Santa Claus is coming to town — including just about each and every town in Montcalm County and surrounding areas.
Many local Christmas-themed events will be taking place in December. All festivities are community-oriented and free.
Here’s a look at some of the upcoming events:
A pancake breakfast with Santa will be 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday in the Belding Museum at the Belrockton.
Home for the Holidays will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Covered Village Mall, featuring refreshments, live entertainment and a Christmas tree contest. Santa will again be available to children from noon to 2 p.m.
Chamber Vice President Mike Verdun said the contest is part of a citywide competition for businesses, churches and organizations to decorate a tree. Awards will be given for people’s choice and for the most donations of food and toys, which will be distributed to local food pantries and Toys for Tots.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to mix and mingle in a social setting before the holidays and provide an opportunity to do good for the community, as well as have a very nice time,” Verdun said.
Anyone wishing to participate in the Christmas tree contest can call Verdun (616) 794-1300.
The Crystal Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Crystal Congregational Church, featuring Christmas carols with a choir and Girl Scouts and cookies and hot chocolate with Santa.
Carson City will host its annual tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at City Hall. Carson City United Methodist Church will provide Christmas caroling, refreshments and a special prayer will be featured.
The Carson City Hospital Auxiliary will host its 25th annual Lights of Love event 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in the hospital lobby. Through donations, people will be honored by having their name placed on a keepsake ornament to be displayed on the hospital’s Christmas tree.
Lights of Love will culminate with a family-oriented Christmas at the hospital.
“Lights of Love truly holds a special place in my heart,” said Auxiliary President Marie Lynn Watts. “This is a fundraiser and event that our entire hospital community looks forward to every year.”
Call Watts at (989) 584-3971 ext. 163 for more information.
Edmore will host Home Town Holiday on Friday and Saturday.
The weekend will begin with a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday at Randall’s Old Mill Store.
“Lupe the Buffoon’s Christmas Present” will be presented by Rick Carver, featuring music by local artists at 7 p.m. Friday at First Church of God. Refreshments will be served at the performance and a bake sale will be offered as well.
A sled also will be given away.
Breakfast with Santa will be 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at First Church of God, followed by Reindeer with Santa at 10 a.m. at Randall’s Old Mill Store.
A hot dog giveaway will take place Saturday at the Food Pantry while St. Margaret Mary Church will host a bake sale at Edmore Wash King.
Sing along with Christmas carolers from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Visionsmith parking lot or visit Pine Forest Museum at 6 p.m. to hear holiday music performed by local artists.
The weekend will conclude with a remembrance celebration at the Curtis Park gazebo at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Santa will be the guest of honor at a block party on Cass Street in front of the Greenville Post Office from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday. Professional photographs will be taken with proceeds to benefit local food pantries.
A holiday cookie decorating booth, hot chocolate and games will also be featured.
Greenville’s annual Celebrate a Hometown Christmas Parade will be 6 p.m. Friday on Lafayette Street.
Green Acres Retirement Living at 1601 Winter Creek Ct. will host an open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday. Guests can stroll through
Green Acres and enjoy Christmas decorations while listening to music and munching on holiday goodies.
Green Acres Life Enrichment Coordinator Karen Dillon said the event is the first of its kind for the assisted living facility. She said residents are decorating all 32 apartments and staff members are decorating the hallways.
“We’re very excited about it,” Dillon said. “Everybody has their own traditions, a lot of these folks have handmade Christmas decorations and ornaments. Each one has a story, each one has a history. This gives each resident an opportunity to show their traditions and to continue those traditions.”
Green Acres is also partnering with Prison Fellowship to provide toys and clothes to local children whose mothers or fathers are in prison. An Angel Tree is at Green Acres for anyone wishing to donate.
Green Acres staff and residents plan to host a Christmas party for the children.
“We are a vital part of the community and we make sure the community knows we care,” Dillon said.
Howard City will host its annual Christmas Parade of Homes from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the event and include refreshments at the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library, a Christmas ornament from Kindel & Co. and a chance to win a willow tree nativity and other prizes.
Tickets may be purchased at the library or Kindel & Co.
Featured homes this year include Deb Dingman, Jim and Cathy Loder, Michael and Derrin Miller and Glen and Veronica Smith.
A live nativity will be on display at The Depot at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 hosted by Bethel Lutheran Church. The Howard City Lions Club will provide coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.
Crystal angel ornaments may be purchased for $15 with proceeds to benefit the library and Still Waters Ministry Center in Howard City.
The Friends of the Library will host a bake sale with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10, featuring the Tri County High School Jazz Band at 11 a.m.
“We’re excited that we can do this another year,” Library Director Janice Williams said of the village’s festivities. “It’s always a great time for people to get in the Christmas spirit. This year it’s even more exciting with the new downtown streetscape.”
This village will host its annual Christmas in Lakeview all day Saturday.
The event begins with a breakfast with Santa at the Tamarack District Library from 9 to 11 a.m.
Peddler’s Patch will host a Christmas open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gumdrop trees will be on display and local artists will be featured at Work of Art Studio & Salon, where children can also have their photograph taken as an angel from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. McKenna’s Restaurant will offer Christmas cookie decorating from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Santa Claus will make another stop in town by hosting a Christmas open house at the Lakeview Elevator from 1 to 3 p.m. Christmas carolers will perform all over town from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sheridan Community Hospital will host its 18th annual tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The event features three evergreen trees and large wreaths at a reception with refreshments, music, speakers and the honoring and remembering of family members and friends.
Sheridan’s First Congregational United Church of Christ choir and “Pastime with Good Company” also will perform by singing and playing stringed instruments.
Call Community and Employee Relations Director Sharon Bowers at (989) 291-3269 ext. 229 for more information.
Stanton Old Fashioned Days will host a Hometown Christmas from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 10 at City Hall. Santa will visit and a raffle will take place. Local businesses will have special offers.
James Freed, who is Lakeview village manager and Stanton city manager, said both communities will be showcasing vibrant downtowns and quality family fun.
“There is something for everyone this holiday season in downtown Lakeview and Stanton,” Freed said. “Make a day of it and visit our quaint shops and restaurants.”