It’s a Wonderful Life…at Christmas in Clare

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

The brochure says, “Step back in time in Clare on Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd, and relive what Christmas used to be like with old fashioned family activities for all who are young and young at heart, inspired by the famous 1940s movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, when a small town gathers together to create Christmas magic by caring for each other.”

Christmas in Downtown Clare is loaded with great events happening all over the community.

The fun begins on Saturday, December 2, at 9 a.m. when Santa will arrive on a firetruck from his landing site at Jay’s Sporting Goods.

From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. it will be treats, and a visit with Santa at the Depot, complete with hot cocoa and doughnut holes provide by Cops and Doughnuts. Santa’s visit is sponsored by Buccilli’s Pizza and Newman’s School of Dance.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa can be found at the Pere Marquette District Library for “Songs with Santa.” Meanwhile from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. youngsters can visit Mrs. Claus at the Depot and she will be glad to pass their messages along to Santa.

Several other activities are scheduled at the Clare Depot.

At 11 a.m. there will be a puppet show, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can view the Polar Express Train set. Two trains will be operating while youngsters visit with Santa.  There will also be “Make and Take Crafts.

Carriage Rides around the community will start at Santa’s House by the Depot and be ongoing from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Santa’s reindeer will be there from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

A handmade wreath and holiday decorations sale will also be held at the Depot between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. with proceeds going to the depot.

Moving downtown for more fun, there will be a cookie sale from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Clare Parks and Recreation at the 515 Gallery on McEwan Street; stop and hear SUN (Some Ukulele Nuts) Music at Cops and Doughnuts from 10a.m. to noon; visit the S’Mores Treat Station at Clare Hardware from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; find the Elf on the Shelf event at Ray’s Bike Shop on McEwan; see a Frozen Theme at the Heart of Michigan Café complete with a chance to meet Elsa; and at 2:00 p.m. head to the Ideal Theatre and see the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

And for extra holiday cheer, The Gateway Christmas Brass will be performing throughout Downtown on the morning of December 2nd.

There’s more to enjoy on Fourth Street.

See a Vintage Christmas Display at the Vintage Rose on the corner of East Fourth Street and Pine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; at 10:30 a.m. a Flash Mob from Newman’s School of Dance will perform in front of the Clare Castle; from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be Cookie Decorating at JT Bakers; and from noon to 2 p.m. the Clare Jaycees will sponsor a Chili Cook-Off on the Evening Post’s patio.

Head just a bit north and enjoy Candy Cane Pizzas and Reindeer Brownies at Buccilli’s Pizza of Clare, where, with a meal purchase, you can register for a chance to win a basket of pasta and gift certificate.

When the sun goes down, stop by the 515 Gallery where 45 Artists’ miniatures will be displayed from 6 to 8 p.m. and a Silent Auction will be held with the profits to help fund the Clare Area Backpack Project.

On Sunday the festivities will wind up with an Old Fashioned Christmas at the Venue on the corner of McEwan & Fourth Street for children 12 and under (with an adult). There will be a Christmas train, a tea party, singalong, cookie decorating, coloring, painting and much more. There are no reservations and no fees, just lots of fun laughter and Christmas Spirit!

A note on the brochure says, “There will be many more events and activities throughout Clare. Please visit our Facebook page … Christmas in Downtown Clare, and the Clare Parks and Recreation page for updates!

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