The Jackson County History Center is going all out for Christmas this year.
From a Christmas tree display to the annual Christmas in the Village event to visits with Santa, people will have plenty of opportunities to get into the spirit of the season.
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Perhaps the best part of it all? All of the activities are free and family-friendly.
In September, the organization announced it would be offering a Christmas tree display for the first time.
Starting Oct. 2, people could bring an artificial or real Christmas tree to the livery barn at the center, 105 N. Sugar St., Brownstown, to decorate with ornaments and lights based on the theme “A Few of My Favorite Things.”
People have until Dec. 1 to call 812-358-4697 or 812-358-2924 to make an appointment to set up a tree. Individuals, families, students, church groups, organizations and businesses can participate.
Currently, around a dozen trees are confirmed, but history center volunteer Margo Brewer said more are welcome.
On Tuesday night, Heather VonDielingen, Jackson County 4-H youth development educator, and 4-H Junior Leaders Cassidy Burnside and Emma Winks decorated a tree to represent one of their favorite things — 4-H.
VonDielingen said she learned about the project on Facebook and received more details from history center volunteer Gloria Cross.
“We talked about it at our meeting a few weeks ago, and we have all kinds of community service opportunities throughout the year, so as their schedules allow, they just sign up,” VonDielingen said of the Junior Leaders.
She was happy to see Burnside and Winks sign up.
“It’s a fun way to partner together and just spread the word about 4-H and partner with local organizations,” VonDielingen said.
Burnside said the Junior Leaders are all about learning about the community and giving back when they can, so this project was another opportunity to do that.
“For me personally, 4-H and Junior Leaders are a big part of my life, and I knew this would be an opportunity to share that with other people and hopefully let them have the same experience,” she said. “I like Christmas, so this is fun, too.”
“It’s another way to get out in the community and do something,” she said. “It spreads Christmas cheer, Christmas spirit.”
Between Dec. 2 and Jan. 6, the public can visit the display by calling 812-358-2118. Visitors will have a chance to cast their vote for the people’s choice award, and a prize will be awarded to the top vote-getter.
“I think it’s just going to be a fun thing,” Brewer said of the display. “Each year, we will have a new theme.”
The display also will be available to view during the town’s Hometown Christmas event from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and the history center’s Christmas in the Village event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11.
Hometown Christmas is sponsored by the history center, town, Brownstown Chamber of Commerce and Brownstown/Ewing Main Street.
Activities include goodies and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus in the courthouse, carolers, vendors on Walnut Street, face painting, goodies for sale and a tree lighting ceremony at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Park.
At the history center, along with viewing the Christmas tree display, people can see Driftwood Christian Church’s live Nativity along Sugar Street and listen to carolers inside the livery barn.
Christmas in the Village activities will take place in the meetinghouse on the history center campus. There will be caroling, cider, cookies, hot chocolate and an old-fashioned Christmas tree.
“We have no lights on it, and all of the ornaments on it are handmade,” Brewer said of the tree. “There’s no plastic on it.”
Finally, Santa Claus will be in the livery barn from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 15 and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 16. Children can tell him what they want for Christmas, and family members are encouraged to take pictures.
“Come in and look and vote on your favorite tree and visit with Santa,” Brewer said.
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Jackson County History Center Christmas events
Through Dec. 1: Bring an artificial or real Christmas tree to the livery barn at the center, 105 N. Sugar St., Brownstown, to decorate with ornaments and lights based on the theme "A Few of My Favorite Things." Call 812-358-4697 or 812-358-2924 to make an appointment to set up a tree.
Dec. 2 to Jan. 6: Call 812-358-2118 to set up a time to see the Christmas tree display and vote for the people’s choice award.
5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3: Hometown Christmas activities at the history center will include viewing the Christmas tree display, seeing Driftwood Christian Church’s live Nativity and listening to carolers.
6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11: Christmas in the Village will feature caroling, cider, cookies, hot chocolate and an old-fashioned Christmas tree.
5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 15 and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 16: Children can visit with Santa Claus in the livery barn, and people can view the Christmas tree display.