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Special supplement to

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Emergency vehicles sport festive decorations for the Christmas Magic Parade. (File photo)

Community members are encouraged to participate in the Christmas Magic Parade. (File photo)

Benzie Central chamber choir students carol during Christmas Magic in Beulah. (File photo)

Benzonia Public Library’s holiday party provides fun for all. (File photo)

Community to celebrate Christmas Magic on Dec. 14 From Staff Reports BENZIE COUNTY – Christmas excitement will return to Benzie County on Dec. 14 with Beulah’s annual Christmas Magic celebration. The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with Breakfast with Santa & friends at the Cold Creek Inn in downtown Beulah. Breakfast will last until 10:30 a.m. After breakfast, community members can grab dessert by purchasing cookies from the Friends of Darcy Library Cookie sale, which will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Dec. 13 and 14. This year’s excitement is not limited to the town limits

of Beulah. Benzonia Public Library will hold its annual Holiday Party and Craft Workshop from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Dec. 14 in the upper level of the Mills Community House. The party begins with holiday carols from 11 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. After caroling, there will be a hilarious puppet show and stories with audience participation. The remainder of the time will allow families to take advantage of a number of different craft stations, as well as a festive photo booth. Refreshments will be served throughout the event. A special addition to the Holiday Party this year,

Benzie Central student interns will have stations set up on the lower level for families to gather and share holiday memories as part of the Remembering Benzie Oral History Project. “It is a great opportunity for families to connect during these very busy times,” said Amanda McLaren, serves as library director and is working with the students on the oral history project. “Some of the interviews will even become part of the movie that the interns are creating, which will play at the Garden Theater in the spring.” From Benzonia Public Library, the Christmas Magic fun will return to Beulah for

the remainder of the afternoon. Families can enjoy face painting, crafts, cookie decorating and visiting Santa from 3-5 p.m. at the trailhead building. There will also be horse drawn carriage rides throughout the afternoon, and Benzie Central High School chamber choir students will sing Christmas carols throughout downtown Beulah. These fun activities will all lead up to the Christmas Magic parade at 5:15 p.m. This year’s parade theme is “Christmas Toys and Children’s Joy.” The parade will feature lighted floats, Santa and the “Big Heads” from the Detroit Parade Co. Parade participa-

tion is open to individuals, groups, business or organizations, and the parade application is on clcba.org along with more details on all the day’s activities. “We are always looking for parade entries,” said McLaren, this year’s parade coordinator. “It is such a lovely community event and we encourage people to join in on the magic.” Many downtown businesses will stay open until 7 p.m. that night for Christmas Magic Madness with special drawings and special sales. Beulah’s Christmas Magic celebration is sponsored by the Crystal Lake Community Business Association.

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Festival of Trees helps build homes By Colin Merry Staff Writer

The Festival of Trees is a silent auction fundraiser for Benzie County Habitat for Humanity featuring decorated Christmas trees and other decorations. (File Photo)

BENZONIA — An annual holiday event kicks off the holiday season by raising money for a local nonprofit that builds homes for families in need. The Festival of Trees will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 30 and from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Benzie Area Historical Museum, located at 6941 Traverse Ave. in Benzonia. Event organizer Kathy Houston said there will be about 100 different items available, from fully decorated artificial and fresh Christmas trees, to wreaths, table decorations, other decorations and a live tree. Visitors can bid on the trees and decorations via a silent auction both days. All of the proceeds go to Benzie County Habitat for Humanity. “The trees are decorated by individuals, families, churches, area businesses and civic groups,” Houston said. “For some families, it is a holiday tradition they do every year.” She also said a few classes from area schools come in and decorate trees. “They get pretty creative,” Houston said. Also at the Festival of Trees, Sophie and Finn McLaren will be reading “A Christmas Memory “ by Truman Capote, at 4 p.m on Dec. 30. Last year, the Festival of Trees raised around $7,000, but Houston said the average if $5,000. Over the last 10 years, the event has raised a total of about $50,000 for Benzie County Habitat for Humanity.

Each year, between 500 and 700 people visit the Festival of Trees. “When people walk in, they can make a donation that’s shared by Habitat and the museum, too,” Houston said. “It’s been that way ever since we began working with them, because they’re hosting the event. It’s nice because it gives people the chance to check out the Christmas display the museum puts out, too.” This year, the museum’s Christmas exhibit features hand-made figures created by Dorothy Hensel for her famous 12 Days of Christmas exhibit, originally created for Olsen-Sayles window — and was exhibited there for a number of years. The 78-piece set took first place in the Patriot Commercial Window Decoration Contest in 1972. The exhibit reflects the artistic talents of Hensel, who is also was the prime force behind the creation of the Benzie Area Historical Society. Houston said the museum began hosting the Festival of Trees in the early 2000s, but it is an older event than that. She said it is over 20 years old, and, at one time, held in the basement of the Mills Community House. The Festival of Trees is organized by a committee of volunteers which is supported by the Benzie County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, the Benzie Area Historical Museum and other community organizations and businesses.


