by Andrew Henderson
It may be a little more than a month away, but the celebration of Christmas will take place this weekend in Hannibal.
The Hannibal business community and organizations are preparing for the ninth annual Country Christmas celebration to be held this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18 in and around the Village of Hannibal.
Programming this year will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday and will conclude with the lighting of the community Christmas tree starting at 4:45 p.m. Sunday.
The “Hannibal Brass Ensemble” will set the mood for the festivities, including the children’s parade and drawings for door prizes. Santa is expected to make an early season appearance.
This year marks the 160th anniversary of the first train to come to Hannibal and the Beckwith Christmas Tree Station will host a Holiday Hike to the historical keystone bridge (approximately one mile each way) at 2 p.m. both days. Wagon tours of the farm begin at 2:30 p.m. both days.
Wine and food tastings will be offered at the Hannibal Quick Mart and Travis Floral Shop on both days.
The Hannibal United Methodist Church will host the Debra Sidman Memorial Craft Show and Soup Luncheon Saturday only. Debra Sidman chaired the event for many years and recently lost her fight with cancer.
The Friends of the Hannibal Library will present the eighth annual Festival of Trees and Wreaths Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, the display and silent auction runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Children’s crafts will be available from noon to 3 p.m. each day.
The public will have the opportunity to vote for the Peoples Choice Award, the tree and wreath that best depicts this year’s theme of “Olde Fashion Christmas.” All of the entries, many with different styles and themes, will then be sold to the highest bidder.
This year, the Friends of the Library will hold a raffle for a special “Build a Better Christmas” tree, which includes tools, gift cards and certificates donated by Burke’s Home Center, Carter Contracting, Karkruff Construction, Raby’s Ace Hardware, Scott’s Building Supply, and Sherman’s Home Storage. Proceeds will benefit the library.
In addition, the Hannibal Historical Society will be selling Pewter Christmas Tree ornaments from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18 during the Festival of Trees being held at the Community Center on Oswego Street.
The ornament shows the original Hannibal Baptist Church on the front with a short history of the building on the back. Each ornament comes with a cord for hanging and a pouch for storage.
Those seeking further information may call Ann Mahaney at 564-5658 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Christmas Carnival will be held at the Kenney Middle School to benefit the Christmas Bureau. Also on Saturday, a flu/pneumonia shot clinic and blood pressure screenings will be held at the Hannibal Pharmacy.
Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Hannibal Fire Company Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. and Our Lady of the Rosary will host a chicken and biscuit dinner Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gift and entertaining ideas will be offered at other participating businesses, including Village Pizzeria, Kim’s Village Café, Karkruff Construction & the Cluttered Corner Flea Market, Scrubby Doo’s Pet Grooming, Kami’s Kix Dance Studio, Perkins Chiropractic, and Mason Computers.
Signs will be posted and schedules of events will be available.