11-29-18 A Community Mourns; It’s a Hometown Christmas in Watervliet this weekend  

A COMMUNITY MOURNS as luminaries of love encircled Hartford’s Ely Park Wednesday, Nov. 21 during a candlelight vigil honoring the life of Zoe Phillips, who lost her valiant battle with cancer at just 10 years of age. Hundreds gathered to share a smile, a hug and a tear for the unflappable little girl whose story stole the heart of so many throughout Southwest Michigan. The Hartford Fire Department saluted the courageous young lady on Main Street with an honor usually reserved for fallen firefighters during the following day’s memorial services. Speaking at the vigil, Hartford Police Chief Tressa Beltran perhaps said it best as she shared her thoughts as to use Zoe’s example as a life lesson to “Fight; fight as hard as you can and never give up…” when faced with life’s adversities. Her obituary is on Page 6. (TCR photos by Jon Bisnett)

Hometown Holiday Happenings

It’s a Hometown Christmas in Watervliet this weekend

There are some great events planned this Saturday and Sunday in Watervliet for the Hometown Christmas Celebration. Plan on attending to enjoy the holiday magic! The event’s main location is Arclight Brewing Company at 544 N. Main Street.

Business Window contest

Judging for the best business window decorations will take place Friday, Nov. 30 with the winners announced at Arclight on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. First place prize is $100. Second place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to DiMaggio’s Pizza & Burgers. A $25 gift certificate to Panthers Grill goes to the third place winner.

Saturday contests and entertainment

The weekend fun starts at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday for a Cookie Decorating Contest until 5 p.m. with prizes for the winners.

A Chili Cook Off is being held at Arclight Saturday evening; tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. And for entertainment, the band Big Ben & The Burly Boys will play starting at 8 p.m.

Panthers Grill will be on site at the brewery both Saturday and Sunday with food selections for purchase.

Snow Prince & Princess Contest

Voting boxes will be at Watervliet Wesco, Cool Tan, B&B Grocery, and Arclight Brewery leading up to the crowning ceremony for the Snow Prince & Snow Princess. Voting ends Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. A 4 p.m. crowning ceremony takes place this year on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Arclight Brewery for contestants in 6th through 8th grades with Hair by Elizabeth Eggert.

Traditions continue at North Berrien Historical Museum this weekend

On Friday, Nov. 30 thru Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, the North Berrien Historical Museum will hold their 14th annual Holiday Open House, an event well-known for its kid-friendly fun and the uniquely decorated trees sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Returning activities include: the Holiday Kids Carnival, Gingerbread House Decorating (suggested $5 donation), visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and their live reindeer, live entertainment, and the Cookie Walk (suggested $8/box donation). New to the schedule are Holiday Family Portraits. For a suggested $20 donation you will receive three digital photos of your family that you can use for your holiday cards, family memories, or even just for the fun!

The event has been growing over the last few years due to an increase in community-based sponsors. The North Berrien Historical Society would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting this annual Holiday tradition: Mike’s Pit StopEscape Salon & Day Spa, Edgewater Bank, Cutting Corners, Chemical Bank, Honor Credit UnionWatervliet District LibraryCentsible Heating & Air ConditioningColoma Public LibraryHOPE Resources, Orchard Hill Landfill, Contessa Wine CellarsNorth Berrien Senior CenterColoma & St. Joseph KOA HolidaySarett Nature CenterColoma 2nd Grade, Lakeland Health, VFW, Coloma Lioness, Moss ChiropracticSome Things DifferentCommunity Sailing Paw Paw LakeArtes & CraftPaw Paw Lake Rotary ClubGateWay Services, Kaucher family, Whistler FarmColoma United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary, Richcreek family, The Upbeats Band, Four Seasons Spa & PoolColoma Watervliet Area Chamber of CommerceDarlene Getz, DDSTofu & Pizza Rolls LLC, Benson’s Carpet & Floor CoveringsDiMaggio’s Pizza & BurgersEasy Street InnMonte Package Company, Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Brian W. Smith, Big C LumberThe Sidetrack Cafe IILane Automotive, Harding’s Markets, H&R BlockWatervliet Hardware, Hill View Auto Sales, Jollay Orchards, Bob’s Barn Farm Market & Bakery, Hutchins Funeral Home, Todd Korabik – State Farm Agent.

