Chamber planning ‘Come Home to Christmas’ event

Now that a definite chill has entered the air in Hamilton County it might be time to start thinking about the last remaining holidays before the start of a brand new year.

Aurora Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Justise Rhoden voiced an enthusiastic reminder to local community members during an interview Wednesday to register to participate in the first ever “Come Home to Christmas” event. This festive celebration will light up the downtown square in combination with Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 to fill the day with local holiday charm.
“The big thing that we’re pushing right now is that we’re going to have a lighted tractor parade at 6 p.m. that night after we do a lighting of the band stand,” Rhoden said. “We are asking for anyone who has a tractor or tractors to go to our website at auroranebraska.com, go under the resources tab and check out all the rules and regulations for it, then sign up.”
The lighted tractor parade is just what it sounds like, festive and bright tractors parading around the cobblestone square of Aurora’s main business district. It’s one of several festive events that Rhoden and other chamber members are excited about.
“We just ask that you decorate it in a festive way,” Rhoden said of the tractors. “We will have parade route information when we get closer, depending on how much we have for registration.”
Lights and other Christmas decorations will only add to the spectical, she noted.
The day itself will start at 10 a.m. when local businesses, including one out-of-town chamber member, will open early and stay open late to help with the kickoff to holiday shopping.
Come Home to Christmas will also feature horse-drawn carriage rides (until 2 p.m.), a free showing of “Elf” at 12th Street Cinema, an appearance by Santa Claus and hot chocolate for sale.
“We have also talked to the fire department and they are having a soup feed from 4-7 p.m.,” she continued.
Another blast of that holiday spirit will come from “Christmas-past pop-ups” where characters in costume will be stationed throughout businesses to help tell the stories of Christmases long ago and other holiday traditions -- like the origin story of the Christmas tree.
“And then at 6 p.m. is when we will do the big celebration,” she continued. “We’re going to light up the downtown band stand and it will be really cool.”
At the end of a community count-down the decorated band stand, complete with a large tree made out of lights, will illuminate the courthouse lawn. This will be done in part with help from RTC Lighting.
“And then right after the lighting of the band stand we’re going to have the lighted tractor parade,” she said. “We’re also asking people to go to our Facebook and vote for their favorite tractor. There will be prizes -- Chamber Checks, for first, second and third fan favorite.”
“We’re just trying to capitalize on that Small Business Saturday, get people into the businesses and shop local,” she concluded. “It will help people in town be able to kick start their shopping holiday.”
More information on the day will be provided as the event gets closer. Those with tractors and a love for the holiday spirit are encouraged to sign up for the lighted tractor parade and come to enjoy other festivities. Any additional information, including how to contact Rhoden and others, is available at the Aurora Chamber’s website, auroranebraska.com.

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet