The holiday season is fast approaching and with it, the a proliferation of ceremonies, parades, festivals, concerts and open houses.
Area communities were invited to submit their holiday happenings, which follow:
-Messenger file photo
Scott Gernhart makes an adjustment on one of the Christmas trees at the Ringland-Smeltzer House in preparation for the 2012 holiday open house.
Nov. 25: Live Greeting Card Windows, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Nov. 29: Santa Claus Day, Santa arrives at State 5 Theatre at 10:30 a.m., visits until noon and returns from 1 t0 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: Santa at State 5 Theatre from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
POW Museum open, Dec. 1-31
Saturdays and weekdays, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays and Christmas Day, noon to 8 p.m.
Dec. 7: United Methodist Church Cookie Walk, 9 a.m until gone, $8 per pail.
Dec. 7: Santa's Family Workshop, 1 to 3 p.m., First United Methodist Church.
Dec. 14: Santa at State 5 Theatre, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 14-15: Santa Land, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 1301 210th St., vintage trees, light decorations, Santa Claus displays.
Dec. 15: Algona Cornbelt Chorus Christmas Concert, location to be determined.
Dec. 19: Santa at State 5 Theatre, 6 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 21: Santa at State 5 Theatre, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 14: Santa Claus Day, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bode Community Center
Dec. 7: Christmas Crazy in Burt, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Burt Activity Complex; Christmas parade at 5 p.m.; holiday lighting and parade float contest after parade; night dance.
Dec. 7: Christmas Fair, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Our Savior Lutheran Church
Dec. 15: Clare Library Christmas Open House, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; visit from Santa Claus
Dec. 7: Jingle Jam Kid's Shoppe, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Dec. 21: Lighted Christmas Stroll, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Heartland Museum
Nov. 28: Dream Carriage rides, 601 Main St., Dakota City, 5-10 p.m.
Nov. 29 until Christmas Day: Hillside Spectacular, lighting display daily at 5:15 p.m., 202 Second St. S., after dark.
Festival of Lights will be Nov. 29 to Dec. 31.
Nov. 29: Tree lighting at Oak Park, 7:45 p.m.
All of December: Commecial decorating contest and residential holiday lighting contest.
Dec. 6-7: Business Holiday Open House
Dec. 21 and 22: Santa Claus at Oak Park
Dec. 21: Fire station open house, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive at 2 p.m.
Dec. 7: Holiday Coffee and Bake Sale at Sacred Heart Church
Dec. 7: Sip and Stroll, 2 to 4 p.m. at participating businesses
Dec. 8: Eagle Grove Choral, 3 p.m., United Methodist Church
Dec. 14: Breakfast with Santa, 9 to 10 a.m., Eagle Grove Library
Nov. 29: Emmetsburg Retail Association Lighted Christmas Parade, 6 p.m., parade units will line up on North Broadway and travel south to 14th Street.
Nov. 30: Breakfast with Santa, 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Pizza Ranch, sponsored by The Reporter and Democrat with support from the Emmetsburg Retail Association.
Dec. 2: Holiday on Central, with tree lighting, across from Trolley Center, 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Santa arrives at 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 5, 7: Christmas with Sonshine, Corpus Christi Church, 2220 Fourth Ave. N., 7-8 p.m.
Dec. 7-8, 13-15, 20-22: 10th Annual Lights at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.
Dec. 7: Colorful and Creative Christmas Cookie and Candy Sale, 9 a.m. until gone, Trinity United Methodist Church
Dec. 13-14: "Babes in Toyland, " 7 p.m., Hawkeye Community Theatre.
Dec. 15: "Babes in Toyland," 2 p.m., Hawkeye Community Theatre.
Dec. 22: "Joy to the World," 3 p.m. concert by Fort Dodge Choral Society, First United Methodist Church
Dec. 14: Winter Fun Day, with lighting contests for residents and business window decorating contest, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Gilmore City Fire Department lunch and fundraiser, 11 a.m.; Santa Clause at Public Library, with crafts for kids, 12-3 p.m.; Craft fair at fire station, 12-4 p.m.; Soup supper at cafe, 4-7:30 p.m.; Horse-drawn sleigh rides and carriages, 4:30-6 p.m.; Tree lighting and caroling at Gazebo Park, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 23: Lighting Christmas cards in city park, with Santa, 5:30 p.m.; Local churches Thanksgiving dinner at Community Center, with free will offering.
