For more than 10 years, the Cottage Grove PTO, along with various civic groups, have worked to host the Holiday Festival for the entire family at the Cottage Grove Elementary School. The PTO's event is planned for Saturday, Dec. 7. This year, the Chamber of Commerce hosts its first Christmans in the Grove, with events showcasing local businesses. The chamber's activities begin Friday, Dec. 6, and concludes Saturday with a winter ball.
Take a free horse-drawn wagon ride through Cottage Grove, with stops at Cenex, Cottage Grove Market Place, Taylor Prairie School, and Cottage Grove School. Five teams will give continuous wagon service throughout the day.
Are your kids anxious to get a glimpse of Santa? He, joined by Mrs. Claus, will arrive in Cottage Grove on Friday, at 8 p.m. for the chamber's tree lighting ceremony at the Wisconsin Community Bank. On Saturday, Santa will arrive at 10 a.m. at the PTO's Holiday Festival at the Cottage Grove Elementary School. Santa will visit with kids until 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. Lionesses will photograph and distribute goody bags to kids visiting Santa.
The weekend's activities include the following events:
The Original Holiday Festival, Cottage Grove Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.:
-- a craft fair with more than 40 vendors begins at 9 a.m. Check your coats in the IMC (library), hosted by the Cub Scouts.
-- Santa, joined by Mrs. Claus, will arrive at 10 a.m. by fire truck. The Lionesses will photograph the kids visiting Santa and hand out goody bags.
-- Kids can shop in the Elf Shelf for gifts for the family. Gifts will be wrapped and labeled free by elves. Or, children can visit the craft room, sponsored by the Girl Scouts, to create their own gifts or holiday decorations.
-- In the hallways, the Friends of the EMS will host a bake sale, the Cottage Grove Historical Society will display photos illustrating how Cottage Grove's development over time, and the Lionesses will sell home decor items. In addition, the Girl Scouts will sell handmade items, popcorn, and candy.
-- To celebrate this event's 10th anniversary, an "avalanche" ice cream bar will be available in the cafeteria. Blend your ice cream with a selection of candies or just top your scoop of ice cream with your choice of toppings.
-- The 4-H Club will take your lunch orders in the cafeteria, offering BBQs, turkey sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, milk, pop, and chips.
-- Free fire truck rides will be provided courtesy of the local firefighters.
-- The PTO will offer a silent auction to raise money for the Taylor Prairie Playground, and St. Patrick's parish cookbooks will be available for purchase during the event.
-- The Brownies will host a cookie table in the cafeteria with hot cider and coffee.
Chamber of Commerce's Christmas in the Grove, Dec. 6 and 7:
-- Friday: Tree lighting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 7 p.m., Wisconsin Community Bank; and Northern Lights in the Grove: 8 p.m., judges tour homes participating in light contest (to register, call 839-1172).
-- Saturday, Dec. 7: Lion's pancake breakfast, 7:30 - 10:30 a.m., Flynn Hall.
-- Winter Cottage Extravaganza, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Taylor Prairie School. More than 40 vendors will sell their arts and crafts, entry costs $1 or a nonperishable food donation item. The chamber will distribute local coupon books with local promotions. Breakfast, lunch, and a bake sale are offered. Carver Kettle Corn will pop fresh corn outside the school. America's Best and Judy's Flowers and Gifts will sell poinettias at each entrance. The Yahara River Chorus will roam the show, singing holiday favorites, providing a full group concert at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
-- Horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the day, with stops at Taylor Prairie and Cottage Grove schools, Cenex, and the Market Place.
-- Winter Ball, 8 a.m. - midnight, at Doubleday's featuring Midlife Crisis (advance tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for children; $6 and $4 at the door).
For more information about the Holiday Festival at the Cottage Grove Elementary School, contact Ann Manz, PTO president, 839-1560. For more information about the Chamber's activities, contact Laurie Hughes at Hometown News at 837-2521.