Christmas treasures in Crawford County

A feature of Dow City’s “Hometown Christmas” is the lighted parade. The “Grinch” made a number of appearances along the route, in keeping with this year’s theme. Photo by Gordon Wolf

Communities, churches and organizations have filled the calendar with the following holiday events.

  • Open House at Schleswig library

  • Saturday, December 8, 9:30 a.m.
  • Refreshments served
  • At 10:30 a.m., Larry Grill will lead a forum on the World War One display at the library.
  • Dow House Vendor Fair

  • Saturday, December 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Baked goods, handmade crafts, Scentsy, clothing, Mary Kay, Le-Vel, a vintage Christmas store, wreaths, Dow City 150th items and more. The Dow House is located at 513 Prince Street in Dow City.
  • The Stables Holiday Artisan Craft Fair

  • December 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Klondike Hotel Open House in Manilla

  • Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • See the Christmas Tree City, well over 60 trees; refreshments will be served
  • Dow City’s 10th annual Hometown Christmas Celebration, “Past, Present & Future”

  • Saturday, December 8
  • • 10 a.m., kids’ shopping at Community Building
  • • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., vendor fair at Dow House
  • • 1 p.m., sign-up for beard contest at Dow City Community Center
  • • 2-4 p.m., quilt show at city hall
  • • 2-4 p.m., kids’ arts and crafts, Dow City Fire Hall
  • • 3-4:30 p.m., kids’ games and cookie decorating at city maintenance shed
  • • 3 p.m., cookie walk at community building, hot chocolate bar
  • 4 p.m., Santa will visit community building, photography shop
  • 4-6 p.m., soup and sandwiches at the community building
  • 6 p.m., Christmas parade on Main Street
  • 7 p.m. “Un-uttered,” 4-act play at Dow City School
  • Sunday, December 9
  • 3 p.m., “Un-uttered,” 4-act play at Dow City School
  • Free showing of “The Santa Clause” on December 8 in Denison

  • The Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County announced that the free showing of “The Santa Clause” on Saturday, December 8.
  • Families from across the area are invited to partake in the fun holiday tradition at the Donna Reed Theater.
  • After the movie, Santa will read the classic book “The Night Before Christmas” to all in attendance.
  • Children will then get the chance to share their Christmas wish lists with Santa and Mrs. Claus and they will also receive a bag of goodies.
  • The movie will begin at 1 p.m. and Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive immediately after the movie.
  • The event will conclude when all the children have had a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
  • Many Denison merchants will be open for shopping needs, before and after the movie.
  • The Music of Vince Guaraldi and Peanuts featuring the Donovan Johnson Band

  • Sunday, December 9, 3 p.m.
  • Tickets are $10 each. The Donovan Johnson Band will perform the familiar tunes of “Peanuts” specials, including the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” composed by Vince Guaraldi. For more information contact the Donna Reed Foundation office at 712-263-3334.
  • Holiday Tour of Homes

  • Sunday, December 9, 1-4 p.m. in Denison
  • The Women in Business Impact Organization is organizing this event and will have five new and historical homes in the Denison area to tour. Tickets are $15 and all proceeds go to the Santa House project as well as beautification projects planned for the coming year. Tickets will be available at the CDC office, from WIBIO members, or at the door. The starting point is at the Stables at Copper Ridge. 
  • Early Out Movie and Activity at Norelius Library

  • 1:30 p.m. December 12 for this very special Christmas Early Out! We will be decorating Gingerbread House cookies and enjoying the movie, Polar Express! Come out, bring your friends and fill the Children’s Library! For more information please call the library at 712-263-9355.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Santa House

  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the Santa House in uptown Denison on Thursday, December 13, from 5-7 p.m.
  • Visitors may take their own photos of children and families with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
  • This project is sponsored by the Women in Business Impact Organization (WIBIO-a committee of the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County).
  • Santa’s house is located in between the United Bank of Iowa’s drive through and the Cobalt Credit Union office, in the park area behind the tall pine tree.
  • Dates for future visits are as follows:
  • • Saturday, December 15, 1-3 p.m.
  • *New event this year: horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from 1-5 p.m., December 15; meet in the lobby at the Donna Reed Theatre
  • • Sunday, December 16, 1-3 p.m.
  • • Thursday, December 20, 5-7 p.m.
  • The Holiday House was constructed in 2015 and was made possible through the group receiving donations to fund the effort from numerous businesses and residents of Crawford County. The group would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all the sponsors who have made this project possible. For further information on the Santa House project contact the CDC Office at 712-263-5621.
  • Classic movies at the Donna Reed Theater

  • Friday, December 14, 7 p.m.: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” starring Chevy Chase; $2 admission
  • Sunday, December 16: Showing of the classic Christmas movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and Denison’s Donna Reed.. First show at 3 p.m.; will include Spanish subtitles. Second show at 7 p.m. Admission at either time is a free will donation. Give-aways at each showing of a new book, “Fresh Snow on Bedford Falls - Second Chances,” a sequel to “It’s A Wonderful Life” in book form.
  • 32nd Annual Ron Kuhlmann

  • Memorial Farm Toy Show

  • Saturday, December 15 (rescheduled), 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Charter Oak Community Building
  • Free-will donation for admission
  • 11th annual Denison Christmas Caroling Festivities

  • Thursday, December 13
  • Carolers are welcome to join in or depart as their schedule allows. Music sheets will be provided and refreshments will be served.
  • 6:15- 6:45 p.m.: Denison Care Center, 1202 Ridge Road
  • 7– 7:30 p.m.: Eventide Lutheran Home, 114 South 20th Street
  • 7:45– 8:15 p.m.: Silveridge Assisted Living Center, 222 South 20th Street
  • 8:30– 9 p.m.: Reed Place, 2506 3rd Avenue North
  • For more information, contact Mark Gray at 712-263-6722 (office) or 712-269-1265 (cell) or email; or Vincent Leinen at 818-342-9336 or 818-429-1563 (cell) or email
  • Information can also be found at or go to HolidayCaroling4Seniors on Facebook.
  • Christmas Craft Week at the Library

  • The Children’s Library at the Norelius Community Library is offering a special treat for the children on the week before Christmas. We will be offering a different craft each day, all week long after school. Craft time begins at 3:30 and will run until supplies are gone. Bring your friends! Please contact the library at 263-9355 for more information.

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