Dec. 6-7: Holiday open house for many local businesses
Dec. 7: Gowrie United Methodist Women Christmas coffee and bazaar, with coffee, baked items, cookie walk and more, 8-11 a.m.; Home-based businesses will have an open house at Prairie Valley school commons, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wreath raffle. Forty wreaths will be raffled, with proceeds going to Gowrie Fire Department for new fire station. Raffle at Webster-Calhoun telephone company, 1 p.m.; Gowrie Women's Club annual tour of homes at community center, 1-4 p.m. Proceeds go toward high school scholarship.
Dec. 7: Christmas at The Homeplace Vendor Market, 2 to 6 p.m., Highway 175.
Dec. 14: Cupcakes with Santa, 2 p.m., The Homeplace
Nov. 25: Hospice Light Up A Tree Lighting, HCMH, 7 p.m.
Nov. 29: Kiwanis Christmasland opens at First Avenue South, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: Methodist Tree Walk, 12-8:30 p.m.
Dec. 7: Christmas Festival in Community Center, 4-6 p.m.; Festival of Lights parade, and Cookies with Santa after, 6 p.m.
Dec. 8: Tour of Homes
Dec. 14: Christmas in Lake View, with Santa's arrival, at American Legion Hall, 3-5 p.m.; Bake sale, 2-5 p.m.; Horse-drawn carriage rides, 3-4 p.m.; Town sings carols, with dinner after, 5 p.m.; Bingo, 6-7 p.m.
Dec. 6: Kickoff to Christmas events, lighting of Christmas tree, with Santa and helpers at Public Library after, 5:30 p.m.; Lohrville Ambulance Service soup supper at Public Library, 5:30-7 p.m.
Dec. 6-15: Festival of Trees in Lohrville Community Building
Dec. 8: Christmas at the MAC Center vendor event. The event will offer a variety of Christmas craft projects for the kids to make including tree decorations, cards and gift items. In addition to craft projects the kids will be able to enjoy Bingo and prizes along with a variety of carnival type games. Chamber Members will offer homemade holiday treats for sale at the Holiday Bakery Store as a fund raising for future projects. Shopper's Square will feature home-based and specialty business booths. A selection of candles, gifts, specialty foods and kitchenware, jewelry, purses and baked goods will be available for holiday shopping.
Dec. 14: Holiday lights contest judging, 6-9 p.m.
Dec. 22: Santa Claus at fire station, 2-5 p.m.
Dec. 15: Rockwell City Holiday Celebration. Boy Scout breakfast 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Library Community Center on the square; Garden's on Fourth Tour of Homes, 1:30 to 4 p.m., Tickets are $10 and are available at the homes or in advance at United Bank of Iowa, First Community Bank, Parkside Flowers & Gifts and City Hall; community holiday celebration, 5 to 7 p.m., Library Community Center on the square with food, prizes, Santa, sing-along, and a tour of lights by horse-drawn trolley. Lighting contest winners will be announced.
Dec. 5: Making Holidays Happen lighted Christmas parade.
Dec. 5: Making Holidays Happen Avenue of Lights, 5 to 10 p.m., Chautauqua Park. Open nightly through the Christmas season.
Dec. 5: Santa's Castle opens at Chautauqua Park, 6 to 8 p.m. Also open on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Dec. 7: Breakfast With Santa, 9 to 11 a.m., Kids World.
Dec. 7: Christmas cookie walk/bake sale, 9 to 11 a.m., First Christian Church.
Dec. 15: Chautauqua Singers present ''The Heart of Christmas,'' 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., United Methodist Church.
