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Christmas On Main set for Saturday, December 11 in Nevada, IA

Main Street Nevada, with support from the City of Nevada, is excited to release this news story on the upcoming, first-ever Christmas On Main: A “Made for the Movies” Hometown Celebration, coming up Saturday, December 11, from 4-7 in the Main Street District.

“Christmas On Main is a chance to ‘explore, shop and enjoy’ Nevada’s Main Street District during the holiday season,” said Marlys Barker, who along with Ros Dunblazier and Kristy Reinhart, is co-chairing this event. “It’s also a great way to celebrate the completion of our two-year Downtown Construction Project, which gives us new service lines and infrastructure underground, and beautiful new streets, sidewalks with brickwork, and lighting above ground.”

The event’s theme, “Made for the Movies,” will be represented in two ways.

First, the event itself is hoped to be so quaint and hometown-friendly that as Celebration-goers stroll through the Main Street District — from as far south as the old hotel and north to the American Legion — they’ll feel as though they’re actually in a Christmas movie. “We asked every participating business/organization to feature a little holiday ‘magic’ inside their open door,” Barker explained. “As detailed on our official event map, the magic might be a bite-sized holiday treat, a craft project, a little gift or something special to experience.” Many retail stores will also be open for shopping during the event.

Second, the festival will feature four famous, life-size movie (look-alike) characters – Elf, Scrooge, Olaf and The Grinch – for families to find. “Along with our festival’s featured movie characters, some businesses are also bringing out their own holiday characters for the event,” Dunblazier noted.

Christmas On Main will officially take place from 4-7 p.m., with more than 40 businesses/organizations taking part and 36 official stops on the event map. A few other activities are also happening before and after the celebration, which can be enjoyed in the downtown area.

  • From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Gatherings will host the Beautiful Land Merry & Bright Sip & Shop Market with 25 makers and collectors.
  • At 2 p.m., Runners United Nevada (RUN) will host a one-mile Ugly Sweater Run to celebrate the season. Check RUN’s Facebook page for more details.
  • From 3-4 p.m., Nevada Parks and Recreation will host Christmas BINGO games in the Senior Center. Play two cards free, or buy additional cards if you wish. Prizes can be won.
  • Starting at 3 p.m., weather and wind speeds permitting, Re/MAX Concepts, M.O.R.E. Team will provide tethered Hot Air Balloon rides just north of N Avenue on Sixth Street.
  • Starting immediately at the end of Christmas on Main – 7 p.m. – The Talent Factory “Regulars” will put on a live Christmas show (tickets are $5 and available ahead of time or at the door) in Nevada’s historic theater. Prior to the show, Santa will greet children in the theater from 4-6:30 during the Celebration!


How to Navigate Christmas On Main

An event map has been created to help Christmas On Main attendees follow all the fun activities being offered. Printed maps are now available at the Nevada Public Library, a few local businesses, and the Main Street Nevada office, 1015 6th Street. Digital maps are available on the Main Street Nevada Facebook page and Main Street Nevada’s Christmas On Main Event page. Be sure you have a printed or digital copy to refer to the day of the event.

“As you view the map, you’ll see numbered bells representing the 36 businesses, buildings or outdoor areas which are open on the day of the event,” Barker explained. “On the second or back page of the map, you will see the corresponding ‘magic’ to be found at each location.”


Vote on Best Decorated Trees

Along with their special “magic” treat or activity, every business/organization was asked to decorate a tree for people to view and vote on. Containers will be placed by those trees throughout the district, and festival-goers may place our special jingle bells in the containers of their favorite trees. At the end, the tree that gets the most bells (votes) will win and be dubbed the “People’s Choice Tree 2021.”

How do you get bells to vote? “We plan to have little bags with bells available at a few locations,” Reinhart explained. “The Nevada Public Library will hand out bags of bells starting at noon on December 11. So, those who want to get their bells before the festival starts, can pick them up at the library. We ask that each family unit take one bag of bells and vote together.”

The Nevada Library will continue to hand out bells during the celebration, and once the celebration starts, bells will also be available at the Talent Factory/Theater – for those stopping in to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, and at the Senior Center. “You can vote with all your bells for one tree, or divide your bells to vote on several favorites,” Reinhart said.


Find the Featured Characters, Win a Big Family Prize

It will be worthwhile for families to hunt for the four featured movie character live look-alikes during Christmas On Main.

“We are placing our live Scrooge, Olaf, Elf and The Grinch in various places around the Main Street District. As a family, when you find one of these live characters, take a family selfie with the character,” Barker explained. “After the festival ends, if you’ve found all four characters, and email to me the four photos showing your family with each of the four characters, you will be placed in a drawing to win a huge family prize package.”

Many participating businesses donated items for the prize package, which includes over $500 worth of gifts.

Email the selfie photos to Marlys Barker at by 5 p.m. Monday, December 13, to be entered in a drawing for a chance to win.


Shop, Shop, Shop with Stores and Vendors

Along with the many free activities, treats and experiences Christmas On Main will provide, the festival will also provide shopping opportunities in our downtown retail businesses, along with a small vendor shopping fair located in the narthex of First United Methodist Church, #9 on our event map.

“Our local vendors include Iowa Farm Life Dreams, Oh For the Love of Cheesecakes, CraftsEverywhere, and Thirty-One Gifts,” Dunblazier said. “We also have a couple vendors setting up shop with businesses in the Main Street District, and those are noted on our event map.”


Raising Funds to Feed Families in Need

Nevada Parks and Recreation and the Nevada Firefighters are setting up at the City Hall Campus and Senior Center to serve a Chili and Cinnamon Roll Feed. Tickets can be purchased for $5 each, and not only will the proceeds go into a fund to help provide holiday meals for local families in need, but five “golden tickets” are in the mix, and if you happen to get a golden ticket, you will win a prize.

“It’s a win-win effort,” said Rhonda Maier, assistant director of parks and recreation. “We are thankful that the Nevada Firefighters are able to partner with us on this activity.”

Along with chili and cinnamon rolls, the City Hall Campus area will feature the Historic Seagrave fire truck on display and warming kettles.


So much going on

“The goal when we started organizing this event was to ‘keep it simple,’” Barker said. “But because we have so many incredible businesses and organizations who wanted to participate, this event has become bigger than we thought it would be in year one.”

The event map will tell you all about the fun things happening throughout the route. Be sure to read through the event map (both front and back) so you’ll know how and where to:

  • Visit the “Land of Inflatable Fun”
  • Hear a great storyteller and create a card for a Veteran
  • Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • Hunt for the 4 featured characters and win a $500+ family prize package
  • Find hot apple cider and Wassail
  • Experience a Winter Wonderland and Castle of Arendelle
  • Decorate a cookie
  • Find a craft project specifically for “grown-ups”
  • Make reindeer food
  • Meet the Nutcracker
  • Enjoy treats
  • Get a special key for Santa
  • Get your pet photographed with a fun background
  • Listen to a brass band
  • Take part in an interactive bell-playing activity
  • See the inner workings of a Grandfather Clock
  • And much, much more!

“Our fingers are crossed for good weather,” Barker said, noting that if the unthinkable winter storm should hit that day, the event would have to be cancelled and postponed until next year. “It’s way too big to set a make-up date if a storm happens that day. However, we’d expect many businesses to have treats following the storm if that happens, and hopefully our residents would visit the downtown as soon as the storm cleared.”

Main Street Nevada and the Christmas On Main co-chairs thank all those who are participating in this first-ever endeavor. We hope all area families, couples, individuals, young and old, will come to the Main Street District on Saturday, December 11, to enjoy Christmas On Main.

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