About this story: Here's the very latest information we've gathered so far about Christmas events in Orion, starting with Christmas in Orion on Friday night.

About this story: Here’s the very latest information we’ve gathered so far about Christmas events in Orion.

Friday, Dec. 1

Christmas in Orion

Main Street Orion is sponsoring the event.

During the day, Orion businesses will serve free Christmas cookies during regular business hours.

The cookies are courtesy of Brian Pollock of Sam’s Club. Pollock, an Orion resident, is the Membership Services Assistant Manager at the Moline Sam’s Club. They are members of Main Street Orion.

Participating businesses are Orion Family Pharmacy, Cate & Co. (8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.), BankORION, Union Federal Savings & Loan, Enchanted Florist, Orion Veterinary Clinic, Maple Street Grille, Western District Library, Orion Village Hall, Carpet Time, Country Companies, McCaw Medical Clinic (9 a.m. to noon), Coulter Insurance Agency, the U.S. Post Office and Peterson Frame and Alignment.

Western District Library’s Christmas open house will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library is offering Christmas cookies, music and Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa displays. Also, visitors will be able to check out audiobooks and Christmas videos. Children will be invited to play with new toys in the play area.

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. A free soup supper will take place at the Methodist Activity Center behind Orion United Methodist Church. Also, Main Street Orion will have a cookie walk. Cookies will be priced per pound).

5:30 p.m. The annual tree lighting at the band shell in Central Park will begin with music by the 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 serves on the Main Street board.

6:30 p.m. Stephanie Moen’s C.R. Hanna Holiday Music Makers (fourth and fifth graders) will perform at the soup supper in the Methodist Activity Center.

Saturday, Dec. 2

Shop ’Til You Drop

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Orion, is hosting the annual bus trip to Woodfield Mall.

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. stpaullutheranorion.com. 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, Dec. 2

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., but the location still will be in the commons and gym at Orion Middle School.

Children from birth through 10 years old can register that morning 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.

Friday, Dec. 8

OMS concert

Orion Middle School will feature its bands and choirs at the Winter Festival at 7 p.m. at Orion High School.

Saturday, Dec. 9

Cookie walk

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Orion, will hold its annual cookie walk from 9 to 11 a.m. 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.

Sunday, Dec. 10

Winter Festival

At 3 p.m., the Orion High bands and choirs and the Orion Community Band will present a concert at the high school.

Friday, Dec. 15

C.R. Hanna program

First and second graders from C.R. Hanna Elementary School will present “Nice, Not Naughty!” at 6:30 p.m. at Orion High School.