Saturday’s dense fog throughout the county put no damper on holiday festivities in Peabody and Hillsboro.
Letters to Santa, manger animals, vendors offering gifts to give to hard-to-shop-for loved ones, and more were part of Saturday’s Down Home Christmas in Hillsboro.
Throughout the downtown area, children went from one holiday activity to another, despite the town being blanketed by a cold for that formed hoarfrost on branches of plants and eventually brought light drizzle.
Some vendors sold homemade gifts and others offered home based business goods.
Free cocoa, cider, and chili with cinnamon rolls were handed out at various locations.
Whether Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce served chili to 300 people or 2,000 depends on who was talking. Chamber members estimated the number of bowls served at 300, but DJ Duane McCarty, who kept music playing for the event, told people who came to the Chamber office hoping for lunch after the serving was done that 2,000 people had been served.
Kids listened to Christmas stories told by Mrs. Claus, sat on Santa’s lap for photos, got photos taken with the Grinch, wrote letters to Santa, decorated cookies with more sweet frosting than cookie and topped with sprinkles, and made crafts to take home.
At 2:30 p.m., an eager crowd gathered in front of the community Christmas tree to drink cocoa, hear Tabor College musicians, and listen to a telling of the nativity story before Santa appeared to light the tree.
People watched through the fog with anticipation for Santa’s arrival. Finally flashing lights could be seen in the south. Escorted by a police cruiser and a fire truck, Santa arrived in his sleigh and stepped to the tree to remind listeners why the season is celebrated and light the tree.