’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Tradition tells us that gifts of ‘linens’ are the theme of the 28th anniversary, and several opportunities to shop for linens will be provided at the 28th annual ’Twas the Night Before Christmas celebration in Onida next Friday.

Hallmarks of the day’s activities include the annual vendor fair, business open houses, and horse-drawn hayrides. A visit from Santa, pictures with Mrs. Claus, free popcorn, face-painting, Christmas caroling on the courthouse steps, and rides on the kiddie train are among the activities for the younger set.

The craft fair will take place at the Sully County Phoenix Center and the former Vilas building from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Vendors include: Homestead Quilt Guild, fundraiser raffle; Sully County Fair, cocoa bombs; Faye Chambliss, jams and jellies; Amy Hilger, tumblers, tea towels, pens, glass cutting boards, etc; Tracy Scott, spa items, soap, bath bombs, candles, wax melts, etc. and handmade tumblers; Grassland Gourmet, soup, bread, dip mixes and more; Audra Jensen Hageman, western baby bibs, blankets, etc; Holy Cross lunch stand and bake sale; Maureen Droz, Jafra cosmetics; Teresa Boe, handmade knit and crochet hats and accessories; Ken Lyons, cutting boards; East Pierre Garden Center, porch pot and centerpiece classes; Gerry Barnes-Baucom, upcycled, upstyled flannel shirts, Christmas assemblages, ornaments, etc; Mark Mowry for US Senate; Chris Krause, apples and cider; and Katie Henglefelt, pressed flower art.

There will be an open house all day at the Sully County Courthouse. The Sully County Historical Society will have a dessert and gun auction in the courtroom at 3:30 p.m., the final fundraiser for the courthouse dome restoration project. ABO elementary students will serenade the community from the courthouse steps from 5:30-6:00 p.m.

The St. Pius X Catholic Church will be holding their annual Christmas bazaar in the basement of the church with an ‘all you can eat’ soup and sandwich meal being served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will also be a silent auction, raffle, and bake sale during the bazaar.

The Sully Buttes National Honor Society will ‘engineer’ Kiddie Train Rides starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Train Depot, which is in front of the Watchman.

In addition to the vendors at the former Vilas storefront, shoppers can enjoy free popcorn from the Wheat Land Lions Club. The Lions will have a donation box handy for receiving old eye glasses and hearing aids. From 5:30-6:30, Sully Buttes cheerleaders will paint faces and Mrs. Claus will be accepting letters for Santa and posing for pictures with the children (parents bring your cameras).

Mike Roman will bring his horses to town from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. for the horse-drawn hay ride.

Since Santa’s reindeer remained at the North Pole, Santa will ride one of the Onida Fire Department’s red fire trucks down Main Street and stop in front of the Phoenix Center at 7:00 p.m. to distribute treats to the children.

The highlight of the evening will be the Parade of Lights, beginning with a fireworks display sponsored by Sunrise Bank, Ringneck Energy, Onida Electric, Oahe Grain, Bankwest, Onida Area Development Corporation, and CHS River Plains at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to enter a lighted float in the parade. There is no registration or entry fee. The only requirement is that floats must be ready to leave from the Methodist Church before 7:30 so the parade can start on time. The parade will go down Main Street once.

’Twas the Night Before Christmas celebration sponsors are Onida Area Development Corporation and the Onida Chamber of Commerce.