Chili Cook-Off at Arclight Brewing Company on Saturday

Registration must be submitted by November 30, 2018. There is NO entry fee and each registration will receive $20 to help pay the cost at the event. Registration will be accepted from everyday home cooks and professional cooks who are 21 years of age or older.

Each entry must include: registration form completed in full; by submitting your registration, you accept all contest rules and agree to be bound by the decisions of the cook-off judges, which will be final.

Contestants should arrive at Arclight Brewery on Saturday, December 1 with their Chili dishes at 5:30 p.m.; tasting open to the public at 6:30 p.m. It is the responsibility of cook-off contestant(s) to keep their entry properly heated; dishes must be warm upon arrival. Electrical outlets will be available. Ovens are not available prior to or during the event.

All ingredients must be posted and visible to the public. This is a requirement to ensure the safety of the contestants, judges, and public participants. Dishes will be judged by the public.

Any style of chili may enter. Prizes: 1st place receives a $75 Arclight Gift Certificate; 2nd Place – $50 Arclight Gift Certificate; 3rd – $25 Arclight Gift Certificate. Contestants can enter as many recipes as they want. A separate entry form must be filled out for each entry.

See official rules and entry form for complete registration information. The brewery is located at 544 N. Main St. in Watervliet.

Salute to the Troops is the theme of Christmas in Hartford Saturday, December 8

HONORING HARTFORD’S HEROES… Christmas trees at Hartford’s Public Library are festooned with photos of Hartford’s Veterans as part of the Christmas in Hartford theme, “Salute to the Troops. See the story on Page 8 with all the events set for December 8.

Toys for Tots

From Thanksgiving until the second week of December there will be a drop box at Arclight for community members to make donations of new unwrapped toys to the U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots program.

Hometown Christmas Parade begins Sunday’s celebrating and kicks off an evening of fun

There will be a parade downtown starting at 5:30 p.m. from Watervliet City Hall and ending at Arclight Brewery. Mr. Mattson and his Watervliet Elementary Choir will lead the parade. Grand Marshall for this year is Ben and Beth Wagner of B&B Grocery. Winner of the best entry will receive a $100 award. Parade organizers are still accepting parade entries. Contact parade chairperson Rosemary Smith at 269-325-8230 for more information.

New to the holiday celebration this year is a Pet Contest for non-aggressive dogs dressed as reindeer. A prize for the most creative will be awarded at Arclight following the parade.

Live reindeer (the real thing) will be at the brewery from 5-7:30 p.m.

Photographer Melanie Craig will be available from 6-8 p.m. to take pictures with Santa for purchase. The cost is $7 for a 5×7, $10 for two 4×6 prints or $9 for an emailed digital photo file.

During the Pictures with Santa from 6-8 children will receive hot chocolate and cookies for free. Anyone wanting to donate cookies please drop them off between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For teens and adults, judging of an Ugly Sweater Contest will be at 7:30 p.m.

The Class of 2022 will conduct a fund-raiser on Sunday from 4-8 p.m. selling Wesco Popcorn Buckets for $12.

Greens Workshop at Sarett on Dec. 1 & 8

Saturday, December 1 at 2 p.m. or Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. Sarett Nature Center is holding Greens Workshops. They will provide many varieties of natural greens to create wreaths, swags, baskets or centerpieces. Cost is $15 and includes greens and instructions; bring your own clippers, frames, wire and ribbon. Call to register at (269) 927-4832.

Breakfast with Santa

The Coloma Rod and Gun Club is holding Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 2 for area families. Santa visiting time is 9 to 11 a.m.

Children 12 and under are able to eat breakfast for free. They are also able to choose a free gift and candy.

The club is located at 6145 Angling Road in Coloma.

