Christmas of Yesteryear returns in Hope

If you are looking to get into the Christmas spirit or want to get some holiday shopping done before Black Friday’s mad dash, look no further than Hope.

The 13th annual Christmas of Yesteryear is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday on the Hope Town Square, hosted by the Yellow Trail Museum with the support of local merchants.

The holiday event opens the Christmas season in Hope as decorations in the town square are lit for the first time that evening, said Barb Johnson, one of the organizers.

What began as an idea by two merchants to bring some holiday shoppers to the area has grown into an event filled with things to do at little to no cost.

That evening, shops and restaurants on the square will stay open late, offering a chance to win $75 gift certificates to the store of the winner’s choice.

Also on tap are two live Nativity showings, carriage rides into Hope’s past, a program by First Baptist Church of Hope’s Hands of Hope and an Art Guild open house.

A caroling quartet will be wandering through the square until 8 p.m. said Kurt Heilman, who has participated every year since the beginning.

The event features a bake sale and Christmas cookie decorating in the Yellow Trail Museum, and kids can look forward to visits and pictures with Santa Claus.

Most of the activities will be conducted on the square, but several will be a few blocks away.

For example, the Hope Moravian Church, 202 Main St., will allow guests a free glimpse of its putz, or Nativity scene. Luminarias will light the way on the north side of the church.

Free refreshments will be available inside the Yellow Trail Museum and the shelter house booth at the Baptist church, 455 Jackson St.

Pictures with Santa, carriage rides and cookie decorating have a small fee.

“This has become a favorite event for many local residents as well as people from outside our community who come to just enjoy the warmth of the small-town hospitality,” Johnson said.

Visitors can park on or just outside of the square.

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Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at kevener@therepublic.com or 812-379-5633.