2016-11-24 / Front Page

Happy Thanksgiving

Communities kick off holiday season
By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff

Despite some mall stores that have been putting up Christmas decorations since before Halloween, this weekend remains the official start to the holiday season in Leelanau County.

Trees will be lit, carols will be sung and Santa will be visiting with children from Glen Arbor to Northport.

Several communities are also holding special sales events. Coverage of those events can be found on page 4 of Section 2.

In Northport, people gathering for the annual Christmas tree lighting at the corner of Nagonaba and Waukazoo streets may want to wear sunglasses. The tree will be sporting about 4,000 new lights that were purchased this year and last.

“There’s a lot of lights on that tree,” said Joni Scott, village clerk. “It’s going to be awesome.”

The lights were made possible by generous donations from Leelanau Township residents Dick and Sherry Koenig.

“They love this time of year and donated to the village to make this great for the community,” Scott said.

Here’s what’s happening in Northport and around the county:

 The holiday revelry takes place on Saturday in Northport. A ride in a horse drawn carriage can be had from 4 to 7 p.m., and Victorian carolers will serenade village shops starting at 5 p.m. Gather at the tree at 5:45 p.m. for Christmas carols and the lighting of the tree.

And at 6 p.m. watch for Santa, who will be winging through the village on a carriage, Scott said.

 A little farther south in Omena, the Deck the Village event takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, when neighbors turn out to decorate the fire hall, the post office and the Putnam Cloud House Museum.

It’s a tradition that started in 2005 to honor the late David Viskochil, who always wanted to light up the village up for Christmas, said Marsha Buehler, who lives in Omena and is involved with the Historical Society.

“People have been doing it ever since,” Buehler said. “Folks just show up.”

Refreshments will be served afterward at the fire hall.

 In Glen Arbor tree lighting and caroling takes place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday in front of the Glen Arbor Township Hall on M-22, with the tree lighting taking place promptly at 6:45 p.m.

The Holiday Marketplace preview party takes place right afterward, from 7-8 p.m. inside the township hall, where people can mingle, visit and get the first pick of all the artisan goods that will be available at the Holiday Marketplace on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will also be at the Marketplace from noon to 2:30 p.m. with toys and goodies for children. Make sure to bring a camera to capture the magic of your child with Santa.

 While Santa Claus visits Empire children a little closer to Christmas at the annual potluck, a tree-lighting will be held on Saturday following Empire Artisans Market, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Empire Township Hall.

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