The Festival of Trees also features wreaths visitors can bid on and buy. (File Photo)



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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

The Benzie County Community Chorus will be presenting its Christmas concert in December. (Courtesy Photo)

Community chorus to bring Christmas melodies to Benzie County By Colin Merry Staff Writer BENZIE COUNTY — A Christmas tradition over 40 years in the making, the Benzie County Community Chorus will present a series of Christmas concerts this season. Performances will be held at several locations. The first concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The second concert will be held at 3 p.m. on Dec 14, also

at St. Andrews. A final concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Frankfort United Methodist Church. No admission is charged for this concert which is given as a gift to the community. A free-will offering will be accepted for the support of the chorus. “This year, the title of the concert is Carols and Lullabies,” said Dinah Haag, choir director. “The idea is music for the heart, music for the soul.” Haag said adults generally

don’t think they need gentle music like lullabies, but in trying times, they can help. Haag also said the concert will feature familiar carols and some more unique performances, such as duets and small group melodies. The women will sing a song called “Lullaby,” by Daniel Elder, and the men will do “Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel),” by Billie Joel. She also said some traditional carols include “Deck the Halls”

and a new, gentle version of “Silent Night.” The choir also will perform “The Shepard’s Pipe Carol” and Eric Whitacre’s “Glow.” The performance will end with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” The concerts started when founder and former director Carolyn Lalas brought together choir members from area churches to perform a Christmas concert. The concert was a hit, and that’s when Lalas and the other singers decided to continue performing

as a group — creating the Benzie County Community Chorus. Since then, not only have they continued to perform the traditional Christmas concert every year, but they’ve performed summer concerts and have toured locations throughout the country and Europe. For more information, visit the Benzie County Community Chorus website at benziechorus. com.

The origins of Christmas caroling The festive nature of the holiday season makes it an ideal time to sing, especially in groups. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that

caroling, a tradition that dates back many centuries, ultimately collided with Christmas. Caroling and Christmas carol-

ing are two different things. According to History.org, the origins of modern Christmas caroling can be traced to was-

sailing, a term that has evolved for more than a millennium. What started as a simple greeting gradually became part of a toast

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made during ritualized drinking. Time magazine notes that the word “wassail,” which appeared in English literature as early as the eighth century, eventually came to mean the wishing of good fortune on one’s neighbors, though no one can say for certain when this particular development occurred. During medieval times, farmers in certain parts of Britain would drink a beverage to toast the health of their crops and encourage the fertility of their animals. By 1600, farmers in some parts of Britain were still engaging in this ritual, and some were by now taking a wassail bowl filled with a toasting beverage around the streets. These wassailers would stop by neighboring homes and offer a warm drink, all the while wishing good fortune on their neighbors. During this period, wassailing had nothing to do with Christmas, but that began to change in Victorian England, when Christmas became more commercialized and popular. It was during this time when publishers began circulating carols, forever linking the tradition of wassailing with Christmas. Christmas caroling as Victorian Englanders knew it might have fallen by the wayside. But while carolers may no longer go doorto-door singing Christmas songs and wishing their neighbors good fortune, those intent on seeing the modern manifestation of this tradition that dates back more than a millennium may be able to find some carolers at their local mall or church.

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Silver Tea a pause before busy holiday season By Colin Merry Staff Writer FRANKFORT — The First Congregational Church of Frankfort will again be hosting the Silver Tea gathering, bringing friends and families together for a day before the busy holiday season. The Silver Tea will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Dec.7 in the basement of the church. There is no cost to attend, but a freewill donation will be accepted. Tea is served from the events namesake silver pitchers, and ornate silver table service adorns the entryway, where visitors will be served before finding a seat. Servers in formal dress also stop by each table to refill tea cups and clear dishes. Aside from tea, guests will a variety of hors d’oeuvres made by volunteers. Previous year’s offerings included shrimp, fish balls, meatballs, stuffed tomatoes and finger sandwiches, as well as an assortment of holiday cookies. A bake sale also will be

A cookie sale is one aspect of the First Congregational Church’s Silver Tea. (File Photo)

held; visitors can purchase cookies by the pound. “We’re hoping to switch things up a little bit this year,” said Dinah Haag, pastor at

First Congregational Church of Frankfort. “We’re not quite sure what we’re going to do yet, maybe we’ll make the punch different. Things may

be tweaked a little bit, and there might be some new surprises.” Haag said the Silver Tea is an event that just seems to

happen organically. Haag also said the tea is a time for friends to get together and catch up after a busy summer and fall, before the holiday madness starts. “I think it is a time people set aside and make a tradition of so they can catch up with their friends and relax a little bit to get ready, mentally, for the Christmas season,” she said. The early history of the Silver Tea has been lost, but it has been continuous for at least 90 years, and was started in the early 1900s. Stories from some of the oldest congregation members indicate it may have started as something for the women to do when hunting season started. It is also thought that the church was looking to do something with the silver tea set donated to the church many years ago. For more information on the First Congregational Church of Frankfort’s Silver Tea, call the church at (231) 352-7909.

