‘Come Home to Christmas’ event a winner in debut year

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Tradition is what makes holidays special for most people and Aurora added a keeper to that list with the 2019 debut of a “Come Home to Christmas” celebration.
Despite the cold and windy weather, people showed up to have a look-see at what this new gig was all about, and by all accounts it was a winner. The mood was festive, the energy was high and the lighted tractors were spectacular.
Julie Wasem deserves a ton of credit for bringing this idea back from California, where she and others stumbled on to a lighted tractor parade in Calistoga. My wife and I enjoyed a similar celebration years ago when we lived in Huron, S.D., though tractors weren’t the main focus of that parade. Bottom line, the weekend after Thanksgiving is a perfect time for this kind of event, with lots of family and guests in town looking for something fun to do.
Lighting up tractors for the holidays is just a great idea as a main event from the get-go. It’s a fun way to combine the Christmas spirit with our ag-based heritage in a new and festive way. Area residents embraced the challenge, and word is that several participants were already making mental notes on how to raise the bar and get more creative next year.
The planning committee and Aurora Chamber of Commerce put a great deal of thought into building a first-year itinerary, hoping to offer lots of opportunity for people to engage. The hope is that based on the initial response, other groups and organizations will find ways to get involved, building onto a new tradition.
The fireman’s soup supper, pop-up characters in local stores and visits with Santa could be just the start of an itinerary that makes Aurora jump off the calendar the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That’s good news as well for local retailers hoping to make the most of Small Business Saturday.
This is sort of the model A’ROR’N Days has followed, with a core group of activities locked on the calendar, inviting anyone and everyone to add an event that gives people a reason to “come home” and celebrate all that is right with Aurora and small-town living.
Here’s hoping “Come Home to Christmas” is a tradition that’s here to stay.
Kurt Johnson

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