Last year Kalona embarked on a new Christmas promotion with the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce and Kalona Historical Society joining forces to light and decorate the Kalona Historical …
Last year Kalona embarked on a new Christmas promotion with the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce and Kalona Historical Society joining forces to light and decorate the Kalona Historical Village.
With that base, the Chamber is ready to launch additional activities to make Kalona the Eastern Iowa Christmas City, Christmas committee chairman Ron Slechta told the members at the chamber’s monthly luncheon Monday, October 25 at the Chamber Building.
New activities planned for this year include a Christmas Stroll, Lighted Christmas Parade and a ceremony for the official lighting of the Village on Thursday, December 2.
Stroll - The stroll will be held on B Avenue and 5th and 4th Streets from 3 to 6:45 p.m. on December 2. Merchants will be encouraged to have specials, put things out on the sidewalk, etc. Non-profit organizations will be encouraged to have booths selling hot chocolate, food and other beverages. The stores are being asked to stay open during this time.
Lighted Christmas parade - Entries are being sought for a lighted Christmas parade at 6:30 p.m. The parade will end at the Historical Village.
“This can be an exciting event,” noted Kalona News advertising manager Gaye Van Winkle, who had helped develop a similar event in St. Maries, Idaho.
Everyone is encourage to have an entry. Please contact Van Winkle at the Kalona News 656-2273.
Village ceremony - The day will be topped off with an official lighting ceremony at the Kalona Historical Village at 7 p.m. All lights will be turned on for the season at once. That will be followed by caroling and presentations by some local musical groups.
Admission to the Village will be free from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday evening only.
The Village will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday with regular admission being charged.
The committee is seeking choral groups to sing carols both Friday and Saturday. Anyone interested should contact Fern Bontrager or Gaye Van Winkle.
No evening activities are planned Friday so there won’t be a conflict with the opening of the basketball season.
Santa - Santa will arrive on the Kalona fire truck at noon on Saturday at the Chamber Building. Santa will receive area youngsters from noon to 2:30 p.m.
The United Christian and Baptist Church will have a Christmas Cookie Walk at the Chamber Saturday morning.
Businesses are again volunteering to decorate selected buildings at the Historical Village.
Following are the areas and buildings already assigned:
Front fence lighting-Peterseim’s Funeral Home and Monuments.
Depot, downstairs-Hills Bank Kalona.
Depot, upstairs-Kalona Realty.
General Store- JW’s Food.
Wahl Museum- Woodin Wheel Antiques & Quilts and Kalona Antique.
Grout Church-Kalona Oil.
Wahl House—Freedom Security Bank inside; Reif’s Family Center, outside plus Nativity Scene sign.
Post Office—Kalona News.
Volunteers are needed to decorate the Log Cabin and School.
Kinneer Home Furnishings plan on having some Christmas trees on the grounds.
In addition to these buildings, volunteers are needed to help decorate the outside and the new museum.
A work day is planned for November 22. Businesses may decorate their adopted buildings during the times when the village is open or make arrangements with Fern Bontrager or Helen Slechta.
“It will take everyone working together to make this event a success,” noted Slechta.
The Christmas committee of the chamber will be selling special Christmas in Kalona sweatshirts to help raise funds to finance this year’s activities. You may reserve your sweatshirt by contacting Gaye Van Winkle at the Kalona News.
Committee Members are —Gaye Van Winkle, Kalona News; Bill Kinneer, Kinneer Home Furnishings; Judy (Grout) Thompson, Kalona Locker & Furniture; John Wallerich, JW’s Food; Fern Bontrager, Kalona Historical Village; Dave Clearman, Bird’s Nest; Beryl Emily Marner, Kalona News; and Ron Slechta, Kalona News. More volunteers are welcome.
Mike and Karla Krantz are also planning an open house at Home on the Hill Bed and Breakfast for December 4.