The ‘Little City’ offers a large dollop of holiday spirit

VERGENNES — In Vergennes you not only get to finish up the Christmas season with Santa Claus, as the jolly old elf stops by your home on the night of Dec. 24, but you can also kick off the holidays with Santa. Everyone is invited eat breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 2, to kick off a day of traditional activities known as the Vergennes Holiday Stroll.
Santa starts a busy day at the Vergennes Union High School cafeteria at a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Admission is $6 adults; $5 children under 12 years old. There will be craft activities for the kids.
After breakfast, see what’s on offer at the 17th annual Winter Holiday Craft Fair at Vergennes Union Elementary School, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The price of admission is $3 or present a canned goods or other non-perishable foodstuff for the local food shelf. This is a well-organized craft fair with lots of great stuff.
Bixby Memorial Library will host a holiday open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which will include a silent auction of holiday baskets donated by local businesses and library patrons.
At the library, Santa will read Clement Moore’s classic poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” at around 10:45 a.m. Then Vermont singer/songwriter Jon Gailmor will entertain the jolly makers at the library around 11 a.m. Jon has delighted generations of families throughout the state for many years. He travels down from his Northeast Kingdom home to spend this special 2nd Saturday morning with the Vergennes community. Come and sing a long and lift your spirit.
After some holiday refreshments, the wonderful Addison County-based women’s barbershop chorus Maiden Vermont will perform at Bixby from 1-1:30 p.m. Bidding on the goody-filled baskets closes at 1:45, with winners announced at 2 p.m.
Bixby Library isn’t the only place to hear seasonal music that day. The Champlain Brass  Quintet under the direction of Sue O’Daniel will perform at the Vergennes Opera House, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. And from 3-3:30 p.m. Victory Baptist Church Choir will sing sing sing at the opera house.
As of press time, Holiday Stroll organizers were still finalizing a place and time for the vintage clocks and father time activity; look in the Addison Independent the last week in November for the details on that.
Kids who want to share their wish lists with Santa will have a chance during the afternoon. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children from 12:30-3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church.
Night falls early in December and people in Vergennes will gather to mark the coming of the darkness with celebrations in City Park from 3:30-5ish. There will be fire pits, s’mores kits, baby animals, a photo booth, carolers and more singing (excellent) from the Addison County Gospel Choir.
The evening ends with an appearance by the dazzling SD Ireland Holiday cement truck, which will be bedecked with hundreds and hundreds of Christmas lights — it is breathtaking. Look for Santa, too.

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