By: Bea Rouse
Montgomery County’s oldest Christmas celebration has activities you won’t find anywhere else — A great day full of events to create memories and fun for each family member, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Montgomery Historical Society, founded in the 1950s, produces this, its only fundraising event, with proceeds going toward maintaining the seven historic buildings owned by the Society, and providing a scholarship each year for a Montgomery High School Senior.
The community fully supports this historic experience by sponsoring specific aspects from the many school and civic groups participating in the parade to providing festive cookies and candies for the Cookie Walk, the National Charity League staging the Cookie Walk, the Masonic Lodge monitoring the parade, there will be musical entertainment, and historically-costumed volunteers hosting the homes on the historic home tour.
The day begins with the ever-popular Breakfast With Santa at the Living Savior Lutheran Church, 309 Pond St., 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., for children and adults, plus photos with Santa. (Contact Annet Riley for more information at email@example.com.)
You will want to visit every booth at the Holiday Marketplace — Arts & Crafts on the grounds of the Community Center on Liberty Street at College St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the place to find unusual and one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts and holiday decorations at great prices.
Strolling Madrigals, carolers from Montgomery High School will add to the holiday cheer strolling in the historic district. Besides the restaurants’ extended hours, there will be some food vendors offering food, snacks, beverages.
The old-fashioned parade begins to wind through the streets at 11 a.m., where hundreds of people wait with anticipation on blankets and lawn chairs along the downtown the route. Civic, school, and church groups go all out, creating floats, vying to win one of several awards.
As always, the May Family has arranged for Ronald McDonald to be in the parade. The showmanship and decorating competition is always tough to impress the judges for one of several awards. This year’s parade theme is “Christmas Carols.”
Of course, Santa’s arrival is the last float in the parade.
Additional information and applications for craft booths, the parade route, and applications are available at www.montgomeryareachamber.com/events.
Applications are also available at City Hall or the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home in Montgomery in Montgomery. Contact Shirley Schneider at 936-597-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even before the end of the parade, folks will start to line up for this the 27th Annual Cookie Walk, inside the Community Building, where the doors will be open noon to 5 p.m. Visitors are handed a plastic glove and box to choose from the trays of decorative cookies, candies and gingerbread houses displayed throughout the building. The goodies are weighed for payment at the exit door. Children are often seen sitting just outside the door munching away on delicious cookies and candies. This popular and remarkable event was begun by the late Reba Laughter, and it was featured in the 1999 issue of Southern Living magazine.
The Montgomery Chapter of the National Charity League handles this huge event from start to finish. They collect the confections donated by the parents of Montgomery students and other area residents, service groups and businesses, then decorate the building and tables.
This mother/daughter group arranges the goodies on trays and replenish trays from when the doors open at noon until the cookies are gone or it is time to close the doors at 5 p.m. This dedicated group of ladies then clears everything out of the building. Any leftover cookies are packaged and delivered to nursing homes in the area. (Persons wanting to donate homemade decorative cookies or candies can package or box them in disposable containers and deliver to the Community Building on Friday, December 9.)
The 41st Candlelight Home Tour is the finale of this festive day from 4 to 8 p.m. where a dozen private homes and buildings will be beautifully decorated for the holidays. The residents of the private homes on the tour spend many days decorating their historic homes from top to bottom.
Several private homes will be on the tour, plus historic buildings such as the N.H. Davis Pioneer Complex & Museum, the Arnold-Simonton House and the log cabins at Fernland Historical Park, Old Post Office & Drug Store (now open as Modern Ranch House Antiques), The Oaks of Montgomery (Antique Consignments), Addison-Gandy Home, Old Methodist Church, Old Baptist Church, and several privately-owned historical homes—all within a few blocks of each other. The luminaries lead to many of the homes along the narrow residential streets. For safer walking after dark, bring a flashlight!
The strolling carolers, residents in Victorian dress, coupled with the historic buildings will make you feel you have stepped back to the mid-1800’s when Montgomery was the county seat. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children/students. Tickets may be purchased starting at 2:00 p.m. at the N. H. Davis Museum at 14264 Liberty Street.
While in town for this yearly event and throughout the holiday season, visitors can “Think Small” and shop here for great gifts at small-town prices. On this Christmas celebration day, most of the antique, gift shops and boutiques will be open late to accommodate shoppers who want to take advantage of sales and take care of some people on their gift list. Of course, the many restaurants in town will be open all day and evening.
Arts & Crafts Sale ~ 9am – 5pm in the Old Community Center Building Downtown
THEME: Christmas Carols~ Begins at 11am
Please note that Buffalo Springs is a private neighborhood and not open for public parking. Please do not block or park on any private property. Please view the parade in the Historic District.
Breakfast with Santa
8am to 10am at the Living Savior Lutheran Church (On Pond St.)
Adults are $8 ~ Children ages 3 and up are $5 ~ Children 2 and under are free
Photos with Santa are $5 ~ (Small crafts will be available during breakfast)
41st Annual Candlelight Home Tour
4pm – 8pm
$15 for adults and $5 for students and children.
Tickets can be bought on December 10th after 2pm at the Nat Hart Davis Museum
27th Annual Cookie Walk
Buy beautiful holiday cookies by the pound!
Noon – 5pm in the Old Community Center Building in Historic Downtown
Contact Bea Rouse at 936-524-0534 for additional information
Montgomery Historical Society Board Member