Small town Christmas event brings hundreds to area

EVART —  Children laughed, parents smiled and Santa and Mrs. Claus listened to kids young and old recite their Christmas wish list during the annual Christmas Carnival in downtown Evart, on Saturday.

The Christmas Carnival, which is part of the Christmas in a Small Town event that runs until Christmas Eve is one of the most anticipated celebrations from area residents, said Paul Weissenborn, pastor of Crossroads Community Church.

“We as a church look forward to this event all year,” Weissenborn said. “It’s the biggest event of the Christmas season in Evart.”

Organizers estimate nearly 1,000 people from the area gathered at the Evart Depot and Crossroads Community Church to participate in the free event. Activities included pony rides, family portraits, hot chocolate, hot dogs and more.

“We couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather,” Weissenborn said. “The volunteers have been able to share the love of Christ in a fun, family setting, which is especially important at Christmas. We, as a church, come together and participate in this event to help make a difference in our community.”

The festival has been a part of Evart’s holiday season for more than two decades. The festival is organized by the City of Evart, Evart Area Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads Community Church.

“It’s all about the community coming together,” Weissenborn said. “The city always has Santa here and we partner with the city in hopes of making this a family friendly community activity.”

Spring Hill Camp donates the use of its equipment for the Christmas Carnival along with many other activities for the children. Children were jumping high on the Euro-Bungee and other children lined up to ride the ponies.

This is the first time coming to the carnival for Warren and Mary Jensen, who were taking photos of their 2 year-old son, Brody, on one of the poines.

“This is a good time for the family,” Mary said. “It is nice to have an event where you can come as a family and not worry about the cost. What they do here is nice and we are glad we came.”

As 4-year-old Blake Fuller jumped up and down on the Euro-Bungee, mother, Ashley Williams, smiled and said the carnival is such a wonderful event.

“This our first time coming to this.” Williams said. “It is a wonderful time for the family. I am so happy they do this for the community.”

New to the carnival this year was the “Searching for Wise Men,” where attendees sought out the three wise men, wearing pins with crowns, in the crowd.

Families who participated received a free day of tubing at Spring Hill Camps. The wise men and carnival games also were part of the Family Challenge. Once a family completed all the events on the punch card they were entered to win a one night staycation at the Osceola Grand Hotel.

“This our fifth year attending the carnival,” said Karen Cool. “We have found all the wise men and saw Santa. Now we have to do the crafts before our entry for the staycation is complete. This is so much fun for everyone. The kids love it.”

The fun continues in Evart this month with the following events;

  • Thursday, Dec. 11: 4th grade play — Fourth graders will perform “North Pole Exposure,” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Evart Middle School Auditorium.
  • Saturday, Dec. 13: Osceola County Expo — A small business arts and crafts show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Osceola County Fairgrounds.
  • Sunday, Dec. 14: Children’s Christmas Musical — Children will perform a program called “For the Glory of the King” at 10:45 a.m. at the Evart Middle School Auditorium.
  • Sunday, Dec. 14: Christmas Cantata — Performers will take part in “From Christmas to Calvary” from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church.
  • Sunday, Dec. 14: Christmas Program — Performers will participate in “A Heavenly Plan” at 6 p.m. at the Evart Free Methodist Church.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: Candle light services will take place at 7 p.m. at the Calvary Baptist Church and Crossroads Community Church. Christmas Mass will take place at 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.