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Gering celebrates Old-Fashioned Christmas
December 06, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photos by Doug Harris / Gering Citizen
A large turnout of people came to Gering this past Saturday to help the community celebrate an “Old-Fashioned Christmas.” The Scotts Bluff National Monument, Farm And Ranch Museum, North Platte Valley Museum, Santa’s Village and the Chimney Rock National Historic Site were all busy for a day filled with fun, food and crafts. Scotts Bluff National Monument celebrated its annual “Christmas on the Prairie” as attendees made decorations and learned about life on the prairie in the 1800s. Monument Superintendent Ken Mabery said about 400 people stopped by, which he thinks set a record for attendance for a single event. “The exceptional weather was a big help,” Mabery said. “We received lots of comments this was the ideal time to visit all the museums.” He added that in the future, the local tourism group Platte Valley Attractions plans to do more marketing coordination for the event so even more people will know about the weekend. “This is the second year that Chimney Rock has participated, which is an expansion of this event,” Mabery said. “Two other venues are planning to join in the future, but the timing wasn’t right for this year.” The Farm And Ranch Museum had a busy day with hay wagon rides, marshmallow toasting crafts and their famous bean soup for lunch. Kids also wrote letters to Santa, which were delivered to Santa’s Village via Pony Express rider. “It’s hard to keep count, but we had almost 600 people here during the day,” said FARM volunteer Donna Considine. “The Plymouth Congregational Church choir was singing Christmas carols for the day.” Also on Saturday, Santa brought his reindeer with him to Santa’s Village, set up in the Gering Civic Center parking lot. “We had a great attendance of kids to see Santa,” said Renee Garton of the Gering Merchants. “The nice weather and all the activities going on at the museums helped bring people out.” Garton said there was a line to see Santa from the time they opened at 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., when they had to turn people away. “Everybody also loved the reindeer,” she said. They’re interesting animals and people were taking pictures. The handlers said they want to come back next year and be in the parade and for the opening day at Santa’s Village.” Saturday was also the opening day for “Trees Along the Trail,” the Christmas tree decorating contest at the North Platte Valley Museum. People enjoyed refreshments provided by H&R Block and voted for their favorite tree. Museum director Katie Bradshaw said the contest is open to non-profit organizations and is traditionally a fund raising event for the organizations and the museum.


A large turnout of people came to Gering this past Saturday to help the community celebrate an “Old-Fashioned Christmas.”

The Scotts Bluff National Monument, Farm And Ranch Museum, North Platte Valley Museum, Santa’s Village and the Chimney Rock National Historic Site were all busy for a day filled with fun, food and crafts.

Scotts Bluff National Monument celebrated its annual “Christmas on the Prairie” as attendees made decorations and learned about life on the prairie in the 1800s.

Monument Superintendent Ken Mabery said about 400 people stopped by, which he thinks set a record for attendance for a single event.

“The exceptional weather was a big help,” Mabery said. “We received lots of comments this was the ideal time to visit all the museums.”

He added that in the future, the local tourism group Platte Valley Attractions plans to do more marketing coordination for the event so even more people will know about the weekend.

“This is the second year that Chimney Rock has participated, which is an expansion of this event,” Mabery said. “Two other venues are planning to join in the future, but the timing wasn’t right for this year.”

The Farm And Ranch Museum had a busy day with hay wagon rides, marshmallow toasting crafts and their famous bean soup for lunch. Kids also wrote letters to Santa, which were delivered to Santa’s Village via Pony Express rider.

“It’s hard to keep count, but we had almost 600 people here during the day,” said FARM volunteer Donna Considine. “The Plymouth Congregational Church choir was singing Christmas carols for the day.”

Also on Saturday, Santa brought his reindeer with him to Santa’s Village, set up in the Gering Civic Center parking lot.

“We had a great attendance of kids to see Santa,” said Renee Garton of the Gering Merchants. “The nice weather and all the activities going on at the museums helped bring people out.”

Garton said there was a line to see Santa from the time they opened at 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., when they had to turn people away.

“Everybody also loved the reindeer,” she said. They’re interesting animals and people were taking pictures. The handlers said they want to come back next year and be in the parade and for the opening day at Santa’s Village.”

Saturday was also the opening day for “Trees Along the Trail,” the Christmas tree decorating contest at the North Platte Valley Museum. People enjoyed refreshments provided by H&R Block and voted for their favorite tree.

Museum director Katie Bradshaw said the contest is open to non-profit organizations and is traditionally a fund raising event for the organizations and the museum.
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