Small towns gear up for Christmas season

Ian Traina, left, and Teresa Traina make ornaments at the 2018 Atlanta Christmas celebration. Across the table are Raeleen and Heather Whiteman. Visitors Saturday to Atlanta will also have the opportunity to make ornaments for their 2019 Christmas celebration.

The Christmas season has officially begun and the small eastern Cowley County towns will soon begin their special celebrations.

The annual Christmas Party in Atlanta is at 6 p.m. Saturday. Sponsored by the city, there will be games and activities, including making own Christmas ornaments before Santa arrives on the fire truck. Families are asked to bring  a dozen cookies to enjoy with punch or coffee while Santa visits with the children. Anyone in the area is welcome.

Burden is host to the first “Christmas on Route 160” beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Burden City Park pavilion. Included in the afternoon are Christmas movies, a chili cook-off, a live Nativity scene, Christmas crafts and games, free chili, drinks and cookies, with Santa arriving around 5:45. The Burden Baptist Church Singers will perform at 6 p.m., followed by a community-wide church service conducted by Pastor Mike Marker. Ending the evening will be the community tree lighting.

“This event is free to everyone,” city clerk Julia Loving said. “The pavilion will be tarped on the sides, and we will have heaters.”

Cambridge will begin its annual Christmas celebration with a soup supper at 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Cambridge Presbyterian Church. Proceeds from the meal will be divided between the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department and the church for youth and mission activities. After the meal, at a program in the sanctuary, Howard Redburn will recite “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clark Moore. Arlene Otto will read the real Christmas story from Luke, there will be singing of carols, then Santa Claus will appear with something for each child present.

“It’s a wonderful evening for the surrounding community and is a special tradition that only happens in small rural towns,” Cambridge Presbyterian pastor Marsha Granbury said.

Dexter’s “Christmas in the Valley!” festivities begin Dec. 14 with a barn quilt painting class from 9 to 11 a.m. at the City Building. There will be hot chocolate and treat bags, kids’ Christmas shopping and visits with Santa Claus beginning at 10 a.m. at Dexter Outreach. A soup lunch will be served at the school commons area by Dexter/Otto 4-H Club, followed by a Christmas play in the school gym. Christmas caroling starts at 4 p.m.

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