Tips for safe holiday entertaining in pet-friendly homes The holidays are a time to spend with friends and family. Celebrating and entertaining are large components of what makes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and New Years festivities so enjoyable. Holiday hosts with pets must consider companion animals when planning the festivities. The holiday season brings added dangers for pets. The American Veterinary Association notes that, by keeping hazards in mind, pet owners can ensure their four-legged friends enjoy the season as much as everyone else. • Secure the tree. Securely anchor the Christmas tree so that it won’t tip over on anyone, including rambunctious pets. Also, stagnant tree stand water can grow bacteria. If a pet should drink the water, it may end up with nausea or diarrhea. Replenish the tree basin with fresh water daily. • Skip the candles. When creating mood lighting, opt for electronic or battery-powered lights instead of open flames. Pets may knock over candles, and that can be an instant fire hazard. • Keep food out of reach. Situate food buffets beyond the reach of hungry and curious animals. Warn guests to promptly throw out their leftovers so that dogs and cats do not sneak away with scraps that may cause stomach upset or worse. Real Simple magazine warns that fatty foods can promote pancreatitis Ñ a potentially dangerous inflammation of the pancreas that produces toxic enzymes and causes illness and dehydration. Small bones can get lodged in a petÕs throat or intestines as well. • Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Exercise caution when baking sugar-free desserts. The artificial sweetener xylitol can cause dogs’ blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels. Xylitol is found in some toothpastes and gum, so tell overnight guests to keep their toiletries secure to avoid accidental exposure.

them. Ingested alcohol can make pets ill, weak and even induce comas. • Be picky about plants. Mistletoe, holly and poinsettias can be dangerous in pet-friendly households. These plants can cause gastrointestinal upset and may lead to other problems if ingested. Opt for artificial replicas instead. If guests bring flowers, confirm they are nontoxic to pets before putting them on display.

• Be cautious with cocktails. If the celebration will include alcoholic beverages, the ASPCA says to place unattended adult beverages where pets cannot reach

• Watch the door. Guests go-

ing in and out may inadvertently leave doors open. In such instances, pets who get scared or are door dashers may be able to escape the house. Put a note by the door to watch for escaping pets. • Designate a safe space for pets. If the holiday hustle proves too much for cats, dogs, birds, and more, give the pet a safe, quiet spot away from the crowds. Holiday hosts should factor in pet safety when they open their homes to guests.

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

2019 AREA HOLIDAY EVENTS CALENDAR NOVEMBER Nov. 27 • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Light Up the Night Music Series: Adam Knudsen, Ludington Pub, 209 S. James St., Ludington Nov. 28 • 9-10:30 a.m. 5K Turkey Vulture Trot, 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville • Noon-2 p.m. Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Emanuel Lutheran Church, 501 E. Danaher St., Ludington • Noon-2 p.m. 45th Annual Bette J. Naffie Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner, VFW Walsh Post No. 4499, 1211 28th St. in Manistee Nov. 29 • 6-9 p.m. Holiday Trail Celebration, 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville Nov 30 • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 22nd Annual Holly Berry Arts & Crafts Fair, Frankfort High School • 10 a.m. to noon, Santa & Mrs Claus arriving in Horse Drawn Carriage at Frankfort High School • 10 a.m. to noon, Carriage Rides from Frankfort High School • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annual Ludington Arts Center Holiday Craft Show, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison Street, Ludington • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Manistee VFW Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar, Manistee VFW, 1211 28th Street, Manistee • 4-6 p.m. Holiday Parade Open House, Ludington Library, 217 E. Ludington Avenue, Ludington • 5-6 p.m., First Light Celebration, 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville • 5-10 p.m. Sparkle in the Park opens, 7727 Hopkins