Watervliet’s Best Lighted House Contest Dec. 2-15

Watervliet’s Best Lighted House contest is sponsored by the City of Watervliet in coordination with their Hometown Christmas Celebration. It runs December 2-15, 2018.

To enter, participants must post a photo and/or video of their Christmas display on the Watervliet’s Best Lighted House Facebook event page. Then send the street address via Facebook Messenger to Katie Ann Muth so authenticity can be verified. Please do NOT post the address with the photo.

Entries can be made anytime between Dec. 2 and Dec. 15. No posts before Dec. 2 will be accepted.

Once the entry has been posted, then share the event and photo with all your Facebook friends. Be sure to “invite” friends and ask them to vote for your house on the event page. The three photos with the most “likes” and “shares” total will be eligible to win. At midnight on Dec. 15 “Likes and Shares” will be counted on the event page ONLY. Prizes for this contest are 1st place: $100 cash; 2nd place: $50 B&B Grocery gift card; and 3rd place: $20 Mill Creek Charlies gift card.

RSVP on the event page as “going” so that more information can be seen and contestants’ entries can be viewed.

Berrien RESA’s Blossomland Learning Center to host holiday bazaar Dec. 7

Berrien Regional Education Service Agency’s Blossomland Learning Center is hosting a Holiday Bazaar open to the public on Friday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will take place at Blossomland Learning Center, 711 St. Joseph Avenue in Berrien Springs.

The Blossomland Learning Center Holiday Bazaar will feature an assortment of items including various crafts, ceramic art, baked goods, ornaments and more!  There will also be several raffle items as well as light lunch options.

Proceeds from the bazaar will benefit BLC students by             providing them with classroom materials, opportunities for social gatherings and community outings.

Christmas in Hartford

The theme for Christmas 2018 in Hartford is “Salute to the Troops”. The Hartford Public Library is decorated in red, white and blue. They have one Christmas tree decorated with ornaments from the military branches of service. The other four trees have framed photos of Hartford men who served our country from World War II to present.

The Christmas Celebration and Parade is Saturday, Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library. The parade begins at 6 p.m. which brings Santa to the library, free photos with Santa, a free Holiday Extravaganza drawing, refreshments and live Christmas music.

The event is sponsored by the Hartford Public Library, the Hartford Lions Club and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. For information call (269)621-3408 or email hartfordlib@yahoo.com.

Visit Santa at Sarett Dec. 9

Santa will be visiting Sarett on Sunday, December 9 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Bring your camera and get a picture taken with Santa and tell him your Christmas wishes! Sarett naturalists will also have nature crafts to make and take for $1 -$2.

Best Way Disposal Toy Drive ends Dec. 17

This year Best Way Disposal is facilitating a toy drive to benefit our local children in the foster care system in Berrien County. They would love for our community and their customers to join them in spreading Christmas cheer!

Please drop off new, unwrapped toys and gifts for infants through teens at their drop box located at the 7901 Dan Smith Rd. office.

The Toy Drive ends on Monday, Dec. 17.

Christmas Sing-A-Long

Do you enjoy the sounds and sights of Christmas?  You’re invited to experience the songs you love to hear at Christmas by joining your friends at Crystal Springs Church of God for Christmas Sing-A-Long!  This family fun free event on Sunday, Dec. 9 will start at 6:30 p.m. with snacks and goodies after the program.

The church is located at 1465 Pipestone Road in Benton Harbor next door to Crystal Springs Florist. Check out www.crystalspringsfamily.com for more information or call the church at (269) 925-1843.

Christmas special services at Coloma UMC

Blue Christmas Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m.

This service is especially for those not experiencing a “Merry” Christmas for whatever reason.

Children’s Christmas Pageant Dec. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

A wonderful opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in the story of the birth of Jesus!

(No lines to learn-assemble at 9:30 am to prepare.)

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Dec. 24 at 8:00 p.m.

Love Feast Dec. 30 at 10:00 a.m.

(Hymn Sing)

All are welcome to join in celebrating the birth of Jesus!

Coloma United Methodist Church is located at 144 S. Church Street. Call 269-468-6062 for more information.