The Christmas season is upon us, and many towns and cities across the country are getting ready for various events to celebrate. The town of Middleville, Michigan, just a half-hour drive from the city of Grand Rapids, is no exception.
Middleville kicks off its seasonal celebration with its annual Christmas parade, to be held this year on Saturday, December 4 at 10:00 a.m. Lineup for participants will start at 9:30 in the parking area of the McFall Elementary School. From there, the parade route will follow Main Street to Church Street next to the Middleville United Methodist Church. (The church will hold a pancake breakfast before the parade, from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The church will also hold its annual cookie walk, starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until all the cookies are gone.)
Santa and Mrs. Claus will both be at the pancake breakfast before the parade, then both will be part of the parade, along with at least one of Santa’s reindeer. There will be prizes awarded to the best three decorated parade floats; churches and other community organizations are invited to participate.
After the parade, and weather permitting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet the kids at the gazebo near the river. If the weather is inclement, Santa will instead be at The Scoop Ice Cream Shoppe. Also at The Scoop, crafts and treats will be available, and the first 300 kids will be given a free soft-serve cone. This event is hosted by Journey Church. The Scoop also has a “North Pole Mailbox” set up for kids to mail their letters to Santa.
Across the street at the Masonic Lodge, crafts and a coloring contest will be held. The winners of the coloring contest will have their art turned into 2011 Christmas cards. These events are sponsored by several area businesses and the Middleville Wesleyan Church.
There is also the Toys for Barry County Kids drive going on until December 17, and many of the businesses in Middleville are accepting donations. Some of those businesses are The Scoop, Lovey’s Snack Shack, Dills Restaurant, and Fabulous Finds. First Baptist Church of Middleville is also taking donations.
On December 5, a community carol sing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Middleville Christian Reformed Church. This is jointly sponsored by the Middleville CRC, the Middleville United Methodist Church, and Parmalee United Methodist Church. Refreshments will be served afterward. All are welcome to come and join their voices in singing the songs of the Christmas season.
Another Christmas tradition in Middleville, and around Barry County, is the Holly Trolley. This is an actual trolley car that travels to various locations in the Barry County area and takes riders to see the colorful Christmas light displays, as well as providing musical entertainment for the riders. The Holly Trolley will be in Middleville on December 21 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the stop will be at the Middleville United Methodist Church on the corner of Church and Main Streets. The church will offer free hot chocolate and cookies to riders from 5:45 to 8:30 in the church basement. Musical entertainment will also be provided from 6-8 p.m. there.
On the trolley, there has yet to be entertainment slotted from 6-7 p.m.; from 7-8 p.m. there will be bell ringers and carolers performing.
The Holly Trolley is a fun and enjoyable way to see some of the seasonal sights with friends and family, so if you are able, take some time out of your Christmas hustle and bustle and enjoy the ride.
Resources: The Sun and News, November 27, 2010, pages 5 and 17; personal knowledge and experience.