Christmas at the Red Barn returns

Claudia Loucks
Deb Jacobs, at right; and her grandchildren, from left, Amy Jacobs, Grace Jacobs and Justin Jacobs, invite area residents to join them at “Christmas at the Red Barn,” on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Antique Engine & Tractor Association’s 50-acre show grounds west of Geneseo on Illinois Highway 92.

Members of the Antique Engine & Tractor Association hosted their first “Christmas at the Red Barn” in 2016 in hopes that it would become an annual event.

That is just what has happened. The festivities were so well received that the group held the event through 2019 and would have had the activity in 2020 had it not been for guidelines in place due to the pandemic.

“Christmas at the Red Barn” returns this year on Saturday, Dec. 4, when young and old alike are invited to the activities from 4 to 7 p.m. and which include train rides on the four passenger cars pulled by the diesel engine in addition to horse and wagon rides, weather permitting.

Santa Claus is expected to arrive on the train and will visit with youngsters from 5 to 7 p.m.

Christmas decorations, complete with a sleigh and reindeer, will greet visitors at the front of the red barn, and the inside has been decorated to include displays of snowmen. An antique steel wheel baggage cart also will be on display.

There will be a soup supper during the hours of the celebration with chili, potato soup, veggie tray, desserts and beverages available.

Advance tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10, are available by calling Deb Jacobs at 309-314-4410, June Cole at 309-781-2206 or AE&TA board member Phil Jordan at 309-314-5000. Tickets at the door on Dec. 7 will be $15 for adults and $5 for children younger than 10.

Committee member Deb Jacobs said, “This event is a fundraiser for the AE&TA Club and we are trying to promote activities for youth in addition to the fall show. We want to encourage young people to become involved and the mission of our club is to educate the public as to where our food comes from and how it was produced in the past.”

The AE&TA grounds will have lighted Christmas displays from Friday, Nov. 26, through Jan. 1, 2022, and visitors are welcome to drive around the grounds to see the displays.