Drive, Bear Lake • 6-7 p.m. Aglow on the Avenue Parade, Ludington Avenue, Ludington • 7-8 p.m. Mr & Mrs Claus at Sandcastles Children’s Museum, 129 E. Ludington Avenue, Ludington • 7-8 p.m. Frankfort Community Tree Lighting, Rotary Park downtown Frankfort DECEMBER Dec. 1-31 • 5-10 p.m., Sparkle in the Park, 7727 Hopkins Drive, Bear Lake Dec 4 • 6-9 p.m. Rotary Holiday Auction, Lincoln Hills Golf Club, 1527 N. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Light Up the Night Music Series: Tom Zatarga, Jamesport Brewing Co., 410 S. James T., Ludington Dec. 5-8 • Manistee’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend Dec. 5 • 7:30 p.m. WSCC Jazz Ensemble, WSCC Center Stage Theatre, Scottville Dec 6 • Festival of Trees & Holiday Decor Event, Ramsdell Ballroom • 6:30-7:45 p.m. Kids & Kupkakes, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts • 7:30 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee Dec. 7 • Festival of Trees & Holiday Decor Event, Ramsdell Ballroom • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lakeshore Animal Friends Christmas Bazaar, Mason County Animal Control, Meyers Road, Ludington • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manistee Sleighbell Bazaar and Craft Show, Manistee High

School, 12th Street, Manistee • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Parents & Paint-Holiday Paint Event, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Santa Photos, Ludington Library, downtown Ludington • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Craft Sale, Snug Harbor Adult Day Care Center, 301 N. Washington Ave., Ludington • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jr. Clio Club presents Santa and Mrs. Claus, arriving on a firetruck, Farr Center in Onekama • 1-3 p.m. Canvas & Cheer-Holiday Paint Event, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts • Noon-2 p.m. Christmas open house, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 313 4th St. in Manistee • 7:30 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee • 7:40 p.m. Laith Al-Saadi, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, Manistee Dec. 8 • Festival of Trees & Holiday Decor Event, Ramsdell Ballroom • 2 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee Dec. 9 • 6 p.m. MAPS First & third grade student holiday sing, Manistee Middle/High School Auditorium • 7:30 p.m. WSCC Gold Coast Chorale, WSCC Center Stage Theatre, Scottville Dec. 10 • 6 p.m. Band concert, Brethren Schools • 6 p.m. MAPS Kindergarten & second grade student holiday sing, Manistee Middle/ High School Auditorium • 6 p.m. Holiday concert, Manistee Catholic Central gymnasium

Dec. 11 • 5-8 p.m. Men’s Night, Downtown Manistee • 6 p.m. MAPS Fourth grade student holiday sing & Middle School Choir concert, Manistee Middle/High School Auditorium • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Light Up the Night Music Series: Canopy Space, The Mitten, 109 W. Ludington Ave., Ludington Dec. 12 • 6:30 p.m. Holiday band concert, Onekama Consolidate Schools cafetorium • 7 p.m. Holiday band concert, Bear Lake Schools lower gymnasium Dec. 13 • 4-7 p.m. White Pine Christmas, Historic White Pine Village, 1687 S. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington • 7:30 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee Dec 14 • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa’s Workshop at Floracraft, Floracraft, 1 W. Longfellow Place, Ludington • 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Christmas Magic, downtown Beulah • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Holiday Party & Craft Workshop, Benzonia Public Library, 891 Michigan Avenue, Benzonia • 2-5 p.m. Family Dinner, hosted by West Shore Pride, Lakeshore Resource Network, 920 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington • 3-5 p.m. No $ Turkey Dinner, free, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St., downtown Ludington • 4-7 p.m. White Pine Christmas, Historic White Pine Village, 1687 S. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington • 7-9 p.m. We’ll Be Home for the Holidays, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St., downtown Ludington • 7:30 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee Dec. 15

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• 2 p.m. Manistee Civic Players present “Elf the Musical”, Manistee High School Auditorium, Manistee Dec. 16 • 7 p.m. MAPS Fifth & sixth

grade band concert, Manistee Middle/High School Auditorium • 7 p.m. Elementary school holiday sing, Bear Lake Schools • 7:30 p.m. WSCC Percussion Ensemble & Wind Symphony, Peterson Auditorium, Ludington Dec. 17 • 6 p.m. Christmas-singalong, Brethren Schools • 7 p.m. MAPS Seventh & eighth grade and high school band concert, Manistee Middle/High School Auditorium • 7:30 p.m. WSCC Concert Choir, WSCC Center Stage Theatre, Scottville Dec. 18 • 5-8 p.m. Ladie’s Night, Downtown Manistee • 6:30 p.m. Elementary holiday sing, Onekama Consolidate Schools high school gymnasium • 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran School Advent Service, Trinity Lutheran Church Dec. 21 • 2-4 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m., Edgar Strubel Presents: Nashville Family Christmas, Peterson Auditorium, 508 N. Washington Avenue, Ludington • 4 p.m. Winter Solstice Candle Lighting, Maple Grove Township Cemetery, Kaleva Dec 31 • 5-8 p.m. Balloon Drop New Year’s Eve, Sandcastles Children’s Museum, 129 E. Ludington Avenue, Ludington. • 7:30-11:30 New Year’s Eve Party, Ludington Library, 217 E. Ludington Avenue, Ludington • 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, North James Street Plaza, Ludington • 7:30 p.m. Ring in the Roaring 2020s at LACA’s NYE, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St., downtown Ludington • 8 p.m. Puttin’ on the Ritz, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, Manistee • Downtown Ludington New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Victorian Sleighbell Weekend to offer old favorites, new events By Dave Yarnell Special to the Record Patriot

