Atkinson to have Virtual Christmas Festival

by Claudia Loucks correspondent
Claudia Loucks

It won’t be the same as in previous years, but the Atkinson Christmas Festival will happen on Friday, Dec. 11 as the Atkinson Virtual Christmas Festival.

Because of guidelines in place due to COVID-19, there will be no downtown gatherings.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11, Santa Claus will leave the Atkinson Fire Station and will be driven through the downtown and then into residential areas waving to children who might be watching for him from windows or on porches.

On the Village of Atkinson face book page, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11, there will be a live stream video of winners in the “Trim a Door” activity. Business owners and homeowners will be eligible for prizes if they decorate their doors and register at the Village of Atkinson office, 309-936-7658, or on the village face book page by Wednesday, Dec. 9. When registering, all participants are reminded to include their name and address so judges know the locations.

Businesses and residences will be judged after Dec. 9 and winners will be announced on face book. Village gift certificates will be awarded to the winners in the amounts of $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

A drawing also will be held and live streamed on the face book page shortly after 7 p.m. for the two youth bikes give-away. Kids can register to win a bike through Wednesday, Dec. 9, by picking up Letter to Santa stationery at the Atkinson Post Office, at Casey’s in Atkinson or at the Atkinson Hometown Market, for their Letter to Santa. When their letters are written, they can mail them at the special North Pole Post Office, which is a small building set up at 309 North State St.

The children who include their return address on their letter to Santa will receive a post card from the North Pole. Letters to Santa can be mailed at the North Pole Post Office through Dec. 18, and those children will receive a post card, but letters mailed after Dec. 9 are not eligible for the bike give-away.

The final event of the Christmas Festival in Atkinson will be drawings for gift certificates, with winners announced on the broadcast. All residents of Atkinson will be automatically entered into the drawing and rural residents also are eligible to win and can sign up at the Atkinson Hometown Market, 500 North State St., before Dec. 11. Prizes are a $100 village gift certificate and eight $50 village gift certificates.

Committee members for the Atkinson Virtual Christmas Festival are Jeff Roman, Janis Smith, Sarah Combs, Linda Combs, Randy Rahn, Ryan and Lola Rahn and Shrhonda Delp.

Sarah Combs and daughter Kaylee Adam are mailing Kaylee’s letter to Santa at the North Pole Post Office located at 309 North State St. in Atkinson. The “post office” is part of the Atkinson Christmas Festival which will be held Friday, Dec. 11. Photo by Claudia Loucks