Kicking off the holiday season

Holiday fun, spirit swell at annual Reed City Evergreen Festival

REED CITY — They came to the Evergreen Festival Arts & Craft Show in droves.

Visitors and locals descended upon Reed City High School over the weekend for the annual two-day event, looking for something unique or a handmade holiday gift for a friend or family member.

More than 125 vendors lined the hallways of the school on Friday and Saturday, offering everything from crocheted garments to spices to sweet treats, as well as a few freebies.

“We come to the show every year” said Ciarra Engstrom, of Reed City, on Saturday morning. “It’s a family tradition. We come up to the show and look around, and then go to the parade.”

The arts and craft show gave Engstrom a chance to find her favorite vendor among the 125, Pam’s Pantry.

“I go to it every year,” she said.

A few hours later, Engstrom and her family members joined hundreds of others lining Upton Avenue to watch the annual parade and welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to town. Local Boy and Girl Scouts and some area businesses threw candy to the children lining the streets.

Following the nearly 20-minute parade, dozens and dozens of children and their parents made the short trek to The Depot for a chance to share their wishlists with Santa and Mrs. Claus or a chance to pet some reindeer. Others were a bit more relaxed, talking with friends around the open fire pit while drinking hot cocoa in the cool air.

Inside The Depot was a small assembly line, as Juanita Tatum and her daughter, Abigail Ripley, joined other Santa’s elves to help children decorate gingerbread cookies.