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Holiday season kicks off this weekend
November 05, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
The holiday season gets underway this weekend as crafters from five states and regional specialty food producers will be showcased at the 2015 Gering Civic Center Holiday Craft Show and Specialty Foods Expo on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. Show hours will be 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Friday evening and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

West Nebraska’s premier craft event will celebrate its 22nd year featuring the most unique “handmade crafts” and specialty foods for customers to taste and buy.

Forty-eight booths of handmade crafts will be on display in the Grand Ballroom and Lobby areas of the Gering Civic Center and eight booths of specialty foods will be located in the small ballroom adjacent to the craft areas. Many of the customers’ favorite crafters return this year, including Hesse’s of Hackberry Creek from Valentine. The 2015 show will also showcase crafts from six “new” exhibitors.

Admission is free. In addition to the Gering Civic Center’s show, shoppers are encouraged to also take advantage of downtown Gering and area businesses that are featuring holiday open house events and local churches featuring holiday bazaars.

Just after Thanksgiving, downtown merchants in Gering and Scottsbluff are ready to ring in the holidays as the communities host Christmas parades on Thanksgiving weekend.

Festivities start in Gering on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. as the parade of lights heads through downtown to the Gering Civic Center parking lot. Santa, who’s always at the end of the parade, will hold court at Santa’s Village at the Civic Center, greeting kids who will tell the jolly elf what they want for Christmas.
The Gering Merchants will serve hot chocolate, cookies and goodie bags that evening.

Santa’s Village will be open for the next four Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 for the kids to stop by and visit. It’s also a great opportunity to get some pictures of Santa’s Village.

Area attractions will help celebrate on Dec. 5 as Legacy of the Plains Museum hosts its High Plains Christmas event and the Scotts Bluff National Monument hosts Christmas on the Prairie.
Both events are free. At Legacy of the Plains, kids can write a letter to Santa that will be delivered via Pony Express rider to Santa’s Village.

For more information, call RaNae Garton at 308-641-2842.

Scottsbluff’s Christmas season kickoff happens on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. with a parade through downtown. Participants in the Gering parade are encourage to continue the celebration in Scottsbluff. Just call Angela Kembel at Cappuccino and Company, 308-635-9997 and let her know you’ll be participating.

There’s no form to fill out or entry fee. The only requirements are that floats be lit up and decorated for safety, visibility and festivity. Candy cannot be thrown from floats, so walkers will be needed to hand out candy and flyers.

Parade floats line up at about 5:15 p.m. at 1st Avenue and 20th Street before heading south on Broadway.

After the parade, Santa will make and appearance in the Mini Park at 18th and Broadway for a tree lighting ceremony. There will also be hot chocolate and cookies.

Everyone is invited to help the community kick off the holiday season in Gering and Scottsbluff and be downtown to join in the festivities.
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