A wooden Santa Claus and his reindeer will greet passerbys at Arnold Larson Park in McFarland until the real Santa Claus arrives.
Christmas in the Village will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, with open houses and Christmas-themed activities around the village. The event is put on by the McFarland Chamber of Commerce.
“As far as community events go, I think that McFarland really prides itself in supporting people that own and operate businesses in the community,” Christmas in the Village committee member and McFarland House Café owner Shaun O’Hearn said.
O’Hearn said that for past 10 years Christmas in the Village is the cafe’s busiest day of the year.
Seventeen businesses will host open houses and another 24 businesses and organizations will have holiday activities, special discounts and prize drawings throughout the day.
As always, Santa Claus will explore McFarland, visiting area businesses and joining activities around the village.
“I would encourage anybody that’s coming out to share with friends and family that might not live in McFarland to get people that live right outside this community to come and explore McFarland as well,” O’Hearn said.
McFarland Boy Scout Troop 53 will start the day with the annual pancake breakfast at McFarland Lutheran Church, 5529 Marsh Road, from 7 a.m. to noon. Tickets for the breakfast, which includes pancakes, sausage, ham, milk, orange juice and coffee, can be purchased at the door.
The McFarland Youth Center will host an artisan craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exhibitor fees and proceeds from donated items will benefit MYC. McFarland Venture Crew 53 will sell baked goods and hot seasonal beverages.
Those in the crafting mood can head to the E.D. Locke Public Library for the Christmas Craft-Palooza from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the meeting room. Creators of all ages can create cards, gift bags, ornaments and other holiday-themed crafts at the 12 craft stations.
Also at the library, the Friends of the Library will host a book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale features holiday books and hundreds of used books, CDs and DVDs for affordable prices.
The sale resumes Sunday with a bag sale from noon to 4 p.m. Shoppers fill a bag with items and donate the amount of their choice. All proceeds benefit the E.D. Locke Public Library.
Vendor Village is returning in the training room at the McFarland Municipal Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Businesses with direct sales who may not get much traffic during Christmas in the village partnered last year to give residents an opportunity to shop local.
Karen’s Karriages is offering free horse-drawn carriage rides in the Dale Center parking lot on Highway 51 originating near McFarland Animal Hospital between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service, McFarland Animal Hospital and Heartland Litho are sponsoring the carriage rides.
Those waiting for a carriage ride can purchase brats and baked goods at the McFarland Sparks 4-H Club brat and bake sale to support the club in the Dale Center parking lot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dog biscuits to support McFarland’s K-9 unit are also available.
Villagers who are getting chilly toward the end of the day can head to the west side of Arnold Larson Park for a holiday bonfire and community tree lighting with free hot cider and cocoa beginning at 4:30 p.m. McFarland High School choir and Solstice Brass, led by Quinn Leonard, will provide entertainment.
The annual illuminated firetruck parade commences at 5 p.m. Santa Claus joins the parade around the historic downtown area before being dropped off at the bonfire.
The parade will start at the McFarland Municipal Center and head down Milwaukee Street before taking a left on Hough Street. Trucks will take another left on Main Street, a right on Farwell Street and one more right on Taylor Road. After Santa Claus is dropped off, the trucks will continue to the McFarland Fire and Rescue station.
New this year, Santa Claus will join in for tailgating at Arnold Larson Park until 6 p.m. Enjoy a brat or hot dog, chips, fruit, dessert and water for $6 with proceeds benefittng the McFarland baseball and softball programs.
Santa Claus will finish the evening with the annual tree lighting on the corner of Exchange Street and Main Street.
“We look forward to this day every year,” O’Hearn said. “It’s a great opportunity to get the community out and spending a couple dollars and walk into businesses that they might not walk into a regular basis”