Evergreen Festival attracts hundreds to Reed City

REED CITY — Sunshine, mild temperatures and family activities helped make this year's Reed City Evergreen Festival a success, drawing in hundreds of attendees from the area and beyond on Friday and Saturday.

A bazaar at Reed City High School boasted more than 100 vendors attracted many looking to purchase items such as jewelry, home goods, food items, accessories, decorations, knit blankets, wood products and more. Hallways were packed with people and sellers said they were busy from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

On Saturday, the annual parade traveled down Upton Avenue, spreading Christmas cheer with a "Winter Wonderland" theme. Businesses, organizations and individuals marched down the street or rode in floats, waving to smiling onlookers.

Children and adults wore costumes geared toward the holidays or decorated themselves in tinsel and lights.

The highlights of the festival were Santa and Mrs. Claus, who appeared in the parade and then visited with hundreds of children outside of the Reed City Depot while their reindeer were in a pen nearby for all to see.

LeRoy resident Michael Arnold, 5, was one of the children eager to see Kris Kringle and greeted him with a grin before asking for Power Ranger and Sesame Street toys. His mother, Kara Reed, said it was the first time they have attended the Evergreen Festival and decided to come for his first time seeing Santa this season.

"We came for Santa, of course," Reed said with a laugh as she photographed her son. "It's our first time at this event and I like how the community comes together. We'll definitely come back next year. The festival is really well done."

Inside the depot, chilled festival-goers warmed up with hot chocolate and a gingerbread man cookie, which they could decorate with white icing. More than 200 cookies were consumed in a matter of a couple hours.

Brihanna Ebenstein took her 7-year-old sister Nevaeh to the Evergreen Festival this year and made sure to check out the parade and decorate a cookie before heading over to see Santa Claus.

"We've come every year since I was little and we want to keep the tradition going," Brihanna said.

Nevaeh planned to ask Santa for a new bike in the color purple.