Main Street Orion's Christmas in Orion on Friday, Dec. 1, is just the first of holiday celebrations during the month.

Christmas in Orion

Main Street Orion’s Christmas in Orion will be Friday, Dec. 1. During the day, Orion businesses will serve Christmas cookies. In the afternoon and evening, the schedule includes:

4 to 7 p.m. Creekside Vineyards and Lavender Crest Winery will offer free samples of their wines at Orion IGA; Main Street Orion will provide cheese and crackers for the tasting.

5 p.m. Soup supper at the Methodist Activity Center behind Orion United Methodist Church, as well as a cookie walk (cookies priced per pound).

5:30 p.m. Tree lighting at the band shell in Central Park, with music by Orion Chamber Choir, featuring Orion High School students and their new director, Parker Haley. Main Street Orion has selected Modern Woodman representative Jennifer Lees to light the Christmas tree. Lees provides matching funds for fundraisers in the community, and she also donates her time, energy and talent to events. She serveson the Main Street board.

6 p.m. Stephanie Moen’s musicians will perform during the soup supper at the Methodist Activity Center.

Shop ’Til You Drop

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Orion, is hosting the annual Shop ’Til You Drop bus trip to Woodfield Mall on Saturday, Dec. 2. Participants will eat breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and then board a chartered bus. They will return to the church about 9 p.m.

The cost includes breakfast, a seat on the bus, a goody bag and an entry into raffle prize drawings. BankORION is donating the grand prize, a $50 VISA gift card.

To reserve a place on the bus, visit http://www. On the left side of the homepage, click on Special Events to find a registration form. Anyone interested in the trip is advised to register soon because the bus fills fast.

For more information, phone Natalie Farwell at (309) 737-3132.

Saturday with Santa

Main Street Orion’s Saturday with Santa will be in the afternoon this year. The new time is 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the commons and gym at Orion Middle School. Children from birth through 10 years old can register to receive a gift from Santa, and everyone can sit on the couch with Santa, or on his lap, for a photo.

Additional activities include listening to music, making crafts, eating cookies and writing letters to Santa. An elf will be sharing Christmas wishes.

The event is free.

Andover Christmas Walk

Saturday, Dec. 2, is the date to save for the 28th annual Andover Christmas Walk. Events include:

4:45 p.m. Tree lighting ceremony and carol sing at the gazebo on the east side of Andover Lake Park.

5 to 7 p.m. Children’s crafts, games and magic show, Santa and Mrs. Claus handing out treats, piano music, refreshments, Christmas cookie walk, gift-giving bazaar, silent auction of Christmas and winter decorations, and snowmen display in the upper level of Andover American Legion Post.

5 to 7 p.m. Soup supper, Christmas goodies and carolers in lower level of Andover American Legion Post.

5 p.m. Lighted displays and luminaries in Andover Lake Park.

5:30 p.m. (Weather permitting) Tractor-pulled wagon rides with pick-up and drop-off by east pavilion in Andover Lake Park.

6:30 to 8 p.m. Music in candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel.

Joy of Christmas Past and Present

Augustana College students and faculty will join the congregation of Augustana Lutheran Church for the Joy of Christmas Past and Present service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Andover.

In the mid-1800s, Pastor Lars Esbjörn founded the church and the college. This annual event celebrates the common heritage of the two institutions with a worship service filled with choir and instrumental music and the Christmas story from scripture read in various languages.

After the service, the worshipers will process to candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel for Communion and carols. Then everyone will return to the church for refreshments in Luther Hall.

Cookie walk

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Orion, will hold its annual cookie wak from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Sales of homemade cookies, candies and rye bread will benefit the youth trip to Houston next summer, when the youth will assist with hurricane recover efforts while attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s national Youth Gathering.

Julotta service

The 167th annual Julotta service will be at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 25, at Augustana Lutheran Church, Andover. In English except for a choir anthem in Swedish, the service recalls the traditional way pioneer settlers in Andover greeted dawn on Christmas morning.