MANISTEE — Manistee continues a 31 year tradition of ringing in the holiday season in old Victorian style with the Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend Dec. 5-8. “I’m most excited about about the parade,” said Rachel Brooks, who has been chairing the Sleighbell committee since 2014 and is also the chair of the Manistee Downtown Development Authority board of directors. Sleighbell Weekend is a project of the DDA. “The parade is a very unique experience,” she continued. “The fact that there are no motorized vehicles and that all the entries are horse and carriage teams makes is something you won’t see anywhere else. We have 50 to 55 parade entries and the majority of them are horse and carriage or music.” The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, running from east to west on River Street. River Street events leading up to the parade include free films at the Vogue Theatre, exhibits at the Manistee County Historical Museum, music by the MaxwellTown Brass Band and the Jingle Mingle at the Ramsdell Inn. At the west end of River Street following the parade, the community Christmas tree will be lit as Christmas carols are sung and then fireworks will bring the program to a close. The Manistee County Historical Museum exhibit Wintertime in the City, featuring 150 years of Manistee area winter photos, will be open

throughout the weekend. The Festival of Trees, in the Ramsdell Theatre ballroom, opens Thursday evening with a special Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. On Friday, downtown merchants will hold their annual soup cook-off, inviting all to taste and vote for the best recipes. Friday is also the opening night for the Manistee Civic Players production of “Elf The Musical” at Manistee High School auditorium. Events at the Ramsdell Theatre, in addition to the Festival of Trees include building tours, a Sno Snake Sho art exhibit featuring the works of area artists and a Saturday evening concert by TV’s “The Voice” finalist Laith Al-Saadi. Other historic building tours include the James Dempsey Mansion and the Old Kirke Museum. Also, a Christmas tea will be held at the Buckley House on Saturday. Brooks said the committee is pleased to be offering Saturday afternoon horse and carriage rides on both sides of Maple Street this year and also pony rides for kids. “It’s a very family oriented weekend,” she said. “There are lots of kids events and everything is for the whole family.” The Reed family of Bear Lake will continue to use their draft horses to pull the upright Christmas tree down River Street and Brooks said this year there will be a somewhat smaller second tree in the parade. “There will be a number of new parade entries and also several new events throughout downtown and the city,” she said.

The Sleighbell Craft Show and Bake Sale at Manistee High School is a popular event. (File photo)

“Another thing we’re bringing back is the warming tent. Douglas Valley, our local vineyard, will be hosting it at the corner of Oak and River streets. The Sleighbell craft show and bake sale at Manistee High School is also a big event as is the Festival of Trees at the Ramsdell ballroom. “River Street merchants enjoy welcoming people to the soup cook-off, and on Saturday before the parade Kendra Thompson Architects

will do roasted chestnuts along River Street for the 29th year. People love the roasted chestnuts.” Brooks said the committee doesn’t get overly concerned with weather predictions. “We love when it snows a little bit,” she laughed, indicating that they don’t want weather to keep people away or make River Street slippery for the horses. Brooks said she enjoys heading up the efforts to stage Manistee’s special weekend.

“We have a great committee, and every committee member has a certain responsibility and we all work very well together,” Brooks said. “We meet on a monthly basis all year long to plan for it and it works out really well. It’s a great weekend for downtown and the entire community. The complete schedule of events and other information about the Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas weekend is available at manisteesleighbellparade.com.

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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit children at the Holly Berry Arts and Crafts show. (File Photo)

Colorful hats, in many different styles, are some of the items that can be found at the Holly Berry Arts and Crafts Show. (File Photo)

Horse drawn carriage rides from Fantail Farms are part of the Holly Berry Arts and Crafts event at Frankfort High School. (File Photo)

Arts and crafts, holiday events kick off Christmas season in Frankfort By Colin Merry Staff Writer FRANKFORT — A Thanksgiving weekend tradition returns to Frankfort to jump-start the Christmas season. The Holly Berry Arts and Crafts Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Frankfort High School. Many families enjoy coming to Holly Berry to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping and look for unique hand-made gifts they won’t find at Black Friday sales. Holly Berry has everything from jewelry, clothing, blankets, doll

clothing, fiber art, handmade soaps, pottery, paintings, quilts, stationary, yard decorations, home decorations, photographs and cutlery. Some vendors also bring tasty home-made snacks. In past years, vendors have brought cheese, jerky, bread mixes and pasties. Visitors can also participate in the Frankfort-Elberta Chamber of Commerce’s raffle, the organization that hosts the event. Vendors donate items which are then raffled off. Visitors can purchase tickets and enter them in an attempt to win the item of their choice. There also will be activities and

crafts for children, including a visit from Santa Claus, from 10 a.m. to noon at the high school. During this time, kids will be able to get their pictures taken with Santa and participate in a variety of arts and crafts activities. There also will be carriage rides offered outside of the high school during this period. Boy Scout Troop No. 10 will be offering lunch options to both visitors and vendors alike. The girls softball team also will be selling wreaths to help fund team events.

