Oak Creek Holiday Festival starts today

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Oak Creek Holiday Festival schedule

■ Today

Treats and holiday specials at various downtown businesses.

■ Saturday

9 a.m. Coffee with mayor Nikki Knoebel at The Oak Restaurant, with cinnamon rolls and Storm Moun­tain Coffee.

10 a.m. Soroco High School Stu­dent Council sells roasted chestnuts as a fundraiser for the Adopt-A-Family program. They also will accept non-perishable food donations.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa visits Bon­figlio Drug on West Main Street to listen to children’s wishes.

2 to 3:30 p.m. Ice Skate with Santa at the ice rink in downtown Oak Creek

3 to 5 p.m. Live music with Tracy and Becky at Oak Creek Liquor Store on West Main Street.

6:30 p.m. Tree-lighting ceremony on the lawn of Town Hall on Nancy Crawford Boulevard. Caroling around town to follow.

While Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel was driving through town Wednesday night she said she felt energized to see that her friends and neighbors had put up their Christmas lights, building a sense of excitement as the holiday season kicks into full swing.

“It’s fun to see and it’s nice to feel the community holiday spirit,” Knoebel said. “You forget that in your busy holiday schedules.”

In an effort to get residents out of their homes and into downtown Oak Creek for a day, the town is holding its second annual Holiday Festival today and Saturday. The event’s second iteration includes a new twist.

Knoebel wanted to bring back the community tree-lighting ceremony, something that hasn’t happened for years. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a tree taller than the Town Hall building will be lit on the lawn with old-style Christmas bulbs.

A group will go caroling after the lighting ceremony.

“It’s bringing everyone together for the holidays and celebrating the holidays as a town,” she said. “We’re just trying to pull everyone together and get some energy within the community and good spirits.”

The festival officially kicks off today when several downtown Oak Creek businesses will offer specials, hold sales and give away holiday treats.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Mugshot coffee shop will offer a holiday craft fair with 15 local artists.

Children can make snowflakes at Rachel’s Smokin’ Cafe or bring an unwrapped toy to benefit needy children to Shorty’s Restaurant.

“We’re just trying to get people to shop locally and re-energize everyone’s moods with the economy,” Knoebel said. “Hopefully, there will be good deals to be had for everyone to do their holiday shopping.”

Saturday starts with a 9 a.m. coffee with the mayor at The Oak Restaurant. The eatery’s owner, John Grout, said this is his second holiday season in Oak Creek.

“The thing I’m looking forward to most is getting (residents) out and getting them in town for the whole day,” Grout said. “There should be enough to last all day so that everyone who lives here can stay in town for the whole day.”

He said it’s important for the town to bond at any time for year, but especially during the holiday season, when schedules are busy and people might tend to stay indoors.

“It’s an opportunity to get out of the house for a day,” said Grout, who is baking dozens of sugar cookies for children to decorate. “You can see people you maybe don’t see very often.

“We’re just trying to get everyone involved in even the smallest way.”

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