Christmas is in the air and many Marion County towns are celebrating the arrival of Santa Claus or planning other events to add joy and giving in 2017.
As in previous years, the city of Hillsboro is offering a $10 Christmas lights rebate for its residential customers only.
The rebate is given to residents who string outside lights to brighten up the holidays. The rebate will appear on the Feb. 1 utility bill.
Anyone interested is asked to sign up at Hillsboro City Hall from Friday, Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 15.
In addition to the rebate, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, an arm of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, is having its third annual light decorating contest.
The contest is open to all Hillsboro residents who “love making their house stand out on the block,” CVB officials said.
Twenty-five percent of the first 100 registered participants will win $100 each in Hillsboro Chamber bucks.
According to CVB officials, judging is planned Dec. 15-16 and lights need to be on from 5-10 p.m. those nights.
For more information or to register, call the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce at 620-947-3506.
The deadline to enter the contest is Dec. 13.
Hillsboro State Bank has a Christmas Giving Tree designed to help financially-limited households in providing Christmas gifts for children in the USD 410 school district.
Applications for the Giving Tree must be turned in by Dec. 1. Applications can either be picked up at 200 N. Main St., or at hsbks.com.
Prior to Saturday’s Down Home Christmas, sponsored annually by the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, a concert hosted by David Vogel is at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 in the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church Fellowship Hall.
The concert features performances by the Tabor Chamber Voices.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Community Plaza Splash Pad project. Tickets are $15 each, or a reserved table of eight for $90. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Another popular event is the annual Down Home Christmas in Hillsboro from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 2.
Highlights include children’s activities starting at 9 a.m., face painting from 10 to noon, crafts at the Bowling Alley, Santa at the Et Cetera Shop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and much more.
For more information, call the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, 620-947-3506.
A Christmas Craft Night is planned at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Scout House.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Marion City Library, 101 Library St., from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.
Children can also make crafts that day, too.
In addition, Santa will again visit the Marion library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4. Cookies, cocoa and Christmas stories will be available while visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Children are also reminded to write their letters to Santa, and be sure to include a complete name and address so the elves can get letters to Santa. Library officials said, Santa will write everyone back.
Margo Yates is again coordinating the “Community Christmas.”
This event is for children and families, who are financially limited.
“Angel Trees” around town are one part of this annual project with specific things a child may need or want for Christmas. Central National Bank has an Angel Tree for those interested in helping.
Each year, Yates said, wrapping paper and tape is in the care boxes so that parents can wrap presents for their children.
“The Toy Run, individuals, businesses, and the Catholic Church all offer donations to make the project successful.
The Community Christmas encompasses USD 408, which includes Marion, Florence, the Centre School District, Lost Springs, Tampa, Ramona and Lincolnville.
Recipients can pick up items from2:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Marion City Hall.
Santa will be in Goessel from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11 at the Goessel Community Room in city hall.
In addition, the 2017 Giving Tree is at Crossroads Credit Union and the Goessel Ministerial Association.
For those who would like to brighten a child’s Christmas, the tree has tags with a gift idea on it.
If someone is wanting to submit a child’s name, also contact the credit union.
All gifts need to be brought back to the credit union by Dec. 15.
Santa is visiting children in Tampa starting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Tampa Community Building.
The Peabody American Legion Auxiliary is having a holiday showcase Saturday, Dec. 2 and Lincolnville is planning a Shopping Extravaganza Saturday, Dec. 9.