Wilkeson throwing Christmas party

The recently-formed Wilkeson Historical Society is planning an old-fashion Home Town Christmas Dec. 5.

“The Wilkeson celebration is for the child in all of us when it comes to Christmas,” society President Donna Hogerhuis said. “We are planning this as a family outing to include children’s activities at Town Hall during the afternoon, and at dusk a tree-lighting ceremony with refreshments and old-fashioned caroling in a mule drawn wagon around town. We hope to include snow trucked down from the mountains in the town parking lot and a definitely a home Christmas lighting contest in town.”

From 3 to 5 p.m. at Town Hall and the courtyard, young children ages 2 through 12 can decorate cookies and make ornaments. Children in elementary school can make table centerpieces, and everyone can enjoy playing in the snow outside.

Santa will arrive between 4 and 5:30 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with special guest appearances from the Cascade Foothills Chorale. Admission is one can of nonperishable food item per child for the food bank and community Christmas baskets.

Wilkeson residents are invited to enter their homes in the Christmas lighting contest and win prizes for Most Christmas Lights and Best Christmas Theme. Judging times and prizes will be posted at Wilkeson Town Hall, Wilkeson Eagles Hall and the town post office with the winners announced Dec. 7.

The event is to get the word out about the Historical Society’s Charter Membership. Charter is open only until the end of the year — Dec. 31.

“We will continue to accept membership but Charter membership only comes around once,” said Trisha Summers, membership coordinator. “We want to let the community and public know about this opportunity.”

The group organized from the Centennial Committee, which raised more than $40,000, in less than two years in grants and donated labor to build a town monument.

The 16-foot tall monument and outdoor kiosk commemorate coal miners and sandstone quarry workers. It was unveiled in July and is located off Church Street near Town Hall.

“We see a lot of visitors stopping at Centennial Park,” Mayor Janet Kepka said. “The monument is a unique landmark.”

A small museum is planned in two rooms at Town Hall for artifact collections and exhibits. The society hopes to be open this summer beginning with one day a week.

“This event is our way to get the word out,” Hogerhuis said, “and to show our community we are more than just about preserving the past, it is about having fun, sharing stories, and enjoying the present.”

To pay for the event the Society is selling Wilkeson calendars featuring historical photos of the Wilkeson area. Pre-orders are encouraged and can be reserved.

“We sold out of the last year very quickly,” Hogerhuis said.

To become a Charter Member or make a donation, fliers can be found at local businesses and Town Hall, or contact Summers at 360-829-0917, Hogerhuis at 360-829-4281 or Marsha Derby at 360-761-7178.

This story was a press release from the Wilkeson Historical Society.

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