureau County Fairgrounds.
Other Saturday events include plenty of free live musical entertainment and horse-drawn carriage rides, as well as free Santa Fe train rides between the north and south end business districts. Among the musical entertainment set for the weekend are the Bell Ringers, Covered Bridge Barbershop Chorus, Bureau County Chorus and the Princeton High School Madrigals. Of course, businesses will be ready to greet customers and help them as they shop for their holiday items, Frey said.
On Sunday, the Christmas Open House events begin at noon and continue through the afternoon with more shopping, live entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa Fr train rides, as well as other opportunities to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Frey said the Princeton Junior Women’s Club is bringing back its vendor fair, which is larger than ever and will be held at the Opportunity Knocks building by Soldiers and Sailors Park.
One of the special new features for this year’s Christmas Open House will be performances by professional storyteller Mick Henneberry, Frey said. Henneberry will tell holiday Christmas stories from noon to 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the Frontier lawn. Also, the live window displays are new this year, as is the antique toy show at the fairgrounds.
The Princeton Christmas Open House, with its “Magical Memories” theme is a great way for the whole family to kick-off the holiday season, Frey said. The shopping will definitely be the highlight with Princeton’s many niche businesses providing those unique gifts which can only be found in Princeton. But with all the activities planned, the entire weekend should be a fun-packed experience for everyone, she added.
“This weekend will be a way to start your shopping early and to get everyone in the Christmas spirit,” Frey said.
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