Organizers say the Holly Berry Arts and Crafts Fair is the first holiday event for many families living in and visiting Benzie County during the Thanksgiving holiday, and that it is tradition for some families to attend the event. Another Frankfort tradition, the community tree lighting, will also be held, from 7-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, at Rotary Park in downtown Frankfort. The tree will be lit and decorated, and visitors will be able to enjoy complimentary doughnut holes. Christmas carols will be performed by the Frankfort High School Band.

Tips for baking better Christmas cookies Cookies and other baked treats are everywhere come the holiday season. It’s not uncommon to give cookies as gifts or arrive at holiday gatherings with cakes and other decadent desserts. Cookies are a classic holiday treat, and some families even build entire traditions around baking Christmas cookies. Novice bakers making cookies for the first time may be a little overwhelmed when perusing recipes. Baking is a science, and sometimes it takes practice to get the results just right. However, there are some tips that can help yield better, buttery bounties. Handle butter with care Butter can make or break a cookie recipe, as butter is often the glue that holds the cookie together. Therefore, it is key to follow the directions

carefully regarding how to handle butter. Smithsonian.com says to leave butter at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to properly soften it. This takes patience, but fiddling with butter too much can damage its delectable integrity. While purists may say butter is best, margarine may be acceptable if it has a high fat content; otherwise, cookies may spread out and flatten. When it comes time to cream the butter with sugar, be sure to do so thoroughly to incorporate air into the butter and remove the grainy texture of the sugar. Measure flour properly Measuring flour the right way can ensure cookies come out right. The Cooking Channel says to spoon the flour lightly into a dry measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. Do not dip the measuring cup into the

flour or tap the knife against the cup. This will pack too much flour into the measuring cup and result in dry, tough cookies. Slow down the eggs Add eggs one at a time to make sure each will emulsify properly with the fat in the butter. Adding eggs en masse may cause the emulsification to fail. Chill out Follow recipes that call for chilling cookie dough carefully. This process is important for making sliced and shaped cookies. By chilling, the dough becomes more malleable for rolling and even slicing. Use a bottom rack Too much heat may compromise cookie integrity. The food experts at Delish say to try moving cookies onto a lower rack in the oven if they aren’t

retaining their shape when baked. Put an empty cookie sheet on the top rack. That will block the cookies from the most intense heat that rises to the top of the oven. Mastering cookies takes a little patience and some trial and error. Once bakers get their feet wet, Christmas-cookie-baking becomes even more special. 13998 Honor Highway US 31 • Honor, Michigan

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Page 9

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Marc Crossman performs on the drums during Benzie Central’s 2018 holiday band concert. (File photo)

Local schools unveil slate of holiday programs this December From Staff Reports BENZIE COUNTY — Once again, students from across the county are working hard to prepare a number of different holiday programs. Students, grades second through fifth, at Lake Ann Elementary will perform “The Greatest Snowman” at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Benzie Central auditorium. This program tells the story of Santa Claus’ effort to find a substitute for Christmas Eve so he can carry on his tradition of taking Christmas off every 100 years by enjoying a staycation at the North Pole. For those who cannot watch the program on Dec. 5, fear not. Betsie Valley Elementary students will perform “The Greatest Snowman” at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Betsie Valley Elementary. Lake Ann Elementary kindergarten and first grade student will perform a short program at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 12. The program will take place at Lake Ann Elementary.

Frankfort Elementary students shine in their 2018 holiday program. (File photo)

That same night, Benzie Central middle school and high school students will perform their annual holiday band concert under the direction of Brian Parent at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium. If it’s drama you’re after, the Frankfort is the place to be on Dec. 13-15. There, high school students will take audiences members to snowy and magical land of Narnia during a production of the “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in the auditorium. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 and 14 with a matinee performance scheduled for a time to be determined on Dec. 15. Frankfort’s junior and senior high band concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 under the direction of Eric Joslin. Frankfort Elementary will hold its program at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18. Under the direction of Joslin, students will perform a number of holiday classics on the stage at the elementary Students sing about the Grinch during Benzie Central’s holiday choir concert. (File photo) school.

