Holiday spirit all around

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Christmas in the Park launches Gillett’s Christmas season
By: 

Warren Bluhm, wbluhm@newmedia-wi.com


Horse-drawn wagons carry Christmas in the Park revelers between Zippel Park and St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday in Gillett.(Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

It was Gillett’s turn to light the holiday lights and celebrate the season Saturday.

Christmas in the Park, with its colorful displays from local businesses and organizations, was installed at Zippel Park among festivities that included kids activities and a visit from Santa in the Expo Hall at the park, a Santa’s Workshop craft and vendor sale at St. John’s Lutheran Church, and horse-drawn carriage rides between the two venues.

Up the street the Polar Express was operating inside the Gillett Area Historical Society Museum.

The church was bustling with Christmas shoppers looking for gift ideas or entering the bucket raffles.

Dan Spielvogel returned for a second year selling his unique ornaments and gnome homes that also function as bird houses, crafted from driftwood and tree fungi that he collects from the woods around his Shawano home and Upper Michigan.

Ashley Tilleman and Shelly Schaumberg of Pulaski were displaying and selling their Family Treasures custom signs and other items, and Amy Quandt of Breed was selling the wreaths and other arrangements she assembles at her home.

“I do about four shows a year,” Quandt said. “This is the last one.”

The Gillett Women’s Club and St. John’s Riverside Lutheran Church and other organizations appealed to the sweet tooth with fundraising sales of homemade cookies.

They were among about two dozen crafters and other businesses who took up two large rooms in the church’s fellowship hall.

The big day concluded with a short performance by the Gillett High School choir and a fireworks display in the park. Gillett Community & Events streamed the Boom Boom Boys’ extravaganza via Facebook Live, where it was shared by more than three dozen other Facebook users including the Oconto County Times Herald.

The season continues this week in Gillett, with activities including a Christmas Tea and Christmas musical at Hillside Assembly and the annual Holiday Wreath Hunt.

Wreath hunt

This is the 13th year that the “hunt” is taking place in Gillett, and it is coordinated by the Gillett Public Library. Families and friends are encouraged to go around to the 33 participating area businesses throughout the month of December, and to answer a question about their wreath that appears on the wreath hunt questionnaire. Prizes donated by the businesses are awarded to the “hunters” and will be on display at the library.

The hunt questionnaire was released for the first time at the Christmas in the Park event on Saturday. Hard copies are available at the Gillett Library and can be downloaded from the library website and Facebook page.

Here’s one of the sample questions: Ralphie from the “Christmas Story” went ice fishing with Flick at Finnegan Lake, and they got all of their fishing supplies (and some ammo for his BB gun!) at Meunier’s True Value. How many bobbers are on the two wreaths that are on display there?

Completed entries need to be turned into the library by Jan. 2 to be eligible.

Christmas tea

Ladies of all ages are invited to Hillside Assembly’s Annual Christmas Tea, “A Homemade Christmas,” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the gym at Hillside, 5890 State Highway 22 West, Gillett.

This year the church’s Mpact Girls Clubs will be hosting and leading the group in Christmas carols.

People who plan to come are asked to call in for seating reservations. For more information, call the church office at 920-855-2962.

Christmas musical

Hillside Assembly also plans to present a special Christmas musical, “The Power Of The King,” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Written by Gina Boe and Barb Dorn, “The Power Of The King” brings the Christmas story in the setting of an old radio station alive. The staff of a 1970s-era radio station must come up with a live Christmas Eve broadcast when an impending blizzard knocks out the electricity, leaving them with limited broadcast capabilities and only a backup generator for power.

Fortunately a busload of choir members has taken refuge at the radio station. As a result, a doubting disc jockey discovers faith in Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas during their live production. The musical is directed by Amber Carlson, and Chuck and Christine McDermid are assistant directors.

The public is invited, and there will be a gift for all who attend. For more information, call Hillside Assembly at 920-855-2962 or email amber@hillsideassembly.com.