Ready to deck the halls? Or roast chestnuts on an open fire? If you can't help but embrace the spirit of Christmas, then you won't be short on activities this weekend, as plenty of festive events will be going on around Harvey County. Three highlights include:
1) Sounds of the season
A veritable smorgasbord of holiday concerts will be taking place this weekend, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with the Nashville duo of Jenny & Tyler bringing their Christmas Stories Tour to Norm's Coffee Bar (613 N. Main). Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets for the fundraiser concert are $30, which can be purchased on Norm's Facebook page. Also performing at that time a little farther north — at the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary on the Hesston College campus — will be the Mirari Brass Quintet, as part of the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts lineup. Tickets for the Christmas-centric concert are $27 for reserved seats and $18-$23 for general admission and can be purchased at hesstonbethel.org, at the Hesston College Bookstore, Bethel College's Thresher Shop or by calling 620-327-8105.
Sunday also holds a slate of concerts, with the Newton Treble Clef Vespers concert starting at 3 p.m. at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church (1200 Boyd Ave.). The lineup includes the Treble Clef Chorus, Hearts for Him, the Newton Community Children's Choir, Sue Swender and Joan Wulf, with freewill offerings being taken for admission to support the Treble Clef Scholarship fund. At 7 p.m., the Bethel College steel drum bands will put on a free concert on campus at Memorial Hall, featuring Christmas staples like "Jolly Old St. Nick," "Jingle Bells," and "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
2) Light up with Christmas spirit
Dyck Arboretum's traditional Winter Luminary Walk will also be going this weekend, on Friday and Saturday, featuring displays of several lights and candles, along with the toasting of s'mores around fire pits, nativity scenes in the "leaf house stables" and cookies and almond tea offered in the Visitor Center. This year's theme, "The Prairie Sleeps," celebrates the stillness and beauty of winter, which will be highlighted on the walk from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Other scheduled activities on the walk included a performance by the Newton Children's Community Choir starting at 6 p.m. Friday, while Saturday is family night and will feature crafts, face painting and more. Advanced tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children 3-15, or $6 and $3 at the door, though children will be admitted free with a paying adult on family night.
3) Tidings of comfort and joy
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Carriage Factory Art Gallery, Harvey County Historical Society, Kauffman Museum, Warkentin House and Goerz House will open the doors for the "Five Places of Christmas" event, which is free and open to the public.
Bethel College Women's Association will play host at Goerz House, a first-time stop on the "Five Places of Christmas" and one that is currently on the National Register of Historic Places (and acts as the residence of the Bethel College president and his family).
Refreshments and activities vary at all five sites, ranging from peppernuts and Mrs. Warkentin's Russian Tea at the Warkentin House to an afternoon organ concert at Kauffman Museum. For more information, visit tonewton.com.