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Page 10

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

The candles of Kaleva Local residents celebrate the solstice in a candlelit cemetery By Scott Fraley Pioneer News Network KALEVA — Graveyards can be somber and lonely places, but during the winter solstice, Maple Grove Cemetery in the rural village of Kaleva comes alive with a flurry of activity. Volunteers return to the cemetery each winter to observe the long-running Finnish tradition of lighting graveside luminaries in remembrance of the deceased. “The first year we did it, it looks like we put about 50 candles out, but it kept growing and growing. The last few years we’ve been putting out 1,000 candles with a lot of help from the community,” said Cynthia Asiala, president of the Kaleva Historical Society, which sponsors the event. Asiala was working with a service learning class at Brethren High School to revive the Finnish heritage of Kaleva. “When we were looking at Finnish culture and trying to revive it for the town, we had done a survey and the residents wanted the Finnish culture to be a focal point

Volunteers place as many as 1,000 luminaries on graves during the Kaleva Historical Society’s annual winter solstice event. (File Photo)

as it had been,” she said. “We found out from people visiting from Finland, that a custom of wintertime was to visit the graves of their loved ones — to go to the cemetery on Christmas Eve and put out lanterns.” While in Finland, the celebration of lighting graveside candles is traditionally observed on Christmas Eve, the Kaleva Historical Society decided to hold their festivities

on Dec. 21 to avoid conflicting with families’ holiday plans. The residents arrive at the graveyard around 4 p.m. and work with assembly line efficiency, often battling fierce northern winters to ensure the flickering candles will illuminate the darkest night of the year. “It’s kind of a frenzied thing because we want to get them all out before dark, so it’s really about an hour to an

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Since 1998, Kaleva celebrates the Finnish tradition of lighting candles for those who have passed by placing luminaries next to each grave in the Maple Grove Township cemetery. (File Photo)

hour and a half time frame for getting them out,” Asiala said adding that, “Some folks come just to pick up a candle and do their own relatives’ grave.” According to Asiala, the festivities are truly a community affair. “Larry’s Party Store and Grocery has donated the bags for the past several years. The historical society purchases the candles and a volunteer comes up with the sand and a tractor,” she said. The Kaleva community has reenacted this tradition for over 20 years, only cancelling twice due to harsh weather. “We can’t do it with high winds, I mean that’s the worst,” Asiala said. “We can handle snow if it isn’t too thick or too heavy that it puts the candles out. Some years the snow has been so deep that we trip over the gravestones and people bring a sled to carry the luminaries.” As the tradition grew older, so did many of the volunteers Asiala said, requiring creative ways to bring in new helping

hands. “It’s hard for 80 year olds to tromp through the snow and bend over and light the candle, but the last two or three years we’ve been so fortunate, because the sports teams from Brethren High School, has come with their kids,” Asiala said. “Then it goes like clockwork. Then we know we’ll reach our goal of putting out 1,000 lighted candles.” By 5 p.m., their work is done and all 1,000 candles are lit. When darkness falls on Maple Grove Cemetery, the minister from nearby Bethany Lutheran Church leads the community in prayer amid the glowing luminaries and snow-capped headstones. Afterward, Kaleva residents retire to shelter at the Lutheran Church in order to warm up, reminisce about years gone by and enjoy a hearty cup of soup. Asiala said the hope is that the candles will last until around 10 p.m.

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Page 11

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Sparkle in the Park to light up Bear Lake once again By Michelle Graves Managing Editor

BEAR LAKE — Sparkle in the Park has grown so much over its existence, that this year it will not only take up all of Hopkins Park but it will spill out into the village of Bear Lake as well. Bear Lake businesses, organizations and individuals will place nearly 50 scenes in Hopkins Park for the 15th year. There will be about 60 total scenes, said Pauline Jaquish, who with her husband Philip has been in charge of the event from the start. Several new businesses will take part this year. “We’re spilling out more onto (US-31). The lot downtown that had the variety store, that property — the county owns it right now, it is for sale and is still available for sale — but we are going to be decorating that site also,” she said. “Anything that will stand still long enough, we’ll put a light on it.” There are 30 campsites in the campground, about 28 are decorated by businesses and organizations and the Bear Lake Promoters decorate another 30, said Jaquish. The Bear Lake Promoters and the Village of Bear Lake partner each year to make Sparkle in the Park happen. “We’re really trying to switch everything over to LED lights, just because of the expense of the light bill every year. Of course, LED lights aren’t real cheap,” said Jaquish, she estimates there will be over 60,000 lights this year. “That’s the other thing we do; in the middle of December we start buying stuff for next year when it comes on sale.” Set up and building began in October; planning started in