Dec. 14: Lions annual Soup & Sandwich Dinner, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Stratford Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Dec. 14: Swedish Santa Lucia Pageant, 2 p.m., Stratford Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Dec. 14: Stratford Holiday Tour, 3 to 6 p.m. Tour includes Roger and Rose Kepler home, Athens Woods Estates, Carol's Rock Engraving, Early Learning Center and Stratford Fitness Center. Tickets available at Stratford businesses.
Dec. 7: Christmas in Titonka, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Titonka School. Cookie sale, games, crafts, Santa Claus, hay rides.
Nov. 24: Festival of Trees and RVTV Chili at The Bridge, 905 Des Moines St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., chili and cinnamon rolls served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $5 for all you can eat. Proceeds support All Cultures Equal. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students.
Dec. 6, 7 and 8: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a classic holiday tradition for the entire family, written by Barbara Robinson; Webster City Community Theatre, 1001 Willson Ave., Webster City. Tickets are $10 adult, $5 kids. Dec. 6 at 7 pm; Dec. 7, 2 p.m.; and Dec. 8, 2 p.m. Performances will also be Dec 13 at 7 p.m., Dec 14 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
Dec. 7: Share What You Wear at Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge campus: Students from the Student Senate will help unload items behind the Career Education Building. Drop off times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. (except Thanksgiving week) prior to Dec. 7. The event will benefit the needy through donations of clothing, money and time.
Dec: 7 and 8: Webster City Community Chorus Annual Holiday Concert, "I Wish You Christmas," 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 921 Des Moines St., Webster City. Freewill offering.
Dec: 11 to 25: Lighted Drive at Briggs Woods, drive through Briggs Woods campgrounds and view the lighted camping spots. You can make a freewill donation, funds support domestic abuse charity in Hamilton County.
Dec: 13, 14 and 15:
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" A classic holiday tradition for the entire family, written by Barbara Robinson. Tickets are $10 adult, $5 kids. Cast of 39 kids and adults.
Dec. 13: Guys Night Out, guys activities and taste craft beers at Hy-Vee; participate in a poker run.
Dec. 14: Christmas at the Bridge, 905 Des Moines St., 9 a.m. to noon; free family event; toys, books, clothing, treats, tools, candles, gift cards, baskets, stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons,and more. Refreshments will be served.
Dec. 14: Jane Young " Holiday House Tour," JoAnn Robb and Loween Getter will portray Jane Young and her housekeeper, Susan Dougherty. Prescheduled 30-minute tours noon to 4 p.m., Jane Young House, 629 Elm St., Webster City. Make reservations at the Webster City Area Chamber Office at (515) 832-2564; cost is $5.
Dec. 14: Santa's Workshop, Kendall Young Library, 1201 Willson Ave., 2 to 4 p.m., Children's Department on the lower level. Parents and children can work on crafts and decorate sugar cookies together.
Dec. 14: International Holiday Festival, All Cultures Equal, 1440 East Second St., Webster City; 4 to 7 p.m.; taste traditional treats and experience music, dance and games from around the world. Freewill donation.
Dec. 6 and 23: Supper with Santa at Grid Iron Grill, kids 10 and under eat free with a paid adult entree; see Santa from 5 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 17: One man show of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Kendall Young Library, 1201 Willson Ave.
Dec. 21: Non-traditional holiday service Blue Christmas, The Bridge, 905 Des Moines St., 7 to 8 p.m.
Nov. 30: Wesley Holiday Open House Craft and Vendor Show, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wesley Community Center. Soup lunch served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec 15: Pancakes With Santa, 9 a.m., Wesley Community Center.
Dec. 15: Tour of Homes, sponsored by the West Bend Historical Society, 1 to 6 p.m. $8 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased until 4 p.m. at the Historical Museum.
Dec. 6: It's a Wonderful Life in Whittemore - A Walk Along Broad Street, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., downtown. Business open houses, Santa Claus, Christmas caroling.
Dec. 21: Santa Claus visit, 10 to 11 a.m., American Legion Hall.
In addition to community events, schools districts are also planning winter and holiday activities, which follow:
FORT DODGE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 10: Sixth grade winter concert, FDMS auditorium, 2 p.m.
