Months in the making, Christmas in the Grove is ready to begin.
The Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce will hold the annual event Thursday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 8.
“I’ve ordered good weather, so I’m hoping that comes through,” said Amy Bauer, chairperson of Christmas in the Grove.
There are several changes this year, most notably the parade route, and a few additions, such as the Saturday morning movies.
Events kick off Thursday, Dec. 5, with the Shop for a Cause craft fair from 4-8 p.m. in the community room of Drumlin Residences, 107 E. Reynolds St. Door Creek Golf Course, 4321 Vilas Road, will host a Holiday Night Out from 5:30-10 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 6, will begin with Christmas cookie decorating from 10-11:15 a.m. at Aster Assisted Living, 139 E. Reynolds St.
As school lets out for the day, stop by Monona Bank, 341 W. Cottage Grove Road, for a visit with Santa from 3-6 p.m.
The Holiday Parade of Lights will begin at 7 p.m. with a new route this year.
Units will line up at Cottage Grove School, proceed north on North Main Street, turn west on Cottage Grove Road and end at the Market Place Shopping Center. The lighting of the Christmas tree will take place immediately after the parade at Bank of Sun Prairie, 419 W. Cottage Grove Road.
“We changed the route for a lot of reasons, and safety was a main concern,” Bauer said. “There’s not a lot of parking near the fire station (where the Christmas tree was lit and snacks were made available). We had a lot of people parking on the side of the road and walking, and it’s pretty dark over there.”
She said the new route offers more parking, and as a bonus, more chamber members are located along the new route.
“And we have a new road, so let’s use it,” said Bauer, referring to the reconstructed West Cottage Grove Road.
For those who can’t make it out to the parade, it will be broadcast live on the Cottage Grove cable access channel. Bauer will offer commentary during the parade.
Participating businesses in the shopping center will provide chocolate treats after the tree lighting.
The tree will be decorated with ornaments made by senior citizens and Girl Scouts.
Breakfast with Santa is first on the list for Saturday, Dec. 7. It will be held from 8-10 a.m. at New Life Church, 7564 Cottage Grove Road, Madison.
The annual Glacial Drumlin School PTO holiday craft show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school, 801 Damascus Trail.
America’s Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Road, will host a porch pot make-and-take from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those who want to flex their creativity.
Also new this year, Summit Credit Union, 1709 Landmark Drive, will host a movie featuring The Grinch from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
The Cottage Grove Optimist Club will team up with Piggly Wiggly, 421W. Cottage Grove Road, for a Christmas card making event for senior citizens from noon to 4 p.m.
“We’re really excited about the movies, and getting people inside Summit and seeing that auditorium,” Bauer said.
Finally, the day wraps up with A Christmas Journey from 2-4 p.m. at Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church, 406 W. Cottage Grove Road.
Don’t think the weekends ends Saturday, because there are two more events planned for Sunday, Dec. 8. First, a cookie decorating, gift sales and make-and-take gifts from Pampered Chef will be held from 1-4 p.m. at 4548 Falcon Court. Make a reservation by calling 235-8568. Second, America’s Best Flowers will host a winter market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s all about taking everyone’s ideas and seeing what we can do with them,” Bauer said. “A lot of people want to be involved, and that helps make it a community Christmas.”