September. “The more years we have it; the bigger it gets. When things get bigger there’s more work to be done. But we’re OK with that. We like doing what we do; it’s just that the clock is ticking on a lot of our people,” said Jaquish on some of the volunteers. “We have a pile of stuff and we think ‘Oh my gosh how is that going to fit into anything in the park?’ But by opening night, it’s just magic.” A core of about a dozen volunteers work on the set up and decorating. The official lighting ceremony will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Hopkins Park. The event is free, and there will be tailgate chili, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies, compliments of the Bear Lake community. From 6:30-7:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available to visit with children and take photos. Visitors are also encouraged to bring food items that will go to the Bear Lake Area Food Bank. Also during opening night, awards will be given out for first through third places for Best of Show for individual sites. Prizes are Bear Lake Bucks. “We’re trying to encourage people to do business with local businesses,” said Jaquish. Last year, was the worst year the event has seen as far as the weather goes for opening night, Jaquish said, with rain all night. “The concern we have when it is so wet, we really don’t like people walking through the sites. There’s electric cords running everywhere,” she said. “We’ve never had a problem; we always try to put them up on stakes so the connections aren’t getting wet. But people walk through there, they trip



on the cord because they can’t see it ... We haven’t had any catastrophes, and we certainly don’t want to have any. We try to encourage people to just use a little common sense when it’s like that. Electricity and water doesn’t mix very well.” Sparkle in the Park is open for vehicles to drive through from 5-10 p.m. every night from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31. There is no admission charge, but there are some donation boxes by Toyland Bear Lake display. “Any donations that are received go right back into Sparkle in the Park for next year,” said Jaquish. On Dec. 21 and 28, there will be horse drawn carriage rides from 6-9 p.m. “We want to encourage church groups, school groups, whatever to come anytime they want to during the whole thing and be there in Toyland Bear Lake and carol. People driving by really like that. They like to see the carolers. ... We’d like to have whoever would like to come; just show up.” If anyone wants to volunteer for this year or next year, contact Jaquish at (231) 342-7285

Sparkle in the Park will open with an official lighting ceremony from 5-7-30 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Hopkins Park in Bear Lake. (File photo)

or pj646@centurytel.net. Jaquish said the Bear Lake Promoters also host the Bear Lake Area Lighting Contest for businesses and residential homes; judging takes place Dec. 9. To register, call or email Jaquish with name and address. As a testament to the growth of Sparkle in the Park, Jaquish said she had a call from Big Rapids last year asking if Spar-

kle in the Park is open. “I know we’re bringing people from a 50-mile radius — Cadillac, Ludington, Traverse City, it just keeps growing every year,” she said. “It’s getting more known all the time. Pure Michigan is on it. It’s exceeded all my wishes and thoughts that it could be; it’s really great. Having so many people involved in it is they key, that really makes it what it is.”

Page 12

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 • Benzie County Record Patriot Wishbook

Camillia Pels, of Onekama, takes a close look at the miniature Christmas village set up at the Farr Center in Onekama in 2018. (File Photo)

Liam Grimm, of Kaleva, sits with Santa at the Farr Center in Onekama during a previous event. (File Photo)

Jr. Clio Club brings Santa and Mrs. Claus to Onekama From Staff Reports ONEKAMA — Next month, sirens will be blasting as Santa and Mrs. Claus ride into Onekama aboard a firetruck. For more than half a century, the Jr. Clio Club has been bringing the jolly old elf to the area.

The event is free to everyone, and brings smiles to the faces of young and old alike as the pair from the North Pole arrive at the Farr Center in Onekama. The event is slated for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 7. Each child will have a chance to talk with Santa and

Mrs. Claus, take photos and receive a free gift. A Christmas tree and Christmas village also will be on display in the Farr Center, located at 5283 Main St. in Onekama Cookies, punch and coffee also will be served.

“10 Big Reasons” to shop Benzie County


Your tax bill.


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When you shop in your hometown stores, part of every dollar you spend goes to pay your local tax bill...leaving LESS for you to pay toward their cost.

Local merchants financially support the interests of your children and grandchildren, opening a wide range of opportunities to them through school, organizations and churches.




Save Money.

You determine what services are available locally. If there is a demand for a product or service, your local businesses are glad to provide them.

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Can’t decide what to give that hard-to-buy-for person? Local merchants know their customers and can aid in gift selection.

Quality Merchandise.

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Every dollar you spend at home does the work of $5.00. Market analysts say a dollar spent in a local business will circulate five times through the local community. A dollar spent out of town is gone forever.


Variety of Merchandise.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask a merchant if it can be ordered or made available.

When you buy a product locally, you know the reputation of the business person. Any dissatisfaction you have with the merchandise will be handled on a personal basis.


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When you shop in Benzie County you know you’re not just another face in the crowd. We’ll greet you with a hello and a smile, and you can shop at your leisure.


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