Deck the halls

Reed City prepares for Evergreen Festival

REED CITY — Reed City’s annual Evergreen festival will usher in the holiday spirit this weekend with a life-size gingerbread house, homemade festive goods and appearances by special visitors from the North Pole. With a theme of “Nutcracker Christmas,” the festival will begin with a craft show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Reed City High School on Friday and continuing on Saturday. More than 100 craft booths will line the hallways and cafeteria, selling items ranging from Christmas wreaths to soap to glazed almonds. On Saturday, community members can line up for a parade at 12:30 p.m. on the corner of Sears Street and Franklin Avenue. “Anyone and everyone is invited to be a part of the parade,” said Suzie Williams, executive director of the Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce. At 1 p.m., the parade, featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and a team of elves, will make its way through downtown Reed City. Some $600 in cash prizes will be given for the most festive floats and walking groups. “We’ll have lots of churches entering floats. There will be horses, kids dressed up, and real reindeer in the parade,” Williams said. “Last year (the reindeer) were a big hit. The handlers were awesome and answered all of the kids’ questions.” After the parade, the reindeer, from Rooftop Landing Reindeer in Clare, will be available for children to pet in a pen outside the Reed City Depot. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves also will be at The Depot for pictures with community members. Individuals can visit a life-size gingerbread house, enjoy hot chocolate and decorate cookies at the depot until 3 p.m. “It makes a complete package: gingerbread house, Santa, Mrs. Claus and reindeer. We’ve got it all,” said Williams, who will serve as the head elf for the event. With a history of ideal winter weather for the annual event, organizers are hoping for another afternoon wiithout rain or snow for the holiday kick-off celebration. “It should be a fun day,” Williams said. “Everyone is invited to come to the parade, come visit Santa and get a cookie. It’s a nice afternoon of fun.” For more information, or to sign up for the parade, call the Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce at (231) 832-5431.