Dec. 12: Fifth grade winter concert, FDMS auditorium, 2 p.m.
Dec. 14: Senior High concert (band, orchestra, choir), FDMS auditorium, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15: Senior High concert (band, orchestra, choir), FDMS auditorium, 2 p.m.
Dec. 19: Seventh and Eighth grade choir concert, FDMS auditorium, 7 p.m.
ST. EDMOND CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Nov. 27: First grade ABC Thanksgiving, St. Edmond auditorium, 2 p.m.
Dec. 7: National Honor Society Santa and Movie, 1-4 p.m.
Dec. 9: Kindergarten through second grade Christmas concert, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Dec. 15: High School Christmas concert, 3 p.m.
Dec. 16: Sixth-Eighth grade Christmas concert, 7 p.m.
Dec. 17: Third-Fifth grade Christmas concert 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
EAGLE GROVE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 12: Eighth grade vocal concert, 7 p.m.
Dec. 16: High School choir/band concert, 7 p.m.
ALGONA COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 9: High School holiday concert, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15: Cornbelt Chorus Christmas Show
HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 10: High School Christmas Concert
WEBSTER CITY COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Nov. 21: Sixth grade chorus concert, middle school multi-purpose room, 7 p.m.
Nov. 26: Sixth, Seventh and Eighth grade Jazz Band concert, middle school commons, 7 p.m.
Dec. 10: Seventh and Eighth grade Winter Chorus Holiday Concert, middle school multi-purpose room, 7 p.m.
Dec. 16: High School Winter Music Concert, high school, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 17: Fifth-Eighth grade holiday band concert, middle school multipurpose room, 7 p.m.
CLARION-GOLDFIELD COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 9: Middle School concert, 7-8 p.m.; High School concert, 8-9 p.m.
Dec. 10: 4-5th grade Elementary Christmas concert, 1-2:30 p.m., 7-8:30 p.m.
SOUTH CENTRAL CALHOUN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 9: Fourth-Sixth grade Winter Vocal Concert, Middle School auditorium, Rockwell City, 7 p.m.
Dec. 13: Sixth-Eighth grade Winter Concert, at Middle School auditorium, Rockwell City, 7 p.m.
Dec. 19: High School Christmas Concert, high school auditorium, Lake City, 7:30 p.m.
MANSON NORTHWEST WEBSTER COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 3: TK-Kindergarten Music Concert, Barnum, 2-3:30 p.m.
Dec. 9: First-Second grade Music Concert, Barnum, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; third-fourth grade Music Concert, Barnum, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Dec. 15: Combined Winter Concert, high school, 2-3:30 p.m.
Dec. 16: Fifth-Sixth grade band/music concert, Barnum, 6:30-8 p.m.
Dec. 19: Junior High Winter Concert, 7:30-9 p.m.
SOUTHEAST WEBSTER-GRAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 2: Elementary Christmas program, Dayton, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 3: Middle School Christmas concert, Boxholm, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 9: High School Christmas concert, Burnside
PRAIRIE VALLEY COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 9: Seventh-12th grade music concert, Prairie Valley High School, 7-8:30 p.m.
Dec. 16: Fourth-sixth vocal and band concert, Prairie Valley Elementary School, 7-8:30 p.m.
EMMETSBURG COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dec. 5: Seventh-Eighth grade holiday concert, Emmetsburg, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: Fifth-sixth grade holiday concert, Emmetsburg, 12:15 p.m.
Dec. 12: Kindergarten-first grade holiday concert, auditorium, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15: High School holiday concert, auditorium, 2 p.m.
POCAHONTAS AREA COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Nov. 25: High School holiday music concert, Pocahontas, 7-9 p.m.
Dec. 9: Middle School holiday concert, high school gym, Pocahontas, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: Kindergarten-second grade holiday music concert, PAC Elementary, Pocahontas, 7-8 p.m.
CORWITH WESLEY LUVERNE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Dec. 3: Kindergarten-sixth grade winter concert, LuVerne gym, 7 p.m.
Dec. 9: Seventh-12th grade winter concert, Corwith gym, 7 p.m.