Christmas activities are underway in the County

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The Christmas season here in Switzerland County is now underway, and there are plenty of activities for everyone going on throughout the month.

Here’s a look at just some of the activities:

– Businesses and organizations have been challenged to decorate their windows and storefronts for the first annual “Light Up Main Street” holiday contest.

The competition is open to any business, merchant, and/or organization in the downtown historic district of Vevay. All entries must incorporate a Christmas holiday theme design and be in compliance with town ordinances. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winning businesses.

– Everyone is invited to help “Deck the District” with entries of handmade wreaths for the annual wreath contest.

The contest is open to individuals, groups, or businesses. Submissions must be completed and delivered to the Community Art Center of Switzerland County today (Thursday, December 4th), from noon to 4 p.m.; or tomorrow (Friday, December 5th) between 10 a.m. and noon.

Wreaths will be judged on workmanship, use of materials, creativity, and originality.

Prizes – in the form of gift certificates – include a $35 first place; $25 second place; and $15 third place award.

The wreath exhibit will open at the art center tomorrow (Friday), from 6-9 p.m.; and will remain on display through Thursday, December 18th. For more information and guidelines contact Vicky Hinman, Vevay Main Street Program Manager, at (812) 427-9406 or through vevaymainstreet@gmail.com.

- For tomorrow’s ‘First Friday’ celebration, “Light Up and Jingle, Everybody Mingle,” the Switzerland County Visitor Center is hosting an ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest’.

Men, women, and children (12 and under) are invited to “don us now in bad apparel” with hand-decorated Christmas sweaters or vests. Up to nine prizes will be awarded consisting of gift certificates to a local business of the winner’s choice.

Awards include $25 for first place; $15 for second; and $10 for third. Entries must be in good taste and be worn by the creator. The judging begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Center located at 128 West Main Street in Vevay. Gift certificates will be available within a week of the close of the contest.

Nearly 700 luminaries will line the sidewalks of Main and Ferry Streets in downtown Vevay with carolers roaming the town singing songs of the season. Shops, galleries, and restaurants will be open and welcome visitors to dine and shop for holiday gifts and home décor in a joyous atmosphere. Free carriage rides will be available around downtown Vevay from 6-9 p.m. weather permitting.

– Escorted by the Vevay Police Department, Santa will arrive in Switzerland County around 7:15 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) by the park near 316 Ferry Street. He will then travel to the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, where he will meet with kids of all ages.

– The official light-up of the Paul Ogle Festival of Lights will take place after Santa’s arrival. A trolley will be transporting people between the downtown area and the park during ‘First Friday’.

The Festival of Lights will remain on display at Paul Ogle Park each evening through Saturday, January 3rd.

– This Saturday, December 6th, the Switzerland County Visitors Center will be the location of the Christmas Sweet Treat and Recipe Swap for adults and a Kid’s Christmas Party for ages 10 and under. Sponsored by Switzerland County Tourism and Vevay Main Street, both events take place from 1-3 p.m. at 128 West Main Street in Vevay.

Cookie bakers, dessert makers, and candy creators are welcome to take part in a dessert swap, sampling, and recipe exchange. Participants are invited to bring at least one dozen of their favorite treats for “taste testing” and equal amounts to swap with other bakers. Copies of recipes to exchange must accompany all treats. For more information, contact Rebecca Romans at (812) 427-3237 or e-mail rebecca@switzcotourism.com.

Parents are invited to bring cameras and take their child’s photo with Santa during the Kid’s Christmas Party at the Visitors Center. Children can make a free jingle bell necklace (while supplies last) and hear a Christmas story read by guest readers including State Representative Randy Frye. Refreshments will be served.

– Presented by the Switzerland County Historical Society, experience a simple country Christmas at the 1820s Musee de Venoge and a more modern Christmas at the mid-1800s Thiebaud Farmstead. Enjoy Christmas décor, hearth cooking, and music, storytelling, and good cheer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. Both historical sites are located in Vevay.

Contact (812) 427-3560 for more information or log on to www.switzcomuseums.org.